Generally, funds you receive as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are not subject to garnishment. Section 207 of the Social Security Act protects these funds from being subject to garnishment for debts to most creditors. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
SSDI benefits can be garnished for certain debts to the Federal government. For instance, the government can garnish your SSDI benefits for back taxes or if you are in default on a student loan that was guaranteed by the government. Your SSDI benefits can also be garnished for overdue child support.
Supplemental Security Income benefits have greater protection from garnishment. SSI benefits are not subject to garnishment even for debts owed to the government.
While SSI and SSDI benefits are protected from garnishment, you should not assume your bank will automatically protect SSDI or SSI funds that are in your account. If you are served with a garnishment action, you need to make sure you provide the court and the creditor’s attorney with documentation to show that the funds in the account are exempt from garnishment.