October 17, 2019

How Do I Find Out if my Ex-Spouse has Filed for Social Security Disability?

Your ex has not paid child support and says that he is disabled.  Has he filed for Social Security disability?  This is the dilemma faced by June, who wrote me the following:

my ex is over 5k in arrears. He just sent the friend of the court a letter from the doctor stating he cannot work. How do i find out if he has filed for disability? I have no contact with him, he keeps disappearing. Do i file for my child and wait and see if my ex has filed, or is there a way to find out if he is receiving anything or has even filed for benefits? i am lost in this whole thing.

Jonathan’s response: I am assuming that there is an order from a State court ordering your ex to pay child support.  As a party to that litigation you may be able to serve post-judgment discovery on him and simply ask.   A lawyer representing you in the State court support action can assist you with this.

confusedwomanSocial Security may not be much help as privacy rules will most likely prevent them from revealing anything about your ex’s case, even though your child may be eligible for auxiliary benefits (that will be in addition to whatever your ex receives himself).

You may also want to check with the child support enforcement office in the jurisdiction where the support order was issued (if you have moved, you can most likely get the file transferred to where you live now.

In most jurisdictions, the obligation to pay child support remains active and enforceable until it is modified.   One question I would ask your own lawyer – does this letter from your ex’s doctor make any difference in his obligation to pay?


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


  1. michael george slaton says

    need to find out if he is receiving disability benefits

  2. michael george slaton says

    need to find out if he is receiving disability benefits or when will he start drawing benefits

  3. I would like to comment my twins father applied for disability and stopped paying his childsupport for over a year now…OAG (Office of Attorney Gerneral) in the state of Texas says they can only hope that SSA will one day give up some information as to his where abouts so we can serve him again…in the mean time I did go down to local SSA office and put a claim once we heard from the grape-vine that their dad was applying for services…My children were put as claimants on his case after six long months of waiting for a response they were awarded disability benefits through their dad but what happens to the $69,000 he owes me in back pay?…Does Texas/SSA wash that off…Can Dad’s benefits be garnished? I was told from someone who’s son is also receiving SSI benefits from father that he also is paying the OAG arrears separately…but every month I contact OAG I am told that theirs nothing new on my status….How long must someone wait before the OAG’s office can take the absent parent to court….It’s been over a year he’s received his lump sum the benefits that my children are receiving from what I understand do not come from his check but are from another alotment…What’s the hold up from receiving the arrears…I have my twins who will be attending college in 2yrs that wont even pay for 1 child to attend college….Running out of Patience in Texas!!!!!

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