Monday, December 24, 2007
Nebraska Supreme Court declines to reduce father's child support obligation for social security benefits one of his disabled children receives. Gress v. Gress, S-06-607, 274 Neb. 686. One of the father's children had downs syndrome and received $564 per month social security benefits. the decision does not specify whether the social security took the form of SSI or SSDI. The father argued that in accordance with Ward v. Ward, 7 N eb. A pp. 821, 585 N .W.2d 551 (1998) he should receive a credit for some of the social security support. The Nebraska Supreme Court declines to overrule Ward, distinguishing the situation where a disabled child has additional needs that government benefits support from one where the child is otherwise normal but receives the benefits because of the death of the parent. "it not appropriate to offset child support costs where, as here, the Social Security benefits are intended to mitigate the additional costs that accompany disabilities." The Supreme Court might have discussed whether it would distinguish between Title II disability benefits, for example benefits to children of deceased or disabled workers and Title XVI benefits which are benefits to disabled children that parents' payroll contributions do not fund.