Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2002


This article will explore whether it is legally permissible for state courts to order Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to pay child support. As background, the history of the SSI program, showing its genesis in a perceived need for uniformity, will be reviewed along with its current requirements. A discussion of federal child support laws will provide additional background.

Although many feel that every parent should be required to pay child support or argue against further federal subsidies, this article proposes an alternate solution. First, SSI recipients should be exempt from payment of child support. Next, the federal government, through the Child Support Enforcement Program, should make this exemption mandatory. Finally, a program should be created to provide a monthly benefit to the children involved, to ensure that they have a minimum level of income.