If you are an Illinois parent who pays or receives child support, you might not be aware of the impact a parent’s disability might have on child support payments. Parental disability can lead to modifications to the child support order and even result in payments ending, depending on the disability and the parent’s capability for working.
Temporary versus permanent disability
One of the factors that affect the impact disability has on a child’s financial support is whether the paying parent is experiencing a temporary disability or a permanent one. If the disability is temporary, the paying parent can seek a temporary modification of the amount of the payments for the duration of the disability if their own income will be affected. If the disability is considered permanent by medical standards, then the modification might be permanent. Often, this means a reduction in benefit amounts rather than stopping them altogether, as the court is always concerned with ensuring a child’s financial support.
Disability insurance can help protect child support payments
If the paying parent becomes disabled but has disability insurance from work or through Social Security, the other parent and child might continue receiving child support payments, even if they might be at a reduced amount. Some of the ways insurance can ensure support payments continue include:
- Payments continuing because the disabled parent receives automatic disability benefits from their job
- Payments continuing at a reduced rate because the disabled parent receives automatic disability payments from their job, but their income is lower
- Payments continuing because the disabled parent receives Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplementary Security Income, and child support payments are garnished from their income and insurance payments
Paying child support is very important and the failure to do so can have significant consequences. However, if the parent is disabled, they can seek modifications to continue payments, even at a reduced amount.