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Social Security Benefits: Not To Be Attached or Garnished

Posted by attorney Andrew Myers

Under federal law, social security benefits are exempt from attachment or garnishment. Social security is intended to help those who need the benefit and such funds are protected. This is not to say an overly aggressive collection company might not attach bank accounts at some point. However, if you can prove that the only source of funding for the account is your social security disability, then you should be able to remove the attachment.

The protection of social security benefits is found in section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407), prohibiting assignment, levy, or garnishment. However, there are some exceptions, notably those allowing garnishment to enforce child support and/or alimony obligations, and levies and other methods available to the government for collection of unpaid Federal tax debt.

However no exeption applies to common unsecured debt such as credit card debt, and social security payments are exempt from action by such creditors.

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This guide is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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