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Workers’ Comp Lien – What Happens if you Owe Child Support

If you are receiving workers’ compensation for an injury or illness sustained in the course of your job duties, one of the most common questions that may arise is:

“Can workers’ comp benefits be garnished for child support?”

The simple answer? Yes. But there is more context. When someone does not make their child support payments on time, the state could hold any assets or sources of income they have in a lien against them. A “lien” means a claim or a legal right to an asset. Child support that is past due can be held in a lien against an individual's workers’ comp benefits.

Other Essential Fees Come First

Different states have different laws around child support and workers’ compensation, but as a general rule, other expenses are considered ‘priority’ over child support in terms of what can be deducted from a workers’ comp payment first. For example, before the state would take child support out of a workers’ compensation payment, the following payments usually come out:

  • Attorney fees
  • Litigation expenses
  • Certain medical payments
  • Certain Medicare set-asides
  • Reimbursements to insurance carriers

What About Workers’ Compensation Settlements Received in a Lump Sum?

In accordance with R.C. §§ 4132.67 & 3113.21, BWC cooperates with other state agencies regarding the collection of family support. As a matter of practice, family support orders have the first claim on all awards considered lump sum awards. Notice to the CSEA (Child Support Enforcement Agencies) is required for lump sum awards exceeding $150.00. 

If the injured worker is in arrears, 100% of the lump sum award may be used to clear the arrears. A percentage of Permanent Partial awards are considered lump sum awards and require notice to the CSEA.  If the injured worker is current on his/her child support, concurrent payment of PPD is allowed. Temporary Total Disability benefits are capped at 40% of any award going to CSEA.

How Can I Get Help with Workers’ Compensation and Child Support?

The details and intricacies of workers’ comp and past-due child support can feel complicated, often to the point where the intricacies of the laws governing such issues seem like they are unknowable. That’s where NRS Injury Law comes in. With over 100 years of combined experience and 26 attorneys, NRS Injury Law is the largest workers’ compensation law firm in Ohio.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident and you’re not sure how to navigate the workers’ compensation and child support laws, call NRS Injury law today at 855.468.4878 or fill out our convenient online contact form. Don't let the complex nature of workers' comp law in Ohio deter you from getting the compensation you're owed and ensuring your obligations are seen to at the same time.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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