Your SSDI Benefits When You’re in Debt
If you owe a lot of debt while on SSDI, you may wonder, “Can creditors take my SSDI benefits?”
Our attorneys understand this question better than most, since we work on both SSDI and debt relief. So here’s what you need to know about what creditors can and can’t do when you’re on disability.
Creditors Can’t Take Your SSDI Check Directly
The short answer is no, most creditors cannot take your Social Security benefits.
Federal law protects Social Security benefits from garnishment or seizure by creditors. This means if you owe money to a creditor, like a credit card company or medical provider, they can’t just openly take your Social Security benefits to pay off the debt.
Exceptions to the Rule
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. The government in particular can come after your benefits when other creditors can’t.
For example, the federal government can garnish your Social Security benefits to pay off unpaid taxes or student loans. And some states allow garnishment of Social Security benefits to pay for child support or alimony.
Other Ways to Collect on Debt
While most creditors can’t take your Social Security benefits, they can still try to collect on the debt in other ways.
For example, they may be able to garnish your wages if you have them (most people on SSDI don’t have a regular paycheck to garnish).
Other creditors can also go after your bank account or place a lien on your property, as long as they avoid your SSDI checks. And if you fall behind on your car or house payments, you may risk repossession or foreclosure.
How to Protect Yourself (and Your Bank Account)
If you’re concerned about creditors coming after your SSDI, there are steps you can take to protect your Social Security benefits.
First, you can tell your bank in writing that the regular checks coming in to your account are SSDI checks. Because the federal government protects SSDI, the bank won’t honor the garnishment if they have written notice.
To make the process even smoother, you can set up a special bank account just for your SSDI deposits. That helps the banks avoid any mistakes.
Getting an Attorney to Help With Your Debt
If you’re seriously in debt and face creditor harassment, you need to deal with the underlying problem. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your rights and options and how to get out of debt. They can even help you develop a plan to protect your Social Security benefits and other assets.
Our Memphis SSDI firm is uniquely qualified for this job. Not only have we helped people file and appeal their SSDI claims for decades, but we’ve also helped thousands of people get out of debt and get a fresh start.
It’s important to understand your rights and options when dealing with creditors and debt collectors. With the right team on your side, you can get out of debt, end the creditor harassment, and move on with your life.
Contact us today for a free consultation to figure out your options: call 901-327-2100, or just fill out the form on this page.
We look forward to helping you.