Skip to main content

Can the federal government take my social security for federal restitution?

Santa Ana, CA |

I owe $60.000 in federal restitution and the federal government took $180.00 out of my social security.How can i stop that?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Social Security benefits are exempt from garnishment EXCEPT in cases where the debt is owed for certain specific reasons like for a debt to the government or to satisfy a child support order. Here is a link to what SSA says about garnishing benefits (below).

So, the short answer is yes, they can garnish your benefits and short of paying of the debt immediately, you cannot stop it.

Sorry for the bad news. Hope this helps.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Yes, the feds can take some of your social security money for certain debts. They usually can't take more than 25%. You can't really stop it, unless you have other funds to pay the underlying debt.


A defendant who has been ordered by a US district court, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3613, to pay victim-related restitution, is subject to having his or her social security benefits garnished in an amount up to 25%.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Recommended articles about Bankruptcy and debt

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer