October 25, 2014

Is it Legal for a Creditor to Garnish the Bank Account Where my SSDI Payment is Deposited?

How often to i get a rise in income ? I have Canser & diabetes only get under 1,000 per month and need a place to live. A bill collector started taking 200.00 per month for afender bender and take it straight off the top of my living money I think they are wrong I cant work with my disability .I would like you to look into this mater .Because if I could work I would now very depressed with no place to live now.They even wrote and said dont even think about tell Social secuity more or less that it would be useless to try to stop them.I say it was not my faulty but they are taking over 8,000 dollar from social secuity check I never got a court order to go to court who are these people ganster above the law?

–Roy

Jonathan Ginsberg responds:  Roy, your SSDI payment is calculated based on your earnings during the time you were working.   The amount of your Social Security payment is not based on the severity of your condition, nor do you get more based on your financial needs.  You do get a cost of living increase every year, but that is the only time your payment from SSDI will go up.

The garnishment you describe should not be happening.  Social Security disability benefits are not subject to a garnishment seizure, nor are Social Security disability funds that are placed into your bank account by direct deposit.  You should immediately contact your bank to advise them that the wage garnishment is illegal because all of the funds going into that account are from Social Security disability. 

If you have funds from other sources going into your Social Security account, the non-Social Security funds would be subject to a garnishment.

You should also contact the lawyer who has been seizing your money and advise him that your funds need to be returned since these funds were Social Security money.  You may need to ask for help from a lawyer or perhaps Legal Aid since this concept that SSDI money is protected may not be fully understood by the collection lawyer.

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Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 23 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.