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Can Social Security Disability Payments be Levied or Garnished?

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  • One question that some people have regarding their Social Security Disability Benefits is whether they can be levied or garnished. The answer to this question is that generally speaking Social Security Payments are exempt from any sort of levy or garnishment. The Social Security Act does not normally allow for garnishment of your benefits from anyone aside from the Federal Government. Thus, you are generally safe from issues regarding mortgages, loans, unpaid credit cards and the like. However, as with many things, there are exceptions to this rule.

  • The exceptions to this rule include the following:

    1. Collection of Unpaid Child Support, alimony, or restitution

    2. Payment of Delinquent Taxes

    3. Delinquent Student Loans

    4. Payments/Civil Penalties to the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act

    5. To Withhold and pay another Federal Agency for a Non-Tax debt that you owe.

    6. Thus, if it does not fall under one of these exceptions it would not likely affect your Social Security Payments.

  • Keep in mind that Social Security really only protects your money up until it hits your bank account. Thus, third parties may try to get the money at that point. While this is a possibility funds that are clearly identifiable as Social Security Benefits would still enjoy the same protections under the Social Security Act even if they are held in a bank account that is subject to garnishment/levy.

  • If your Payments do become garnished you are not allowed to appeal that to Social Security for their implementation of garnishment orders. If you believe the garnishment is incorrect or improper you would need to contact an attorney or representative where the court issued the order itself.


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