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Social Security Disability Benefits and Garnishment

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During his years of practice, Yuriy has concentrated in litigation and real estate transactions as his areas of expertise.
garnishment of social security disability benefits

When a person is unable to work, social security benefits can be life-saving. These monetary benefits often help those struggling financially to survive. Obtaining social security benefits can be a long process, and if the individual owes certain debts, their social security benefits could be at risk.

When unpaid debts are sent to debt collectors or collection agencies, garnishment orders could allow these agencies to seize money from bank accounts in which social security benefits are deposited.

Social security benefits are protected from garnishment orders for most types of private unpaid debts. There are certain debts; however, that could affect social security income.

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If you are unsure whether the debt you owe could affect your monthly social security income, do not wait to contact a lawyer experienced in SSI Garnishment Laws. The dedicated lawyers at Moshes Law, P.C. offer free consultations so you can discuss your case and find out how to protect your income from wage garnishment.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance, often shortened to SSDI, is a government program that provides benefits to individuals who cannot work due to disabilities. For many receiving SSDI benefits, this is their only source of income, so wage garnishment due to unpaid debts can be devastating.

Fortunately, disability benefits are protected from garnishment for most kinds of private debts like:

  • Medical bills
  • Car loans
  • Credit card companies
  • Mortgage lenders

Although these entities can receive court orders for garnishment of work paychecks or other forms of income, they cannot touch income from social security benefits. Social security benefits are also protected even if you are sued in a lawsuit, and the court enters a judgment against you.

Other benefits that are also protected from garnishment, much like SSDI, include:

  • Supplemental Social Security Income
  • Veterans benefits
  • Federal employee retirement
  • Civil service retirement
  • Federal Railroad Retirement, unemployment, and sick benefits

These benefits are mostly protected from private debt collection; however, they are still vulnerable to collection by the federal government.

Supplemental Security Income

Another type of disability benefits provided by the federal government is Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Unlike SSDI, those receiving SSI were not required to have paid FICA payroll taxes. To qualify for SSI, individuals must have limited income and assets.

Supplemental Security Income is more protected than SSDI and, according to SSI garnishment laws, cannot be garnished by either private creditors or the federal government.

Additional Protections for SSDI Recipients

If you are concerned about garnishment of social security disability benefits, rest assured that there are options to protect your disability benefits from wage garnishment. Depending on where you live and collect benefits, the laws concerning social security garnishing wages vary.

If you have questions about social security disability garnishment and believe that your SSDI benefits are being unfairly garnished, it is recommended that you contact a knowledgeable attorney in your area.

Can Social Security Disability Benefits Be Garnished?

Yes. Social Security benefits can be garnished, but only for certain types of debt, and there are limits on how much can be garnished. Your social security income can be at risk if you have any of the following unpaid debts:

To find out if any of your unpaid debt can result in the garnishment of social security disability benefits, contact an experienced lawyer at Moshes Law, P.C. for a free consultation and guidance on your social security benefits case.

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Child or Spousal Support

The laws governing social security disability garnishment for unpaid child or spousal support varies depending on the state, but most states adhere to the federal Consumer Credit Protect Act (CCPA) that provides laws for garnishment limits.

Generally, if you only support one child, up to 60% of your social security income can be garnished for arrears. If support is more than 12 weeks in arrears, 65% of the income can be garnished. If you support more than one child, the maximum amount garnished is 50%.

The IRS does not require a court order to garnish disability benefits for unpaid child support and spousal support, so if you owe arrears, your social security income is at risk.

Unpaid Federal Taxes

Unpaid federal taxes are another type of unpaid debt that can threaten your social security benefits. The treasury department can garnish up to 15% of your benefits to go towards back taxes.

Any money in a 401(k) or an IRA is also subject to garnishment when you owe back taxes.

Federal Student Loan Debt and Debt to Other Federal Agencies

Federal student loans are another type of federal debt. If you stop paying your federal student loan and your account becomes delinquent, up to 15% of your SSDI benefits can be garnished to pay the loan.

Garnishment for student loan debt differs from other federal debts in that you are still entitled to the first $750 of your monthly social security and retirement benefits. The wage garnishment cannot leave you with less than $750 a month.

Another situation where you may be subjected to social security disability garnishment is if you owe the federal government for overpayment of food stamps or another government benefit.

Consult with a Social Security Disability Attorney

It is imperative that you consult with an experienced social security disability attorney if you believe that your social security income may be garnished. If your benefits are being garnished in error, the Social Security Administration cannot help you, but a knowledgeable attorney like those at Moshes Law, P.C. can.

An SSDI attorney will be familiar with your state laws and which of your unpaid debts are putting your social security benefits at risk. If a debt collector threatens to take your social security benefits, they could be guilty of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Don’t hesitate to contact Moshes Law, P.C. today to set up a free consultation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Yuriy Moshes, P.C., are ready to help you protect your social security benefits from garnishment.

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