If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, you need to know your rights when it comes to people trying to collect a debt. Some debt-collectors may attempt to take away part of your disability check for such things as
credit card bills or car loans.
Simple Answer: Untouchable
The rule that applies in these circumstances is clear: almost no one can touch your disability benefits in the name of collecting a debt. That would include banks and credit card companies and even individuals who had loaned you money.
Ah, But Some Exceptions
There are exceptions, however. The federal government can collect on such debts as unpaid taxes and student loans that the government has guaranteed. Unpaid child support is another debt that allows a creditor to take part of your Social Security disability benefits.
SSI or SSDI? It Matters
A with most things to do with Social Security disability, it matters if you are getting SSDI or SSI. SSI, you will recall, is a poverty program for people who have not worked long enough to get regular Social Security disability. If you are getting SSI benefits, you have even more protection from bill collectors. No bill collectors can get to your SSI benefits, including the IRS.
Never Mix Social Security Benefits With Other Assets
Be aware, however, that your benefits may lose their protection if they are mixed with other money. It is important
to have Social Security directly deposit your benefits into your bank account each month. Once they have, never add any non-Social Security disability assets into that account.
Banks Must Review Garnishment Orders
The bank that gets your Social Security deposit each month has to review your account if they get a garnishment order. If the bank finds that your account contains only Social Security disability benefits, they cannot freeze your account.
Tell A Bill Collector If You Are On Social Security Disability
If a bill collector tries to take your Social Security disability benefits, inform them that such an action is illegal. If a
creditor sues you, show the judge your Social Security disability paperwork.
It's important to pay your debts. But, it is also important for bill collectors to follow the law.