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Does LTD Carrier Have a Claim on Auxillary Benefits Paid to Your Kids

I regularly receive questions from unhappy Social Security claimants who are facing the prospect of having to send their lump sum Social Security disability checks to their LTD carriers.   Many LTD policies, especially group policies, include provisions that offset LTD payments by any amount received by Social Security.  In other words, if the LTD benefit is $1,800 per month and Social Security awards $1,500 per month, the LTD carrier’s obligation becomes only $300 per month once SSDI is awarded.

Since the lump sum payment arises from months in which the claimant was also receiving long term disability, the LTD carrier contractually requires the claimant to turn over his Social Security lump sum payment to the LTD insurance company.

Not surprisingly, folks subject to this type of arrangement are not very happy about it.  Why should the LTD carrier swoop in an grab that $25,000 or $30,000 check?

As I noted in a 2007 blog post about LTD offsets to Social Security claims, the LTD carriers justify this money grab by contending that the price of the group LTD policy reflects an expectation of a Social Security offset.  In other words, the cost of group LTD insurance would, in theory, be higher if there was no offset.

Whether you believe this or not, I think it is safe to say that group LTD policy handbooks do not feature this offset obligation.  Often the first time that SSDI claimants learn that their struggle and stress of pursuing Social Security result in zero dollars is after their SSDI hearings.

Now, apparently, there is a new twist.   Continue reading →

Social Security Disability and Child Support

NOTICE: I received so many comments and questions about the issues of child support and Social Security disability that I set up a separate blog about this topic –  Please visit this new blog to post comments and ask questions.


Can you SSDI benefits be seized to pay past due child support?  Yes, according to Social Security Ruling 79-4, the Social Security Administration can withhold a percentage of a claimant’s benefits in an amount equal to what SSA could withhold to pay delinquent income tax debt.

No interest or penalties may be withheld, and before the first withholding may commence, SSA must give the claimant 60 days notice.

There is a question in my mind as to whether SSI benefits may be seized to pay delinquent child support.  The web site states that a “custodial parent has no right to any of the proceeds from SSI.”    Tim Moore, the editor of also states that SSI recipients will not have their monthly disability benefits and past due benefits seize.  According to Mr. Moore, the rationale to protect SSI from levy relates to the nature of SSI as a welfare benefit:  “since SSI is essentially a public welfare benefit and does not derive  not from a claimant’s earnings record, SSI benefits cannot be taken for other purposes, just as food stamps and AFDC funds, likewise, cannot be seized.” Continue reading →