SSI and SSDI: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) v. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Although both SSI and SSDI are administered by the Social Security Administration, the SSI program is entirely separate from the SSDI program. SSI is considered a public benefit, comparable to food stamps. The SSI program makes benefit payments each month to low-income, disabled, or elderly adults and disabled or blind children. Monthly SSI benefit payments are not categorized as income, and those benefits are not included in the child support calculations when a California court determines a monthly child support payment amount. Monthly SSI benefits also may not be confiscated for delinquent child support payments or garnished to make child support payments in the future.
SSI benefits are offered to those with little or no income to those who either have not worked or who do work but have not earned enough work credits to become eligible for SSDI. Generally, low income individuals can qualify for SSI benefits.
In contrast, SSDI benefits are earned by workers who have compiled a sufficient number of Social Security work credits. Only workers who have earned a sufficient number of Social Security work credits qualify for SSDI benefits
Parents who receive or apply for monthly benefit payments through either of these programs should understand how SSI and SSDI affect their child support calculation and payments.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI and SSDI are different. SSI is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly cash payments to low-income elderly or disabled individuals, including blind or disabled children. To be eligible for SSI the individual must have very few assets. For children on SSI, the Social Security Administration reduces the child’s SSI benefit by two-thirds of the amount that is paid in child support. If your child is receiving child support any SSI received will be one-third of what the child would have received if there was no order for child support. SSI payments are reduced because the child is receiving child support.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSI and SSDI differ in that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly cash benefits to disabled individuals and families who have a significant history of working. By work history, we mean that the individual must have worked five of the previous ten years before the start of payments. There is no limit on the assets an individual can have and still be eligible for SSDI.
If either parent receives a monthly SSDI benefit payment, it is considered income, and it is included in the child support calculations when the court determines a monthly child support payment amount. If a parent fails to make monthly child support payments completely and on time as ordered by the court, and if that parent is also a recipient of monthly SSDI benefit payments, a percentage of those SSDI benefits can be seized, and the parent’s monthly benefit payment will be reduced by that amount.
SSDI Derivative Benefits
SSDI derivative benefits count as income for the parent from whom they derive. If the child’s benefits derive from the non-custodial parent, the amount of the benefits are subtracted from the obligation calculated using the Guidelines. The order is set based on the remaining obligation. As example: if the amount of benefits is $300 per month, and the obligation calculated using the Guidelines is $500 per month, then the order would be set at $200. Should the derivative benefits be more than the obligation calculated using the Guidelines, any order would be set at zero.
SSDI derivative benefits are available for some minors whose non-custodial parents receive SSDI payments. A minor can receive SSDI derivative benefits if the minor’s non-custodial parent is an SSDI recipient. SSDI derivative benefits count as income for that parent.
Thus, when a child receives derivative SSDI benefits, the amount of the SSDI benefits received in the child’s name is subtracted from the child support order.
As an example, if the SSDI payment that a child receives through the non-custodial parent is $300 per month, and if the non-custodial parent’s obligation under the state’s Child Support Guideline is $700 per month, a California court will set the monthly child support amount at $400.
Is SSI considered income for the Non-custodial Parent?
SSI is not counted as income for the non-custodial parent when calculating the monthly child support order.
Is SSI considered income for the Custodial parent?
SSI is not counted as income for the custodial parent when calculating the monthly child support order.
Is SSDI consider income for the Non-custodial Parent?
SSDI is counted as income for the non-custodial parent when calculating the monthly child
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