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Child Support and Alimony Payments - What you Need to Know

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We are often asked about what happens to SSI benefits when there may be child support or alimony involved with a Special Needs Trust. We hope you find this blog post helpful and a good resource to reference when you are advising your clients.
When a child is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and the custodial parent is receiving child support (including arrearage payments) from a non-custodial parent, Social Security counts the support as unearned income to the child. (SI 00830.420(B)(1)).
Similarly, when an SSI recipient receives alimony or spousal support, Social Security counts the support as unearned income to the SSI recipient. (SI 00830.418B). Each dollar of unearned income (after a general disregard of $20) will reduce the recipient’s monthly SSI amount by a dollar. If the monthly child support, alimony or spousal support is great enough, it could completely eliminate the recipient’s monthly SSI check.
SSI recipients and their attorneys should know that there …