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Can Creditors Garnish Social Security Disability Income?

Published on January 27th, 2021

Yes, creditors can garnish your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, this only applies to a few kinds of debt. And regardless of the type of debt, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cannot be garnished. Creditors may only garnish SSDI benefits for money owed because of

  • Federal Student Loans
  • Federal Income Taxes
  • Court-Ordered Alimony or Child Support

The Internal Revenue Service may garnish your benefits by up to 15% for student loans or federal income tax. But garnishment for student loans debt must leave you with a minimum of $750 in benefits a month.

An ex spouse can also collect Social Security disability benefits that you would otherwise be owed. But they can only do so to cover court-ordered child support and/or alimony. In these cases, the divorced spouse is entitled to 60% of your benefits. If you are already supporting a spouse or child outside of the court-order, only 50% of your benefits may be garnished. If you are 12 weeks behind on payments, a divorced spouse is entitled to an additional 5% of your benefits.

All owed money that does not fall into one of the three bullet points above is exempt from garnishment. Creditors cannot garnish your Social Security disability benefits to pay back personal loans, credit cards, or medical bills. Unfortunately, some creditors may still try to do so. In these cases you’ll have to appeal your case with the government body garnishing your benefits.

If a disability prevents you from working, don’t let debts deter you from applying for benefits. Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates is home to some of the best disability lawyers in Chicago. We help clients apply for help every day and make sure they receive the Social Security benefits they deserve. Reach out today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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