< Back to Search

Working with Federal Benefit Agencies

Overview of Federal Benefit Agencies as Employers

Published: May 18, 2012
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Employer Responsibilities, Income/Wage Withholding

The Federal Government plays an important role in the child support enforcement program. Just as Federal agencies as employers must follow federal and state laws for child support enforcement, so must the federal benefit agencies. However, there are differences in applying child support requirements since a federal agency is paying wages earned and a federal benefit agency is paying an entitlement.

Social Security Administration

Child support may be deducted from most benefits that a non-custodial parent may receive from a federal program. Disability and retirement (Title II) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are perhaps the most well known benefits that may be attached for child support.  SSA's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments (Title XVI benefits that go to those who are disabled, aged, and blind) may not be attached for child support.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Other benefits that may be attached include certain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Office of Personnel Management

In addition, there are federal employees' retirement benefits/pensions or annuities), which are administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and may be attached for child support. The majority of Federal civilian employees are covered by either the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System, the two primary retirement systems administered by OPM. When a federal employee retires, it is the responsibility of the employing federal agency to inform the child support office why the income attachment is ending. The child support office then reissues the order to OPM.

Railroad Retirement Board

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers retirement benefits for retired railroad workers.  These RRB benefits may also be attached for child support. 

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor (DOL) administers worker's compensation benefits for federal employees who are injured on the job.  These worker's compensation benefits may be attached for child support.