Brother’s ex-wife wants half of his SSDI benefits due to lack of child support payments in the last few years


Q. My Brother is 62 years old and recently qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. He has received his first monthly payment. He is divorced and his ex-wife and one minor child will also be receiving a separate monthly payment. His former spouse wants to claim half of his monthly payment to compensate for his non-payment of child support over the last few years. Can she take a portion of his payment as well?


A. Since 1974, child support laws have allowed a portion of Social Security and other Federal payments to be garnisheed for current or retroactive child support or alimony payments. However, the person seeking the payments must obtain a court garnishment order. If a valid order is submitted to the Social Security Administration, the agency must comply.

Your brother’s former wife is receiving only a payment for the minor child. A divorced spouse is not eligible for a caregiver benefit during the wage earner’s lifetime.