For many veterans, all or most of their income comes from Veterans’ Disability Compensation. The purpose of VA Disability Compensation benefits is to help veterans and/or their spouses cover the costs of living if a disability prevents the veteran from working or severely diminishes his or her earning capacity. If all or most of your income comes from VA Disability Compensation, you may wonder if the state of Alaska can order you to pay child support. According to StateSideLegal, the answer is yes. You may also wonder if the state can garnish your benefits if you fail to meet your monthly obligation. That depends.
Typically, the U.S. Government will not honor a state-issued “Withholding Order.” A Withholding Order is one that orders the payee to redirect the payment to a recipient other than the beneficiary (the veteran). There is an exception to this rule, however. If the Withholding Order is for child support, the government is likely to honor the state’s request.
Of course, there is an exception to this exception for child support. If you receive Veterans’ Benefits because you are disabled, low-income or elderly, the state cannot garnish your benefits.
Being the federal government, there is another exception. The state can garnish benefits for disability if you receive military retirement benefits in addition to disability benefits. Instead of garnishing your disability benefits, however, it would garnish your military retirement pay.
Even if it turns out that the state cannot garnish your benefits, your former partner may go directly to the VA and ask that it send all or part of your check to him or her for child support. This type of arrangement is called an “apportionment.”
You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.