Sometimes, a parent who is ordered to pay child support does not make the payments, whether it is because they are having trouble coming up with the money or they are simply refusing to pay. No matter the reason, California parents who are not receiving the payments could collect from the payor's Social Security benefits.
Whether a parent can collect back payments is based on the type of Social Security benefits the payor is receiving. For example, Supplemental Security Income is a welfare benefit, not an earned benefit such as survivor, retirement or disability benefits. The federal government, therefore, does not permit the garnishment of child support payments from SSI.