“I don’t have to pay child support because I can’t work.”
That tale is spun by one parent to the other, unsuspecting parent surprisingly often.
But it generally isn’t so.
Almost always, income is income, whatever the source. And, generally speaking, all income is deemed to be available to serve as a source of support payment obligations.
Including social security disability benefits, retirement benefits, survivor benefits, and other earned benefits for which contributions were made.
(The one glaring exception is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, because those are purely income-based public assistance.)
Further, earned benefits can be garnished just like wages. Better still, the benefits recipient can’t thwart his / her support obligations by quitting and moving on to the next employer.
Read more in this Money magazine family finance Questions and Answers piece: How to Collect Child Support from an Ex’s Social Security Benefits .