Social Security recipients who owe child support will soon find that their entire benefit check may be seized by state governments looking to collect past due amount. The Associated Press reports that in March of 2013, SSA will phase out paper checks in favor of electronic payments in the form of direct deposits and prepaid debit cards.
Currently federal law prevents state governments from seizing more than 65% of a Social Security benefit. When paper checks are eliminated the entire deposit will be susceptible to seizure.
In many cases the past due payments represent interest and fees and are owed to state governments who claim the funds after paying welfare benefits to the children of non-custodial parents who did not pay child support.
Should non-custodial parents be subject to 100% seizure of their Social Security benefit payments in every case. Should a distinction be drawn between debt that relates to current child support as opposed to old support obligations. Should SSI payments remain exempt from any garnishment?
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.