On Wednesday we discussed that your disability benefits are protected against creditors and financial institutions who are seeking garnishment for unpaid bills. The federal government, however, may withhold a portion of your monthly check under certain circumstances. If you have any of the following items, your disability benefits check could be temporarily reduced.
- Unpaid federal taxes. The IRS can legally take up to 15 percent of your monthly disability benefits check to make up for unpaid taxes. The IRS should send you a warning 30 days before any funds are held, giving you time to pay the balance or work out a payment plan directly with them.
- Non-tax items owed to a federal agency. This can include federal mortgages, other federal loans or food stamps overpayment. The government can reduce your monthly checks by 15 percent until paid. Unlike with federal taxes, however, the government will not reduce your benefits to below $750 per month in this situation.
- Unpaid child support or alimony: In these cases, the federal government can cut up to 60 percent of your benefits to pay these costs. If you are supporting a spouse or another child, the government will not take more than 50 percent of your monthly check.
In some cases, the government will work with you if you are suffering from extreme financial hardship. There are options like appeals and payment plans to consider. If you have questions about gaining or keeping disability benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney for more information and a discussion of your individual circumstances. We offer free, confidential consultations, and you can reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.