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Understanding the Impact of SSI Benefits on other Benefits

Beware: Increased Child Support May Mean Decreased or Lost SSIIt is a little-known but important fact that receiving benefits of one kind can affect benefits of another kind, sometimes adversely.

Take the case of Sally and her son, Paul. Sally is a constant advocate for Paul, who has special needs. Paul is currently receiving Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Sally is also receiving Medicaid.

Sally is Paul’s primary caregiver. In an effort to do everything she can to ensure Paul has all the resources he can possibly obtain, Sally petitions the court to have Paul’s father contribute more toward Paul’s child support. Sally is successful in increasing the child support but doesn’t realize the hidden problem.

Two-thirds of the total income is treated as “countable income” when determining the SSI payment Paul is entitled to. Since Paul’s child support has increased, thereby increasing his total income, the reduction in SSI will actually leave him in a worse financial position.

Under current law, only one-third of child support payments received in a month on behalf of a child on SSI is excluded from countable income when the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the SSI payment.

In this instance, an attorney with experience in special needs law & planning could determine the best course of action for Sally, and ensure the best support for Paul.

Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530

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