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Are Social Security benefits protected from garnishment in the State of Michigan?

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Federal laws protect Social Security benefits in all 50 states, including Michigan. Only the Treasury Department may garnish your check, and only for limited reasons, such as:
  • Unpaid child support
  • Unpaid alimony
  • Delinquent federal taxes
  • Debit owed to other federal departments

Regular creditors may not garnish your Social Security benefits, but they have been known to freeze and levy recipients' bank accounts after the check has been deposited, or direct deposit made. If this happens, you will need to go to court to stop them.

One good way to protect your benefits is to open a bank account used solely for Social Security benefits, and use a separate account for any other forms of income you may have.

If anyone threatens to take your check, tell them such action would be a violation of Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407).
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