Can My Social Security Disability Insurance Be Garnished?

Photo of people reviewing paperworkSo you have been injured and you can no longer work. You apply for SSDI and after a long process you finally get benefits, but before you were injured you had debt collectors hounding you and threatening to garnish your wages. Now that you are finally receiving benefits, will these debt collectors show up and take a part of what you need in order to get by?

Can My Social Security Disability Insurance Be Garnished?

In many ways, Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance function in much the same way, and garnishment is one of those ways. The fact of the matter is that collectors trying to collect payment on credit cards, personal loans, and medical bills cannot garnish your Social Security benefits. They can garnish your bank accounts, but if you prove to a judge that the contents of that bank account come from Social Security checks, then your creditors will not be able to draw on those funds. However, this doesn’t mean debtors are free and clear once they get on SSDI.

What Debts Can Affect Your SSDI?

If you have federal student loan debt, back taxes, child support, victim restitution, or other debts to the government, then the IRS—or whatever government branch you owe—can garnish 15 percent of your Social Security check. In situations involving alimony or child support, you can be on the hook for as much as 50-65 percent of your Social Security check. This reaffirms the old saying, “There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.”

For those of you wondering if these rules apply to SSI, you will be relieved to know that they don’t, but the government always has ways to collect… If you have more questions, turn to our blog, Twitter and Facebook for the answers.

This was a message from Troutman & Troutman, helping the people of Tulsa get the SSDI and SSI benefits they need to survive.


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