Calculating child support payments is not as simple as entering your monthly salary. Many people have income from multiple sources, while some receive government benefits such as veterans’ disability, Social Security, and pensions. While all of these benefits and assistance programs should be reported to the court when calculating child support, only some of these payments should be included in your gross monthly income.
Let’s take a closer look:
- Veterans’ disability payments – Under Washington State law, the court may consider any payments made to veterans for disabilities incurred during military service when calculating support. While all forms of veterans’ disability aid should be disclosed to the court, some, such as payment for attendant care, cannot be used when calculating child support.
- Social Security disability benefits – If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), that monthly amount is included when calculating your monthly gross income and could affect your child support payments. However, if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), that amount should be reported but not used when calculating your child support payments.
- Government pension income – If you are a retired government worker, you pension should be reported and is counted as part of your gross monthly income. Your pension will be used in calculating your child support payments.
- General assistance for needy families and food stamps – In general, government assistance for the needy, such as food stamps, is not included when calculating your monthly income and does not affect your child support payments.
Remember: the best way to determine for certain whether your government benefit will be used to calculate your child support payments is to speak with your family lawyer.