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Question of the Month: Can your Social Security disability benefits be garnished for alimony or child support?

January 8, 2018

Whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) can withhold money from your benefit check to satisfy a court-ordered garnishment for alimony or child support depends on what type of benefits you are receiving.

If you have been ordered by a court to pay child support or alimony and you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, the SSA can garnish your benefits to satisfy the court order. The SSA says on its website, “By law, we garnish current and continuing monthly benefits. We do not make retroactive adjustments. You cannot appeal to Social Security for implementing garnishment orders. If you disagree with the garnishment, contact an attorney or representative where the court issued the order.”

If you are receiving payments under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, your benefits cannot be garnished.

As every situation is different, it is important that you consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.