INCOME WITHHOLDING

CS 734P-2 Notice to Withhold, Social Security Benefits

10/98 Revised 06/16/06 Training Completed 06/30/06

42 U.S.C. 659(a) and (h); 5 CFR 581.103(c)(1) and 581.104(j); UCA 62A-11-103 and 406(4); and R527-378

 

Types of Social Security Benefits

 

1.                  Social Security Retirement (SSA) - Paid to retired individuals who are at least 62 years old and have worked enough hours to earn the Social Security credits needed to qualify for retirement benefits.

 

2.                  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Paid to individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to prevent them from doing “substantial” work for a year or more, or who have a condition that is expected to result in death, and who have worked enough hours to earn the Social Security credits needed to qualify for SSDI.  Substantial work is generally considered earnings of $500 or more per month.

 

3.                  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Paid to individuals who are at least 65 years old or disabled and have a low income and few assets.  Children as well as adults qualify for SSI disability benefits.  SSI is intended to supplement a person’s income and may be received in addition to Social Security retirement or SSDI. 

 

Limits on Social Security Withholding

 

Some types of Social Security benefits are never subject to income withholding for child support or spousal support collection because they are means-tested programs and not considered remuneration for employment.  Per 5 CFR 581.104(j), do not initiate income withholding against SSI benefits:

 

“Sec. 581.104 Moneys which are not subject to garnishment...
(j) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments made pursuant to sections 1381 et seq., of title 42 of the United States Code (title XVI of the Social Security Act).”
 

Other Social Security benefits are subject to income withholding for child support and spousal support collection because they are considered remuneration for employment.  Per 5 CFR 581.103(c)(1), SSA and SSDI are in this category:

 

“Sec. 581.103 Moneys which are subject to garnishment.

(c) For obligors generally:

    (1) Periodic benefits, including a periodic benefit as defined in section 428(h)(3) of title 42 of the United States Code, title II of the Social Security Act, to include a benefit payable in a lump sum if it is commutation of, or a substitute for, periodic payments; or other payments to these individuals under the programs established by subchapter II of chapter 7 of title 42 of the United States Code (Social Security Act); and payments under chapter 9 of title 45 of the United States Code (Railroad Retirement Act) or any other system, plan, or fund established by the United States (as defined in section 662(a) of title 42 of the United States Code) which provides for the payment of:

    (i) Pensions;

    (ii) Retirement benefits;

    (iii) Retired/retainer pay;

    (iv) Annuities; and

    (v) Dependents' or survivors' benefits when payable to the

obligor; . . .”

 

You may initiate income withholding on SSA or SSDI benefits for up to 65% of the benefit amount.  Exception:  Per Administrative Rule R527-378-1, “If social security is the obligor’s sole means of support and the case is an arrears only case, the notice to the Social Security Administration to withhold income shall be limited to 25 percent of the social security benefit amount.”  (Emphasis added.)  When determining if the benefit is the NCP’s sole source of income, do not include SSI, public assistance or other entitlements.

 

If the NCP volunteers to pay more than the allowable amount, e.g., 25% if the benefit is the sole source of income on an arrears only case, or up to 65% on other cases, the NCP must sign a “Voluntary Wage Assignment” indicating the higher amount. 

 

Procedures for Social Security Withholding

 

If you learn that the NCP is receiving SSA or SSDI, take the steps listed below. 

 

1.                  Locate the appropriate Social Security field Office to receive the withholding packet.  The SSA local field office addresses can be obtained on the US Social Security Administration Office Locator internet site. 

 

2.                  If the NCP is receiving Social Security benefits, determine if the child is receiving benefits based on the NCP’s Social Security Retirement (SSA) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) by contacting the NCP and CP.   

 

3.                  Decide the percentage of Social Security benefits to withhold.   Do not exceed 25% if Social Security is the sole source of income and the case is for arrears only.

 

4.                  Manually generate the “Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support: Unearned” packet.  

 

5.                  Mail the withholding packets:  Send the appropriate packets to the Social Security Address located in step 1, and the NCP by first class mail.  Maintain a copy in the case file.

 

6.                  Monitor for payments.