Who Can Take My Social Security Check?

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If you are on Social Security, or applying to be on Social Security, it may please you to learn that there are special laws in place that protect your disability check. In most cases, creditors and debt collectors are not allowed to take your Social Security (unless you decide to give it to them).

Before reading this page: It may help to know that SSI and SSDI are two separate programs. If you are not sure if you are on SSI or SSDI, here’s how you can tell what you are on.

🍎 Credit Cards

🍎 Medical Debt

🍎 Child Support

  • SSDI – Yes! Child support can garnish your Social Security check. Also: Make sure to sign up for extra benefits checks for your kids (even if your kids do not live with you).
  • SSI – No. Child support cannot garnish SSI checks.Β 

🍎 IRS

🍎 Other Federal Agencies

  • SSDI – Sometimes! Some groups can garnish your Social Security check.
  • SSI – No! They cannot take your Social Security money unless you give it to them.

🍎 Mortgages and Debt Attached to Your Home

  • SSDI and SSI — Doesn’t matter! Some federal mortgages can take your Social Security and other private mortgages cannot. Either way, you probably want to pay your mortgage. You don’t want to lose your home.
  • Learn More – In most areas people with disabilities can get property tax reduced or eliminated. Check with your local tax assessors office.

🍎 LTD Companies

  • SSI and SSDI – No! This is private debt. They cannot take your social security money. Of course, if you are still collecting LTD they can stop your future checks. If you have already been cut off LTD and you are not appealing, some people do decide to just not pay them. Also, you must follow certain Special Rules to Protect Your Bank Account

🍎 Private Student Loans

🍎 Federal Student Loans

  • SSDI — Yes, but…. you have better options….
  • SSI – No, they cannot take your SSI money, but you also have other options…
  • There are several special programs to help people with disabilities with student loans: How to Escape Student Loans.

🍎 State Cash Assistance

  • SSI and SSDI — Yes. If you were receiving money from the state while you were applying, they may take part of your backpay. They will not take future checks. They will not take money back for food stamps or housing programs, only cash.

🍎 Social Security Overpayment

  • SSDI – If Social Security has sent you and overpayment notice, they can reduce your future checks. However, you have the option to appeal or request a waiver. Learn more: How Sandra Got Her Overpayments Waived

🍎 What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Debt?

🍎 Don’t Just Take My Word For It

I am not a financial expert. Financial regulations are complex and can change. Please double check and do more reading before making any important decisions.

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