Answers about Garnishments

Can my Social Security or other Federal benefits be garnished?

Federal law says that many Federal benefit payments like Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Veteran’s benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, and benefits from the Office of Personnel Management are not subject to garnishment in most cases.  This means that these funds are exempt.

Your bank may be required to automatically protect some of your Federal benefits if they are direct deposited into your bank account and you may be able to stop your creditors from taking other exempt funds from your bank account.  

However, there are some exceptions.  For example, your Veteran’s benefits, Social Security, or other government benefits may be garnished to pay delinquent child support or federal taxes.

June 2011