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  1. #1
    Pat88998899 Guest

    Can Department of Revenue take Disability checks?

    What is the name of your state? Massachusetts

    Twelve years ago, a friend of mine, Mark, was married for 8 years during which time he handed his paycheck over to his wife (at the time) every week to pay bills. Sometimes he worked 2 jobs and sometimes lots of overtime. After 8 years she started dating a friend of theirs, and made him leave the home, and filed for divorce. In this same month, his father died and the stress of both caused him to have a heart attack at the age of 37. He was out of work for 6 weeks as a result. During this time there was a court date at which time the judge ordered him to pay what was equal to 1/2 of his net pay from the job he held before his heart attack. Mark informed the judge that he had a heart attack and was not cleared to go back to work. The judge told him that when he was cleared to go back to work he should get a second job to catch up on the payments he was not able to pay in the meantime.

    He paid the child support until May of 2000, when he had another heart attack; went back to work too soon; fainted while on a ladder in the hot sun and fell to the ground. Now in addition to his heart condition, he had a bad back, shoulder and hip because of the fall. He applied for social security, and was turned down. The appeals lasted over 2 years. Unable to work, he kept applying. The last time he applied was in 2004, was turned down, appealed, was turned down, and only after getting a lawyer, did he finally win in July of 2006. The judge ordered that he receive disability going back to 2002, because she disagreed with the prior decision, and declared him disabled going back to 2002, as far back as she legally could. In the meantime the Department of Revenue is racking up not only the child support payments, but interest and fees.

    I advised him to go to court but he couldn't afford a lawyer and because of his experience the first time he went, he saw it as a lose/lose situation. When he applied for SSD, he gave his daughter's, and ex-wife's info, so that they could also get the benefits, and SSA said they were going to call her to let her know that she could apply for these benefits separately. (His ex-wife has married the friend of theirs, and they both work for the post office, and she brags to Mark's daughter about making $60 an hr overtime.)

    Yesterday Mark got a letter from the DOR saying that they were putting a lien on his benefits. Of the 803.00 he gets they were taking half. every month until the $62000 is paid. Again this is for 7 years that Mark was unable to work and his ex-wife knows this. - Can they take half of his check? Is there anything he can do about it?

    Is the ex-wife entitled to child support retroactive to 2002 also? Someone at SSA said that this was not retroactive? His daughter turned 18 in September, only 2-3 months after he was accepted for disability.

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    He should have had it modified a Long time ago ......

    Was he to pay the X directly , or was it being collected through an Enforcement unit ?

    Can Social Security benefits be garnished to pay a debt? Answer
    Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407) protects Social Security benefits from assignment, levy, or garnishment. However, the law provides five exceptions:
    Section 459 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 659) allows Social Security benefits to be garnished to enforce child support and/or alimony obligations;
    Section 6334 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6334 (c)) allows benefits to be garnished to collect unpaid Federal taxes;
    Section 3402 (P) of the Internal Revenue Code allows beneficiaries to elect to have a percentage of their benefits withheld and paid to the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy their Federal income tax liability for the current year;
    The Debt Collection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134) allows benefits to be withheld and paid to another Federal agency to pay a non-tax debt the beneficiary owes to that agency: and
    The Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-34) authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to collect overdue federal tax debts of beneficiaries by levying up to 15 percent of each monthly payment until the debt is paid.
    The Social Security Administration's responsibility for protecting benefits against legal process and assignment usually ends when the beneficiary is paid. However, once paid, benefits continue to be protected under section 207 of the Act only as long as they are identifiable as Social Security benefits. This applies to money in a bank account where the only payments into the account are from direct deposit of Social Security benefits.
    NOTE: Supplemental Security Income payments cannot be levied or garnished.
  3. #3
    Pat88998899 Guest
    [QUOTE=Blonde Lebinese;1617916]He should have had it modified a Long time ago ......

    Was he to pay the X directly , or was it being collected through an Enforcement unit ?

    Thanks for answering.
    Yes, I know...

    Originally it was thru the DOR, but when he changed jobs, he was paying directly. I was writing the checks, because he didn't have an account, and does not like handling $, because he is not good at it. That is why he always handed over his checks to his ex-wife, And when he was sick and couldn't work, I would pay her, with my money, so that he would not be defaulted.

    So is it too late to do anything now?
  4. #4
    Pat88998899 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Blonde Lebinese View Post
    He should have had it modified a Long time ago ......

    Was he to pay the X directly , or was it being collected through an Enforcement unit ?

