Child Support and Welfare Benefits

Child support payments are obligations to take care of child-related expenses such as education, shelter, and food. However, several factors could affect the total amount that a custodial parent receives in monthly child support payments. One such factor is the collection of government welfare benefits.

Various government assistance programs support parents through food stamps or income, depending on the parent’s needs. Some of these programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

When a custodial parent receives such benefits, he/she may not receive as much in child support from the noncustodial parent. If you’re a custodial parent receiving welfare benefits, it’s vital to understand the effect of such services on your total child support amount. It might be helpful if you discuss your case with child support lawyers in West Chester, PA.

How Child Support Is Calculated to Reflect Welfare Benefits

It’s vital to understand the calculation of child support when parents receive welfare benefits. In Pennsylvania, the basic child support calculation uses a simple formula to input the parents’ income into a table of primary support amounts. Based on both parents’ net income and the total number of children, a judge can determine a child support amount.

However, when considering welfare benefits, the court won’t calculate the total child support amount using the basic child support calculation guidelines alone. Instead, they employ a supplemental analysis to reflect the additional income, and this calculation can be quite tricky.

All child support cases are unique; therefore, this calculation will differ on a case-by-case basis. We’ll consider two general scenarios to illustrate how welfare benefits affect child support payments.

When the Custodial Parent Receives Welfare Benefits

The system employs a pass-through payment that depends on the number of children in the home. The pass-through amount is $100 for one kid and $200 for multiple kids monthly. A custodial parent entitled to welfare benefits will receive the full benefits and the pass-through payment in place of child support.

Sometimes, the child support amount may exceed the custodial parent’s total money from the welfare and pass-through payments. When such happens, the custodial parent will get the difference.

Additionally, any excess in child support payments can lead to challenges. You may want to contact child support lawyers in West Chester, PA., to ensure you’re not violating any laws when receiving both payments.

When the Noncustodial Parent is Entitled to SSDI

When a parent receives SSDI, his/her dependent is entitled to get a monthly derivative benefit. This derivative benefit is usually up to 50% of the monthly SSDI.

In calculating the monthly child support amount, the court will add the derivative benefit to the parent’s net monthly income. With the total net income and number of children, they’ll pick the primary child support amount from the support guidelines. After that, subtract the derivative benefit from the basic child support to give a net child support obligation.


Collecting federal welfare benefits often affects the total amount a parent will pay or receive in child support payments. However, calculating the final amount a child is entitled to can be very complicated. If you’d like to learn more about your child support obligations, contact child support lawyers in West Chester PA

Post Author: Alberto Alexander