If you owe child support, does that impact your Pennsylvania workers compensation benefits? The quick answer is — YES. Let’s take a look.
Whether you settle your workers compensation case or go to a Judge’s decision, a child support affidavit, generally referred to as Act 109 documents, and a corresponding child support search, is required under the PA Workers Compensation Act. Simply put, if you are awarded workers compensation wage loss benefits, any past due child support you owe will need to be paid before you receive any benefits.
Let’s use an example. You have just agreed to settle your case for $20,000. Let’s also say the child support search revealed that you owe $8,000 in back child support. Your settlement will be reduced by $8,000 and by your 20% attorney fee. Therefore, in this scenario, you would receive $8,000 only. ($20,000 minus $4,000 attorney fee minus $8,000 child support owed = $8,000 new to you).
Another important note you should be aware of — if you do owe back child support, and the family court in your county has a “non-disbursement order” issued in your case, then your benefits or settlement money awarded cannot be disbursed until the Court acts. In many cases like this, I have witnessed settlements blow up. We can help with this issue. First, when the Workers Compensation Judge in your case issues a Decision approving the workers compensation settlement, we may be able to contact the Family Court to work on an appropriate solution to get the non-disbursement order vacated. It may require us to negotiate with the Court that a certain percentage of your settlement be paid toward the child support that you owe. Second, we can set you up with an appointment to see one of our Family Law attorneys at Mooney Law.
The only way you would not need to pay child support arrears is if you had a small settlement. If the settlement is under $5,000, then child support documentation need not be submitted.
If you have been injured at work, you should immediately move to protect your rights and your entitlement to workers compensation benefits, by calling Mooney Law. Want to know what your case is worth? Call Mooney Law today at 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP. Mooney Law has 16 offices spread throughout Central Pennsylvania to make it more convenient for you. Additionally, ALL Workers Compensation consultations are FREE.