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Can Social Security disability be garnished?

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Yes, but only the federal government can garnish your Social Security check, and only for limited purposes, such as payment of child support, alimony, delinquent taxes, and debt to other federal agencies.

Federal law prohibits creditors from garnishing social benefit checks, such as Social Security, unemployment, workers' compensation, SSI, VA benefits, and so on. The problem is that unethical creditors sometimes freeze and levy a bank account after the benefit is deposited and beyond Social Security's protection. Not only will the creditors suck money from your account, but the bank may charge penalties and fees for the garnishment and any checks that bounce.

If this happens, you'll need to file a "waiver of garnishment" and get a court order to stop the action and get your money back. You can also notify the creditor that the income is from Social Security and protected from garnishment under federal law, and ask the bank to unfreeze your account (all in writing).

Contact your nearest Legal Aid Society for assistance. If you can't afford to pay, they will assist you at no cost.
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