October 17, 2019

Can You File for Auxiliary Benefits if the Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Cooperate

parent refused to file for auxiliary benefitsWhat is your recourse if the non-custodial parent will not cooperate in filing for auxiliary benefits, and perhaps you do not know where he lives, his Social Security number or any other information.  Perhaps you have heard “through the grapevine” that the father (or mother) of your children is receiving disability benefits, although you are not seeing anything in the form of child support.  What can you do?

You do have a few options:

  1. Contact Social Security and file a claim for auxiliary benefits.  Obviously the more information you have about the non-custodial parent the better (i.e. his full name, date of birth, Social Security number, last known address, etc.).  Under the law, Social Security is required to make “all reasonable efforts” on behalf of your child(ren).

    Social Security’s own Program Operations Manual System (POMS) provides that SSA must protect the interest of a child by taking an application and developing necessary evidence – see POMS RS 00203.050.   Further, according to POMS RS 00203.065, you, as the custodial parent, can file Form SSA-4-BK to start the process.

  2. Contact the court that issued the child support order.  Generally courts that issue child support orders retain jurisdiction over the parties.  You will probably need a lawyer to do this, but you can ask for a hearing to compel the non-custodial parent to cooperate by filing for auxiliary benefits.
  3. Try to contact the non-custodial parent directly, or indirectly through relatives.  It is possible that your ex-spouse/non-custodial parent does not realize that filing for auxiliary benefits will not decrease his benefit check at all.  Payments to auxiliaries are in addition to payments received by the disabled person.  He may be willing to cooperate once he understands that doing so will not cost him any money.



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


  1. Sandy Gummet says

    my ex-daughter-in-law has been receiving auxiulary benefits for over 3 years while she has not had custody of her minor children. Is this a federal offense? My son got temporary 3 years ago and the social study is recommending he get residential custody. She says she does not have to pay child support because she is on 100% disability. She is married and her husband has an income as well.

  2. Kelli Morton says

    That is our question also. We have had custody of my son since May 2010 and have had no child support. We now realize that she’s on disability and receiving auxiliary benefits for not only the son we have but the son who has since turned 18 and moved out (who also lived with us from 5/10 to 4/11). Isn’t the auxiliary benefits for the child?

  3. april Carney says

    @Sandy Gummet: 1st– if she is receiving dependent benefits but does not have the children she is breaking the law… she has to fill out a yearly form saying the money went to the children’s needs, I just got mine in the mail this week, YOU NEED TO CONTACT SSA WITH CUSTODY PAPERS SHOWING DATE YOU GOT CHILDREN & YOU CAN FILE TO RECEIVE BENEFITS WITHOUT HER PERMISSION, GO TO LOCAL SSA (THIS WILL TAKE HOURS) TELL THEM WHAT IS GOING ON THEY WILL HELP YOU FILE THE CORRECT PAPERWORK….Just because she is 100% disabled that in NO way means she doesn’t pay child support!!!!! My ex husband is 100% disabled with VA and SSA, I get $1139 a month in child support………Florida law gives credit of SSD benefits towards child support………..so I get $510 from SSD children’s benefits and he pays $629 from his SSD check………which is garnished because he won’t pay anything directly. He gets $2685 from VA and $900 from SSD a month, child support is calculated by total income of both parties, and portioned out by each states guidelines…..IS CHILD SUPPORT ORDERED BY THE COURT?? IF NOT FILE THAT IMMEDIATELY!!!

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