In today’s economy, it is hard to keep up with all of your debts, even if you have a good job. Many salaries have not kept up with inflation, making it difficult for workers to stay on top of rising prices. When debts go unpaid, the creditor usually comes looking for a way to collect and sometimes this means by filing a lawsuit and garnishing wages. If you have been sued and fear garnishment, it is helpful to know that some of your funds may be exempt from garnishment. These exemptions include things like veteran’s benefits, military benefits, and certain social security payments. Note that only SOME social security benefits are exempt from garnishment – these include social security retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. But what if about your disability benefits? Are those also off limits to a creditor who issues a garnishment?
Fortunately, the payments you get from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are not subject to garnishment. This is true in most situations but there are a few instances where your SSDI can be garnished, such as:
- By the Federal Government, if you owe money for something like taxes or a student loan that has been backed by the federal government.
- For repayment of back child support. This only applies to SSDI benefits, leaving you with a full SSI payment if you are receiving SSI benefits in addition to SSDI.
If you do happen to be garnished and your sole source of income is either SSDI or SSI, you will need to provide evidence proving the same. This can be done by showing deposit records, including the source of deposit as the Social Security Administration (SSA) for SSDI or SSI benefits. This might require you to appear in Court to fight the garnishment, and having a qualified attorney look over your case first is always a good idea. Not all banks abide by the rule that the source of funds must first be verified before paying a garnishment, which can result in your benefits being taken and held temporarily until you can obtain an order for refund from the Court. We have experience helping people protect their benefits once they have been approved, whether that be by making sure your clients continue with necessary medical treatment or by seeking return of wrongfully garnished funds.
For more information and answers to your questions about disability benefits, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached (618) 732-0146.