Can my husbands social security diability be garnished for alimony in the state of Washington?

Asked about 4 years ago - Bellingham, WA

I am divorcing my husband after 38 yrs. of marriage and I was told by a friend that I cannot get alimony from his only income..social security disability .

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Debra J Venhaus

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . According to the social security administration, social security disability benefits may only be garnished in a few specific scenarios: to enforce child and alimony obligations, pay federal tax debts owed to the IRS, and pay debts owed to federal agencies. SSI benefits cannot be garnished. It is unclear from your question whether you already have alimony ordered. Your divorce attorney will be more familiar with the exact facts of your case, and will therefore likely be able to answer your questions more specifically.

    This is not intended to be legal advice.

  2. Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . It appears it can be. See below:

    20 CFR 404.970

    SSR 79-4

    Generally, Social Security benefits are exempt from execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or from the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law. The exceptions are that benefits are subject: (1) to the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make levies for the collection of delinquent Federal taxes and under certain circumstances delinquent child support payments; and (2) to garnishment or similar legal process brought by an individual to enforce a child support or alimony obligation.
    Section 207 of the Social Security Act provides:
    "The right of any person to any future payment under this title shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this title shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law."

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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