Veterans who have been through a divorce, or who are currently going through one, are often concerned about how it will affect their VA disability payments. Laws governing divorce, child support, and alimony vary from state to state, but federal laws govern the distribution of VA disability compensation.
Your disability benefits will be considered when calculating child support or alimony payments and can be garnished in limited circumstances. Garnishment of your VA benefits can apply to your military retirement or an equivalent amount to your retirement if you have elected compensation over retirement.
In This Article About VA Disability Being Garnished:
- Can VA Disability Benefits Be Used to Calculate Child Support?
- When VA Disability Be Garnished?
- What is Apportionment?
- How Much Will be Garnished?
- When VA Benefits Cannot Be Garnished
- Alimony and VA Disability
- 100% VA Disability and Child Support
- Get Free Advice about Disability Claims and Appeals
Can VA Disability Benefits Be Used to Calculate Child Support?
Yes, VA benefits can be used to calculate child support payments. Most states consider VA disability compensation as income, so these funds are considered when calculating child support payments.
If you want to know for certain, do an internet search to find out if your state includes VA benefits in its definition of income.
When VA Disability Be Garnished?
Veterans who receive both disability benefits and military retirement pay are required to waive a portion of their retirement to collect veterans disability payments. In that case, only the portion of the veteran’s disability that replaced retirement pay can be garnished.
What is Apportionment?
When veterans are not fulfilling their obligations to their former spouses or to their children, the VA can reduce their disability compensation payments using a VA rule called apportionment.
The following people are eligible to receive a portion of a veteran’s benefits:
- A child in an estranged spouse’s care.
- A dependent parent.
- A child or children who are not living with the veteran, and the veteran is not paying child support.
- An estranged child and spouse.
The VA will also divide a veteran’s benefits if the veteran is in jail or if they are deemed incompetent and are hospitalized without a guardian.
How Much and What Compensation Can Be Apportioned?
The law says “all or any part” of a veteran’s benefits can be apportioned. It is not allowed if:
- the child of the veteran has been legally adopted by another person
- the child to which divided benefits are claimed is under 18 and is in active military service
- the total amount of benefits payable to the veteran does not allow payment of a reasonable amount to anyone else
- the former spouse of the veteran has lived with someone else and publicly is a spouse to a different person and believed the marriage to the veteran was legally ended
How Much Will be Garnished?
The VA determines how much of your benefits can be garnished. It will consider your former spouse’s available income and circumstances and the number of children involved. The garnishment will be divided equally for the number of children.
When VA Benefits Cannot Be Garnished
Your VA benefits will not be garnished for unpaid taxes and most outstanding debt. Federal law protects VA benefits from taxation and exempts them from creditors’ claims.
Alimony and VA Disability
Alimony is court-ordered financial support for a spouse following divorce or during separation. All states have their own laws about alimony.
VA disability benefits can only be garnished if the veteran has waived military retired pay to obtain VA disability payments.
100% VA Disability and Child Support
If you have received 100% disability, you might wonder if you can stop working and reduce your child support obligations. A combined rating of 100% does not necessarily mean that you are unable to maintain gainful employment (an exception is if the 100% rating is for mental health).
A 100% rated veteran who owes child support is legally obligated to make those payments if he is able to work full-time.
Get Free Advice about Disability Claims and Appeals
A VA benefits attorney can answer questions about a new VA disability claim or help you appeal a rating decision and find ways to increase your monthly disability payments.
Call Woods and Woods today to talk about your claim or appeal. We have helped thousands of veterans get the benefits they deserve.
Talk to Us About Your Claim: (866) 232-5777
Yes, disability benefits will be considered when calculating child support or alimony payments
Only in limited circumstances. Garnishment applies to your military retirement or an equivalent amount to your retirement if you have elected disability compensation over retirement.