General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

Can wages be garnished from a Social Security Disability or SSI check?

Asked by Yellowdog (11162points) February 8th, 2017

My Girlfriend won her lawsuit against a friend who stole about $1,000 worth of her things while staying in her home. The theft and value was proven.

The defendant has seven days to return the items which she claims she has sold, given away, thrown away or destroyed out of malice. If she does not return the things, we will be granted access to the home to retrieve the stolen property or be granted financial compensation.

Since she has probably hidden or destroyed the property, my GF will be granted financial compensation.

Often times, however, people claim they cannot pay for the damage they do, even out of willful malice—even when they know the consequences. They are that brazen and flagrant.

So, therein is my question. Can SSI or Disability wages be garnished— say, $50 or $100 a month? Can she do this willful damage flagrantly and openly and hide behind her lack of ability to pay for what she’s done?

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5 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

It depends on who is owed. The government can do it, but the average person with a court settlement usually cannot.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

SSDI is judgment proof, meaning nothing can be taken from it by anyone including the IRS. I know this, because I lived on SSDI for about 12 years. I have no information about SSI.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

SSI can be garnished (what a strange word to use for this) for federal loan payments, as in federally insured school loans. Because of this, a lot of people get a really nasty surprise when they initially file for SSI.

DRD's avatar

With respect to others answers there are some complicated answers to this question that are not being covered here. SSI is not available for garnishment for any reason. SSDI is able to be garnished under very specific rules and look back requirements the bank must follow. There are numbers of items in addition to federal taxes and federal student loans that can be attached up to 15 % of monthly pay including child support, alimony and victim restitution orders. S.S. Is treated same as SSDI for these purposes. Be sure to have your S.S. Check direct deposited if it is not already or the funds can be frozen until you prove they came from S.S. Taking some time to study this issue may be of benefit for you or someone you know thus making it worth your time. Contacting S.S. And your bank may be helpful.

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