Some divorce clients who are also disabled have minor children who receive social security benefits on their account. These clients often question whether their children’s receipt of benefits on their account will suffice as child support. Under the current Georgia Child Support Guidelines, specifically O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(a)(11), benefits received under Title II of the federal Social Security Act by a child on a parent’s account will be counted as child support payments and applied in calculating the final amount of child support.

HOW SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS RECEIVED BY A CHILD ON A PARENT’S ACCOUNT FACTOR INTO THE FINAL CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATION

After calculating the parent’s monthly gross income, including the amount of the parent’s own social security benefits, and after calculating the amount of child support, if the presumptive amount of child support is greater than the social security benefits paid on behalf of the child on the parent’s account, the final amount of child support will be the amount exceeding the social security benefit received on behalf of the child. If, on the other hand, the presumptive amount of child support is equal to or less than the social security benefits paid on behalf of the child on the parent’s account, then that parent’s child support obligation is met and no further obligation will be paid. However, it should be noted that any social security benefit amounts under Title II of the federal Social Security Act as determined by the Social Security Administration sent to a custodial parent for the child’s benefit which exceed the final child support amount will be retained by the custodial parent for the child’s benefit and cannot be used to decrease the final child support amount or decrease the amount of arrearages. For questions regarding how social security benefits received by a child on a parent’s account factor into the calculation of child support, contact The Faucette Law Firm LLC at (770) 485-6620.