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Child Support and Social Security Benefits in Georgia

In Georgia, social security payments received for a child’s benefit count toward the child support for that child and offset the amount owed by the obligor. Specifically, any social securitybenefits received by a child on the obligor’s account “shall be counted as child support payments and shall be applied against the final child support order to be paid by the obligor for thechild.” OCGA §19-6-15(f)(3)(A).

In order to determine how much child support the obligor has to pay on top of the benefits received, one must calculate the presumptive amount of child support by first determining the parties’gross monthly income, including social security benefits received (OCGA §19-6-15(1)(A)(xiii)). Then,the presumptive amount should be increased or decreased by deviations, if appropriate. If the final child support amount is greater than the social security benefits paid on behalf of the child,“the obligor shall be required to pay the amount exceeding the social security benefit as part of the final child support order in the case.” OCGA §19-6-15(f)(3)(B). Thus, the child is only entitled to the total child support amount from the worksheets,including social security benefits received.

If the final child support amount is equal to or less than the social security benefits paid on behalf of the child, “the child support responsibility of that parent shall have been met and nofurther child support shall be paid.” OCGA §19-6-15(f)(3)(C). This ensures the child will not receivemore than the child support required under Georgia law. If the social security benefits received are greater than the final child support order, these benefits “shall be retained by the nonparentcustodian or custodial parent for the child’s benefit and shall not be used as a reason for decreasing the final child support order or reducing arrearages.” OCGA §19-6-15(f)(3)(D).

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