Answers about Garnishments

Are there other federal benefits that are not automatically protected from a garnishment order?

In some cases, your federal benefits are not automatically protected, including if:

  • You receive your federal benefits by check rather than direct deposit.
  • Your federal benefits were deposited more than two months before the bank received the garnishment order.
  • The federal government or a state child support enforcement agency is seeking to garnish your benefits and has included a Notice of Right to Garnish Federal Benefits with its garnishment order;
  • You receive federal benefits other than: Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Veteran’s benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or benefits from the Office of Personnel Management;
  • You transferred the money from the account that received the federal benefits to another account. If so, the money in the second account would not be automatically protected.

If any of these situations apply to you, your money still may be exempt from garnishment but you will have to tell the court or your creditor that you think money in your bank account is exempt.

September 2017