How does a child support lien affect my PA Workers’ Compensation case?
Pennsylvania has a child support website, which will reveal if you have arrearages based on your date of birth and social security number. You must also be required to complete an affidavit, stating whether or not there is an outstanding child support order against you, and whether there are arrearages. You must also verify your date of birth, social security number, and mailing address.
Suppose the website reveals that you have arrearages of $7,000, and that you enter into a settlement of your workers’ compensation case for $50,000 with 20% deducted for attorneys’ fees. Normally, you would receive $40,000, but because of the arrearages, they will be deducted, leaving you with $33,000.
If you have arrearages, depending on the amount and the county in which you have the outstanding child support order, the family court may have entered a “non-disbursement order” which means that any money in your workers’ compensation case cannot be disbursed to you until this order has been vacated – or set aside – by the court. So once your settlement is approved by the workers’ compensation judge, or the judge issues a decision granting you benefits, your lawyer will have to contact the family court and take steps to ensure that the non-disbursement order is vacated. In some counties, the family court may also require you to pay part of your award for workers’ compensation benefits to cover future child support payments so that you don’t fall behind on your monthly payments.
One exception to the requirement that a child support statement and lien search must be submitted to the workers’ compensation judge is if you will receive $5,000 or less as a result of a settlement of your claim or a favorable decision by the judge.
Regardless of whether or not you have child support arrearages, if you get injured at work, you should promptly contact Pearson Koutcher Law where one of our experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers will represent you and guide you through the entire process. If you happen to have a non-disbursement order entered by the family court, we will take steps to have that vacated so when you are granted benefits or settle your case, you will be able to receive the money to which you are entitled as soon as the arrearages are paid in full.
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