Family Law and Divorce Attorneys in Virginia

Can Child Support Be Taken Out of Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program paid for by employers for the benefit of employees. If an employee is injured in a work-related accident, or if an employee suffers from an occupational disease, he or she can seek workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation pays for an employee’s medical bills, and it provides cash benefits that are less than the employee’s average weekly wage.

If you were injured on the job, or if you fell ill because you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you may be receiving workers’ compensation benefits, or thinking about applying for them. In some cases where a work-related injury is severe, the injured worker can collect workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

Workers’ Compensation & Child Support

If you are the noncustodial parent and you pay child support, you may be wondering, “Do I still have to pay child support when I’m not working and I’m receiving workers’ compensation benefits?” If you receive workers’ compensation, you are still obligated to pay child support. It is virtually impossible for noncustodial parents to get around this. The only way a parent could escape child support is if their parental rights were terminated.

If you start receiving workers’ compensation, your income will decrease because workers’ compensation does not compensate a worker for 100% of their wages, so it may be difficult for you to keep up with your child support payments. Please understand that if you stop paying child support, your workers’ compensation benefits can be garnished.

Workers’ compensation is not the only type of benefit that can be garnished for child support. Social Security Disability benefits can be garnished too, however, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not subject to garnishment.

A Downward Modification

If you receive workers’ compensation benefits and you expect to be disabled for an extended period of time, our advice is to promptly ask the court for a downward modification. Child support is not retroactive, so there is no way for the court to go back to the date of the injury and reduce what you owe. That said, it’s best to act quickly. For professional legal assistance in Fairfax child support cases, contact us today.

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