Many people have a legal obligation to make child support payments. Sometimes, these payments are automatically deducted out of a person’s paycheck. So, what happens when you are injured at work and you have an obligation to pay child support?
Can child support be deducted from my workers’ compensation check?
Yes. You still have to pay your child support obligation even if you suffer an injury at work. Money can be held out of your weekly workers’ compensation benefits for payment of that obligation. If you are behind on your child support payments, then money to pay the back due amounts can be held out as well.
Do I have to pay less child support since workers’ compensation pays me less per week than what I was earning at work?
You will be receiving less money per week when you receive workers’ compensation benefits. At most, you will receive two-thirds of what you made before your injury. If your earnings were high enough, you may receive even less (since Georgia has a maximum temporary total disability rate). Since your amount of child support was likely based on your earnings before your injury, it may be difficult for you to meet that obligation.
Despite the fact that you are receiving less money, your obligation will stay the same unless there is some additional agreement or order made in your child support case. If your circumstances have changed and you think your payment should be less, you will have to take action to get that modified. If you think your obligation should be changed, you should probably discuss this with an attorney that handles child support cases.
If I settle my workers’ compensation case, will child support be held out of my settlement?
Whether child support is held out of a workers’ compensation settlement usually depends on whether you are current on your payments. If you are current on your payments, then money will generally not be held out of your workers’ compensation settlement.
However, if you are behind in your child support obligations, then money will generally have to be held out of settlement to pay the back due amount. Often, a lien has been filed for the back due child support amount. State Board Rule 15 covers the requirements for all workers’ compensation settlements. Subsection (l) of that rule requires an injured worker to stipulate that there are no outstanding child support liens.
What if I have more questions about workers compensation settlements?
Talk to an attorney. I recommend that everyone talk to a workers compensation attorney before settling their case.
That does not mean you have to hire an attorney. But talking to one may prevent you from making a big mistake.
I provide free consultations in workers compensation cases. This helps you learn what I can offer you before you make a decision about whether you need to hire me.
If you have questions about how a free consultation works, I would suggest reading this article I wrote that explains the process. If you would like to set a free consultation up or have more questions, just call (770) 214-8885 or complete and submit our free consultation request form.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
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