Can Debt Collectors go after my Social Security Disability or Retirement Money?

Debt collectors have limits on what they can do that are established by law. That mere fact alone, however, does not stop them for doing what is unethical and illegal such as going after the money held in bank accounts by social security retirement and Social Security Disability beneficiaries.

Basically, when banks receive orders of garnishment, they put a freeze on the individual bank accounts. This happens regardless of whether the money held in the account is from some other source, or is money that has been deposited by the federal government such as SSD. In effect, debt collectors have a way to get around federal law which prohibits the seizure of social security money and banks have been their willing accomplices.

All of that may be coming to an end. The Obama administration is now coming out with newly written rules that are designed to prevent banking institutions from seizing federal benefits, such as SSD and retirement. These rules will require banks to do the following: if they receive a garnishment order, they will be required to check the accounts held by the customer to see if federal benefits have been deposited at any time within the last two months. If federal benefits have been deposited, the bank will be required to protect those specific amounts from seizure.

I view this as a fantastic move by the current administration, something that prior administrations were remiss in addressing (probably wasn't worth their time, I suppose). After all, after finally being approved for disability benefits after possibly years of applications and appeals, why should someone even be in the position of being at the mercy of debt collectors when it is clearly illegal. It is the equivalent of kicking someone when they are down and I applaud the Treasury Dept for finally addressing this issue.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

Do you get SSI back benefits from the time you were disabled?
Does SSI disability come with automatic medical care?
Disabled with obesity, muscle spasms, bone spurs, advanced arthritis in spine?
How to file for disability in Pennsylvania PA
Tips for veterans filing for Social Security Disability
How many SSD or SSI denials will you get before being approved?
How long will it take to get a decision on SSD or SSI after a medical examination?
Should you get a Statement from a Personal Physician for your SSD or SSI Disability Case?
Can you file for disability with dyslexia?
Social Security Disability denied
Disability denied twice
What does Social Security need from your medical records?
Does a person with severe keratoconus qualify to receive disability?
When do you need a Disability Lawyer for a Case?
How many times will Social Security deny you?