    Can Social Security benefits be garnished to pay a debt? Answer
    Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407) protects Social Security benefits from assignment, levy, or garnishment. However, the law provides five exceptions:
    Section 459 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 659) allows Social Security benefits to be garnished to enforce child support and/or alimony obligations;
    Section 6334 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6334 (c)) allows benefits to be garnished to collect unpaid Federal taxes;
    Section 3402 (P) of the Internal Revenue Code allows beneficiaries to elect to have a percentage of their benefits withheld and paid to the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy their Federal income tax liability for the current year;
    The Debt Collection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134) allows benefits to be withheld and paid to another Federal agency to pay a non-tax debt the beneficiary owes to that agency: and
    The Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-34) authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to collect overdue federal tax debts of beneficiaries by levying up to 15 percent of each monthly payment until the debt is paid.
    The Social Security Administration's responsibility for protecting benefits against legal process and assignment usually ends when the beneficiary is paid. However, once paid, benefits continue to be protected under section 207 of the Act only as long as they are identifiable as Social Security benefits. This applies to money in a bank account where the only payments into the account are from direct deposit of Social Security benefits.
    NOTE: Supplemental Security Income payments cannot be levied or garnished.
    I spoke to an attorney yesterday who said that the back child support could be thrown out,
    and when we went to the court today, a clerk INSISTED that because Mark did not go back to court to get the order modified, he is responsible for all the back child support. Even when I told her what the lawyer said she kept arguing with me. Isn't that giving legal advice?

    Another question - the lawyer also told me that once you have a judge, you always have the same judge. Is there any way to request a different one on the basis that she is bias?
    I know from experience at this court that when a father is out of work, thru no fault of his own, child support is put on hold, but this judge made him pay arrears for the 6 wks he was out of work due to a heart attack.
  5. #5
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat88998899 View Post
    I spoke to an attorney yesterday who said that the back child support could be thrown out,
    and when we went to the court today, a clerk INSISTED that because Mark did not go back to court to get the order modified, he is responsible for all the back child support. Even when I told her what the lawyer said she kept arguing with me. Isn't that giving legal advice?

    Another question - the lawyer also told me that once you have a judge, you always have the same judge. Is there any way to request a different one on the basis that she is bias?
    I know from experience at this court that when a father is out of work, thru no fault of his own, child support is put on hold, but this judge made him pay arrears for the 6 wks he was out of work due to a heart attack.
    Until a judge issues an order to modify child support, it doesn't matter if ex-wife knows ex-husband is out of work. Their children remain entitled to support, as ordered, from each parent.

    If you don't have receipts showing your checks were for his child support, then you have cancelled checks that show you voluntarily gave his ex-wife money. If you gave enough, maybe you can deduct it from your taxes as 'gifts' and she can pay taxes on it.

    The father owes the back child support and it does not matter at all that the child has turned 18. There is no statute of limitations for paying child support; it's due until it's paid.

    I know I'd have an attorney if I were him. Maybe some of the damage can be mitigated.

    EC
  6. #6
    Pat88998899 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ellencee View Post
    Until a judge issues an order to modify child support, it doesn't matter if ex-wife knows ex-husband is out of work. Their children remain entitled to support, as ordered, from each parent.

    If you don't have receipts showing your checks were for his child support, then you have cancelled checks that show you voluntarily gave his ex-wife money. If you gave enough, maybe you can deduct it from your taxes as 'gifts' and she can pay taxes on it.

    The father owes the back child support and it does not matter at all that the child has turned 18. There is no statute of limitations for paying child support; it's due until it's paid.

    I know I'd have an attorney if I were him. Maybe some of the damage can be mitigated.

    EC
    Let me ask you this - If a mother was disabled for 7 years unable to work, and then she was finally eligible for disability and the father had custody of the child all these years, do you think that she would have to pay all this back child support, if the father received child support arrears from social security??

    I interview people for a living and I have come upon situations where the father has custody of the children, and not once have I heard of a mother paying any child support. Isn't there a double standard here?
  7. #7
    ellencee is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat88998899 View Post
    Let me ask you this - If a mother was disabled for 7 years unable to work, and then she was finally eligible for disability and the father had custody of the child all these years, do you think that she would have to pay all this back child support, if the father received child support arrears from social security??

    I interview people for a living and I have come upon situations where the father has custody of the children, and not once have I heard of a mother paying any child support. Isn't there a double standard here?
    If I understand the scenario, the father and mother (ex-husband and wife) are under a court order in which the father is to pay to the mother X amount of child support. It matters NOT what happens outside that court order. Until the order is changed (modified), it stands. Neither party, ex-husband and wife, can modify the order or agree to a change. Only by modification of the order can the amount of child support be changed. Regardless of any money given to the mother for child support and accepted by the mother as payment in full, the court order CANNOT be superceded.

    It has nothing to do with male vs. female in any way, shape, form, or fashion. It is "the law" of living under a court order.

    EC

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