October 17, 2019

Disabled Father Argues that Disability Delays Caused Child Support Arrearage

father with kidsI receive a lot of mail from moms (custodial parents) who express a lot of anger at their ex-husbands (or non-custodial fathers).  What do the dads have to say?  Here is a comment from a dad who explains how the long disability adjudication process has caused him hardship:

“I recently won my SSDI case. Apparently some people don’t realize what it takes to get approved. I payed my support on time every week, no complaints. I believe I should support my child. But a few years ago I had 3 heart attacks, it’s an hereditary thing, that resulted in me having 5 by-passes. Also I had back surgery to try and correct problems from working in places like gravel pits and hard manual labor all my life. I was immediately fired from my job.

It’s a long, long process to get a claim approved. During which time you have to rely on the kindness of others. And believe me you have to prove you can’t work. You can’t just take a doctor’s note in and get approved. You go through alot of testing by your people and state doctors who are there to get you denied.

During the time I was out for these things my support got in arrears. I was taken to court. From the get go I was treated like a criminal. Later I filed for SSDI and after 3 years and multiple denial a judge approved me. I am 20k behind now. My benefits letter states i will recieve $900 a month, a vast sum of money to try and live on I know. But minus the $550 a month for arrearages makes it better. So after all I get $350 an month to exist on. Personally I would rather be able to work, because $350 isn’t worth what you go through to get it. There’s alot of predjudice against people when they say they are disabled. What some people don’t see or won’t accept is some of us are forced into disability.

I never expected to get enough from SSDI to “live” on, but I did expect enough to survive on. I’ll be homeless before long and none of the shelters around here will let me stay there because I draw too much on SSDI. And even the goverment housing is $500 a month.”


Jonathan Ginsberg practices Social Security disability law in Atlanta, Georgia.  He represents clients in claims before the Social Security Administration.


  1. Mark Stafford says

    Thanks for the story. I wish I knew what to do also. I receive 1581 a month and my ex gets 793 a month and I get 630. It took me 6 years to get my child support and the whole time the were charging me what I paid when i worked as an eclectrician, $900 a month. Which comes to $54,000. plus other fees. I went to a hearing when i first applied for disability and was told not to worry, that when i get my ssd, they would adjust my arrearages. They sure adjusted it. If you know of anyone that could help us let me know. thank you

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