To make sure any social security money is not garnished you need to keep it in a separate account.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Funds from those sources are exempt from collection but unless they are readily identifiable the bank may put a hold on them if served with an execution and then your will have to file for an exemption.
Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Cannella or her firm. This answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter, is not legal opinion, nor confidential in nature. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully.
Be very careful here. Your status as a VA disability beneficiary does not protect you from the legal collection activity of your creditors. Only a bank deposit you can prove was received as such a benefit is exempt from execution. Commingling such benefits with money from other sources can result in loss of the exemption. For the precise advice and assistance you need to deal with a garnishment that has already occurred, or to avoid the possible bad results described above, you should consult with local public benefits or consumer rights counsel.
Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
You didn't give any details about the nature of the obligation. In other words, why are you concerned about a garnishment? Is there a judgment against you? A pending lawsuit? Perhaps you are a candidate for bankruptcy. Perhaps you have one or more defenses to the unidentified threat which has you thinking that your $20,000 is at risk. More information is needed, but further still, you probably should speak to a qualified attorney. Like yesterday. There is too much at stake for you to trifle with this matter. Good luck!
As of the time I provided my answer to your question(s) today, I am NOT your lawyer and you are NOT my client. Therefore, there is NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP between us. Accordingly, you should NOT construe my response to your question(s) as legal advice. Rather, you should look upon my answer as a "starting point" for you begin discussions with a lawyer of your choosing. I am always receptive to new clients, but there are many, many lawyers who will meet with you and give you expert, personal legal advice. My answers in this forum are NOT expert legal advice, but merely general commentary after reading the very, very brief facts which you provided to this forum. I truly wish you all the best!