If you’re paying child support, you may find it hard to meet your obligations in the event you suffer a work injury and your income takes a hit. That being said, the state accounts for how a work injury can affect your ability to make child support obligations, so they have written some language as to how situations involving workers’ compensation and child support should be handled. We dive into the subject in today’s blog.
Child Support After A Work Injury
You child support payment is calculated by the amount of money you bring in on a regular basis. When you suffer a work injury, you can file for workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, but those payments will only be two-thirds of your normal pay. Since you’re bringing in less money, you may find it hard to pay your full child support obligation. So what should you do? Pay two-thirds of what you owe? Pay nothing? The Minnesota Department of Human Services offers an explanation.
The MDHS says that you should contact their office within 10 days if your income level changes as a result of losing your job, getting a new job, changing jobs or being unable to work. You should be able to find the county contact line through this website if you need to let them know that you’ve experienced a change in your income.
It’s also worth noting that your obligation to pay child support does not end simply because your income has decreased. You are still required to pay the agreement upon amount until the court orders a change. In order to see if the court will decrease your obligation because you are making less money, you need to request to modify your child support order, which you can begin by clicking this link.
Work Comp Settlement and Child Support
In many cases where a worker has suffered a significant injury, the employer’s insurance company offers to settle the case for one lump sum payment. Under Minnesota law, if a worker receives a lump sum payment of more than $500, and they owe any past due child support, that amount can be sequestered from the lump sum payment. For example, if you were given a $25,000 settlement, but you owed $4,000 in back child support, $4,000 would be held from your settlement and given directly to the party you owe the obligation to. You will not be responsible for getting this money to the other party, it will automatically come out of your settlement and go directly to the other party, so that’s one less thing you’ll have to deal with amidst your settlement.
So regardless of whether you’re paying child support or you owe child support and you suffer a work injury, it’s in your best interest to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. We can help petition the court to modify your child support obligation, we can help fight your injury case, and we can ensure you get the maximum settlement amount so you can keep as much money as possible. To learn more about what we can do for you, or if you have any questions, reach out to Dean Margolis and his team today.