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SSDRC Disability Blog

Can Your Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits Be Reduced or Garnished?




 
Your Social Security disability or SSI benefits may be reduced for very specific reasons depending upon the disability program you are entitled to.

Letís look at some reasons your Social Security or SSI disability benefits can be reduced. Both disability programs allow for reduced disability benefits to be paid if there is an overpayment of benefits. This is the only reason for benefit reduction common to both Social Security disability and SSI disability.

If you are receiving Social Security disability, there are other reasons your disability benefits may be reduced. Social Security allows SSDI benefits to be garnished for child support (both present and arrears), a valid court order of victim restitution, alimony, money owed to the IRS, and other unpaid government loans or debts. However, Social Security does not allow creditors to garnish your Social Security disability benefits.

In 1991, the federal government amended the garnishment guidelines to preclude levying or garnishment of SSI disability benefits. SSI is a need based disability benefit so there can be no levy or garnishment against it.

While SSI cannot be garnished for any of the above-mentioned reasons, it can be reduced for living arrangement changes.

The SSI disability program considers a beneficiaryís living arrangement when determining their monthly disability benefit amount. If the beneficiary is able to pay their fair share of the household bills that pertain to the home in which they live, they may receive the full SSI disability monthly benefit amount. However, if their situation changes so that they are not longer paying their fair share of the monthly bills, their SSI disability benefits will be reduced.

Fair share of household expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities) means that the beneficiary is paying the same amount of the expenses as other members of the household. Also, an SSI disability beneficiary may receive reduced disability benefits if they are receiving inancial help from an outside source (i.e. parents, family members, church, friends, etc.).








Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions








Related pages:

Can my disability benefits be garnished for unpaid fines?
You can qualify for disability based on epilepsy in two separate ways
How to update your Social Security Disability or SSI claim



Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria