What if I Am Applying for Disability and Can't Pay Child Support?

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Question

I am out of work due to a disintegrating medical condition and can no longer make my child support payments. What can I do?

Answer

If you have filed for Social Security disability or SSI disability benefits and cannot pay your child support obligations due to an inability to work based on a disabling condition, there are options available to you. Both involve providing proof of your disability application or your pending disability appeal.

If you are not represented by a disability lawyer or non-lawyer representative on your disability claim, contact the Social Security office where you filed you claim for disability benefits and obtain a copy of your disability application receipt. This will serve as proof that you are seeking disability benefits and will provide a plausible rationale for your inability to meet your child support obligation.

If you are represented by an attorney or representative, you can contact your attorney or non-attorney representative's office. The individual, agency, or firm that provides representation on your disability claim can supply a letter to either child support enforcement or the family court, verifying that you have a pending disability claim or appeal.

Typically, proof of application for disability benefits or a letter from an attorney or non-attorney's office will be sufficient to forestall legal action against you. Next, you should seek a modification of your child support obligation. For information on how to do this, read our article on modifiying child support due to disability.

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LA-NOLO1:DRU.1.6.3.20141021.28794