Can Workers’ Comp Be Garnished For Child Support?

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Michigan lawyer discusses if a workers’ comp payout can be garnished for child support.

Can Workers' Comp Be Garnished For Child Support?

Can a workers’ comp payout be garnished for child support? That is a question we get asked frequently and it does not have a simple answer. We tell our clients that past due support constitutes a lien against wage loss benefits payable by voluntary payment, settlement, order. However, a child support lien cannot reach more than 50 percent of the amount payable under workers’ comp. In addition, it will not reach amounts payable for attorney fees, litigation expenses, certain medical payments, Medicare set-asides, and reimbursement to group insurance carriers.

Voluntary payment

Our experience shows that Friend of the Court will issue an income withholding order to the employer or its insurance carrier. Money will be deducted from wage loss benefits and sent to the State of Michigan for disbursement. It does not matter that most people cannot live on 50 percent of their wage loss benefits. The burden is on the disabled employee to seek modification of the income withholding order with a judge.

Can a workers’ comp settlement be garnished for child support in Michigan?

We have many clients with past due child support obligations. It is easy to fall behind in child support payments when income is reduced or stopped because of a workplace accident. Here is what happens when an individual settles his or her worker’s comp case.

A settlement is an attractive option for many of our clients. Benefits can be traded for a lump sum cash payment. This allows a person to do their own medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation without interference. The amount paid for settlement will depend upon a person’s medical needs and how long they are expected to remain off work.

Michigan law requires that a workers’ comp settlement be garnished for child support obligations. A magistrate will not approve a settlement unless appropriate legal documentation is secured. A letter from Friend of the Court will typically satisfy the above requirement and outline the amount to be paid back. A claimant will also have to sign a form indicating whether he or she has any child support obligations.

A person who settles their case should be ready to give up 50 percent of their net proceeds to cover unpaid child support obligations.

Order By Magistrate

A magistrate might order the payment of benefits in a disputed case. Can workers’ comp benefits be garnished for child support in Michigan in this situation? The answer is ‘yes,’ but it is again limited to 50 percent of what is payable under workers’ comp. This should be on the “net” amount after attorney fees and costs have been subtracted. In addition, certain other direct payments should be subtracted before calculating the 50 percent maximum. We recommend speaking with an experienced workers’ comp attorney to ensure legal rights are protected should a child support lien be enforced.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

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Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.