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Social Security: Can my benefits be garnished for any reason?

Millions of Americans receive Social Security benefits every month, but some people have situations where garnishing wages may be necessary.

cash representing social security benefits that may be garnished

It’s one thing to have your hourly wages garnished to pay these things, but many wonder if benefits can also be garnished.

Benefits are similar to income, and the answer is yes, they can be garnished.


Social Security: Getting your payments electronically

Garnishment of Social Security benefits

If you owe child support, restitution, or alimony then your benefits may be garnished.

Laws surrounding garnishment are from the state.

Retroactive adjustments aren’t made by the Social Security Administration.


What to do if someone calls you about your SSN or benefits

You may not appeal the garnishment of your benefits.

If you disagree it needs to be taken up with the court through an attorney.

Back taxes and Social Security garnishment

Your benefits may be withheld to pay off overdue federal tax debts.

This is done through the Department of the Treasury.

You may not appeal this decision.


I need help from the SSA, how do I get it?

If you have issue with it, you’ll need to contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-7650 to find out about your right to appeal.

Under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, your benefits may be garnished for other debts to federal agencies.

The Department of Treasury will contact you about the issue.

There is no control over this from the SSA, and to learn more about your own issue you can contact the Treasury at 1-800-304-3107.

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