Can Social Security be garnished?
"I got a call today and the collector told me that if I didn't send them money today my social security benefits could be garnished." -Anonymous
Before you start to panic, you need to know your legal rights according to the Federal Trade Commission and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The following benefits ARE NOT SUBJECT TO GARNISHMENT:
- SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
- SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI)
- VETERANS BENEFITS
- CIVIL SERVICE and FEDERAL RETIREMENT and DISABLILTY BENEFITS
- MILITARY ANNUITIES and SURVIVOR'S BENEFITS
- RAILROAD RETIREMENT, MERCHANT SEAMAN WAGES
- LONGSHOREMAN'S and HARBOR WORKER'S DEATH and DISABLITLY BENEFITS
- FOREIGN SERVICE RETIREMENT and DISABILITY BENEFITS
- FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE
Although these benefits are EXEMPT, it is very important that you are extremely careful about the funds in your bank account!
As long as the funds in your checking or savings account only came from benefits (such as above) and ARE NOT CO-MINGLED with income you may earn in addition, then your account cannot be levied.
CO-MINGLED means that you deposit exempt benefits (such as above) with other income:
- W-2 income from you job
- Part-time income
- Funds your receive from any other outside sources
DO NOT DEPOSIT WITH THE FUNDS FROM
YOUR EXEMPT FUNDS!
If you have another job, make sure to either just cash that check or open another bank account, preferably in another bank for those funds.
If you have a substantial amount of un-secure debt such as credit cards, personal loans, collections, or medical bills, and are not able to keep up with the payments, you need help!
Since most debt collectors are professionals, trained to say anything in order to get you to send them money, you should consider the services of a DEBT MANAGMENT COMPANY.
They may be able to:
- Limit or stop the harassing calls
- Negotiate a reduced settlement help lower your payments and fees
- Help improve your credit score as debts are paid off
- GIVE YOU PEACE OF MIND!
Did you receive a Summons? If so, we can help you. Request more information or give us a call for a FREE consultation!
photo by: aflcio