Disabled veterans are faced with the stress of a number of financial responsibilities – some in addition to the necessities of food and shelter. For some veterans with children, the financial responsibilities that come along with kids can weigh heavily, whether or not they have custody or are in direct contact.
If you have been ordered by a court to pay child support, you must do so even if your only income is your veterans’ disability benefits payments.
Can my VA disability payment be garnished to pay child support?
It is illegal for private companies to garnish your disability benefits in any way; however, state and federal agencies can take money out of your payments for a limited number of reasons, such as taxes, alimony, or child support. Both your veterans’ disability payments and your Social Security disability payments may be garnished. Keep in mind that you will receive a warning before your check is garnished, and that you can appeal the decision.
My ex has asked for an “appointment” from the VA – what does that mean?
When a parent asks the Veterans’ Administration to grant them an appointment, they are asking the government to send them a portion of your disability benefits to help support your children. An appointment decision takes a number of factors into account, such as whether or not you are suffering from financial hardship, whether your children have been factored into your disability payment already, and whether the children need financial assistance. The VA may not grant an appointment if your disability check is too small to split or if your children have been adopted by another person.
Are there other ways my ex-spouse could collect child support?
The custodial parent has several avenues for action if you are not paying court-ordered child support, and if they do not decide to request an appointment. For example, they could bring you to court for contempt, get your drivers’ license suspended, garnish your other forms of income, or collect your tax refund.
Texas veterans’ disability benefits attorney
It can be extremely difficult to handle your responsibilities when you return from overseas with a service-related disability. Caring for yourself and your medical needs can be difficult enough, and supporting your children can be added stress. If you have questions about your veterans’ disability benefits, appointments, or payment garnishments, speak to a Dallas disability benefits attorney today. Call Morgan & Wiesbrod at 800-800-6353.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.