When a Parent Receives Child Support and a Social Security Disability Dependent Benefit Based on the Other Parent’s Disability, there is an Over-Payment that Must Be Repaid to the Disabled Parent
In Rathbone v. Corse, 2015 VT 73 (May 22, 2015), the Vermont Supreme Court extended their prior rulings on child support and Social Security Disability Dependent benefits, retroactively finding an overpayment that must be repaid for the time period, prior to a motion to modify, where a parent received a dependent benefit for their child based on the other parent’s Social Security Disability claim and child support.
Issue: Mother appealed an order for her to repay disabled Father for overpayments during a time period, prior to Father’s motion to modify child support, where she received child support payments and a Social Security Disability dependent benefit for their child.
Holding: After reviewing several Vermont cases on child support and Social Security Disability benefits, the Court held that when a parent receives a Social Security Disability dependent benefit in addition to the child support owed under the order, there is an overpayment that must be reimbursed to the disabled parent. The Court acknowledged this was an extension of the prior rulings, but found it was a reasonable and sound policy that encourages child support obligors to pay child support while their Social Security Disability applications are pending.