Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) may be granted to a person who cannot work because of a disability. Although this income is not earned from a typical job or occupation, it might still be subject to garnishment.
Creditors may seek a court order to garnish your wages for unpaid debts. Garnishment is when money from your paycheck is taken out before it gets to you. Since SSDI benefits are not typical income, they can only be garnished under certain circumstances. Exactly how much money is garnished from your SSDI income varies from case to case, and you should talk to a lawyer about how to minimize or avoid the garnishment. The best way to avoid having your SSDI income garnished depends on who holds your outstanding debts and what kind of debts you have. An attorney can help you work with creditors or fight the court order allowing the garnishment.
People receiving disability income often cannot survive with a garnishment. Our Fayetteville disability benefits attorneys can help you fight to avoid having your wages garnished. For a free case review, call our offices at (479) 316-0438.
What is Garnishment and How Does it Work in Arkansas?
Wage garnishment may be implemented when people who owe debts have trouble paying them off. For example, a person with high credit card debt might have their wages garnished. When income is garnished, money is taken directly from paychecks and given to the creditors who are owed money. This is very problematic for people receiving SSDI benefits. Since they cannot work, they might have no way of supplementing their income to afford the garnishment.
Garnishments do not happen just because you have missed a few payments. Usually, creditors seek garnishments when debts have gone unpaid for quite some time. Additionally, they tend to apply more often in cases where debts are higher. Mild to moderate credit card debt is unlikely to be met with garnishment unless the debts have gone unpaid for a long time.
Garnishments also apply when you have not been making court-ordered payments. For example, people with unpaid child support might see their income garnished. Similarly, your income might be garnished if you owe unpaid alimony or restitution. Our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys can help you determine how to protect your disability income from garnishment.
Can Income From Disability be Garnished in Arkansas?
Income from disability benefits may be subject to garnishment under certain circumstances. Typically, private creditors cannot have your disability income garnished. The federal and state governments, however, may garnish your SSDI benefits and any other forms of income.
Private entities can have various forms of income garnished, but not your disability income, like SSDI benefits. Your SSDI benefits cannot be garnished for debts like credit cards, private loans, or other unpaid bills to private parties. In some cases, SSDI benefits are illegally garnished. This is sometimes due to mistakes or errors in the garnishment process, but sometimes private entities know what they are doing is illegal. If your SSDI benefits are garnished, contact our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys immediately.
Your SSDI benefits may still be garnished under specific circumstances. While private creditors cannot have your wages garnished, the federal or state government can. This is common in cases where people have outstanding debts for things like federal student loans, unpaid back taxes, or unpaid child support. While private creditors have to get a court order to garnish your wages, the IRS does not.
How Much of My Income May be Garnished in Arkansas?
How much your wages may be garnished depends on the debts you allegedly owe and who is collecting. Garnishments are usually based on a percentage of your net income after necessary expenses rather than a flat rate. The more you get in disability benefits, the greater your garnishment might be. Our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys can help you understand how your garnishment works and how to fight it.
Private entities like credit card companies cannot garnish your disability benefits. If a private entity garnishes your income, contact an attorney immediately. If the federal government is garnishing your SSDI benefits, the amount of income that is garnished depends on the situation.
The state and federal governments may impose separate limits on garnishments. Federal limits For unpaid child support and alimony, as much as 60% of your income might be garnished. For non-payment of federal student loans, up to 15% may be garnished. If you owe back taxes to the IRS, the garnished amount is worked out by the IRS and is based on tax issues like deductions and the number of dependents.
The State of Arkansas generally follows federal limits on garnishments. However, Arkansas might have protections for certain groups of people that the federal government does not. For example, under Arkansas Code § 16-66-209(a), all money paid by certain insurance policies, including disability, is exempt from seizure or liability under the judicial process of any court. Talk to our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys about using certain state laws to protect your income. Remember, state laws apply to garnishments by the state government.
If you are facing any income garnishment, you should contact our Springdale, AR disability benefits lawyers immediately. It might be possible to shield your disability benefits from garnishment so you can continue making ends meet.
How to Avoid Garnishments of Disability Income in Arkansas
Avoiding income garnishment is no easy feat, but it is not impossible. How our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys can help you avoid garnishment will vary based on your situation. It may be possible to protect your SSDI benefits even if the garnishment cannot be avoided.
First, we should check to see who is garnishing your disability income. If it is a private entity like a credit card company or private lender, the garnishment might be illegal. Our team can help you rectify the situation and protect your SSDI benefits.
The situation is a bit more difficult if the federal government garnishes your disability benefits. It might be possible to plead your case with the proper authorities to reduce the garnishment to something you can afford. Sometimes, working out a payment plan or another agreement is possible, so your income does not have to be garnished. Our Fort Smith disability benefits attorneys can help protect your income and refer you to any necessary financial assistance, such as a tax attorney or financial advisor.
Call Our Arkansas Disability Benefits Attorneys for Help
If your main source of income is disability income, a garnishment might prevent you from paying rent, buying food, or paying for living expenses. Our Bentonville disability benefits attorneys can help you protect your income. For a free case review, call our team at (479) 316-0438.
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