How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can my disability benefits be garnished for unpaid fines?

I unfortunately have been informed by a collection center for a city court of a very old judgement that I owe money for to the court. I can't pay it all at once like they requested and I am afraid they may try to Garnish it from my SSDI Benefits. Is a City or County Court able to Garnish my Disability benefits for old unpaid fines?

I thank you for your time and any information you may have for me.

I am a former disability claims examiner and I have also experience in the area of claimant representation, so my area of functioning has to do with how decisions are made, how evidence is considered and evaluated, and how claims are handled.

That said, to the best of my knowledge, these are the following things that can be garnished from an individual's disability benefits:

1. Delinquent child support obligations.

2. Debts owed to the Federal government including IRS obligations (taxes) and delinquent student loans.

Debts owed to state or municipal governments should, as far I am aware, have no bearing on your disability benefits since that would essentially mean that states and local governments could exercise authority over the federal government.

To be the best of my knowledge, you most likely have nothing to be concerned about with regard to garnishment of your disability benefits.

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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.