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Can your Social Security payments be garnished?

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No, all SS benefits are exempt from creditor garnishment. They are not exempt from garnishment by the IRS for tax arrearages and in some instances state tax arrearages.
Generally no. HOWEVER - they can be garnished for payment of debts owed to the federal government (taxes, federal loans, etc) AND for the nonpayment of child support or alimony.

Social Security benefits of any type cannot be garnished for creditor debt, they are protected against such action by federal law.

Solution to protect your Social Security from creditors:1- electronic deposit to checking account. 2-withdraw what you don't need to cover in bills. place into interest bearing savings account NOT RELATED YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT, (different bank) or put it in your mattress.
Commercial creditors cannot garnish your Social Security retirement check. However, the Federal government may garnish your benefits to recover student loans, back taxes, or any other monies owed to the Federal government. Additionally, your Social Security retirement check may be garnished for current or back child support. (Social Security and Disability Resource Center)

For the source and more detailed information concerning your request, click on the related links section indicated at the bottom of this answer box.

According to the U. S. Treasury-Financial Management Service, these payments are exempt by Federal Law. The PDF entitled Treasury Offset Program -- Payments Exempt from Offset by Disbursing Officials (Nontax Debt Collection) found in the Related Link below
SS benefits of any kind can always be garnished for court order child support. In some cases such benefits can be garnished for court ordered spousal maintenance (alimony) and federal tax arrearages.

Another opinion:
Not true- federal income tax arrearages can be garnished, but child support is not always able to be garnished. Depends on the circumstances and each case is different.
A Family Court in Burlington, Vt. garnished ALL of my SS disability check for alimony. I am disabled and thus have no earnings. What is wrong with the court system? Those in power have all the power!
Social Security benefits of any type cannot be garnished for creditor debt, they are protected against such action by federal law.

SS benefits can be garnished for federal tax arrearages and child support obligations.

Solution to protect your Social Security from creditors:1- electronic deposit to checking account. 2-withdraw what you don't need to cover in bills. place into interest bearing savings account NOT RELATED YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT, (different bank) or put it in your mattress.
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