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Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11151
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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I was convicted of a federal collar crime and ordered to pay

Customer Question

I was convicted of a federal white collar crime and ordered to pay restitution, which I do monthly. If I apply for social security, can the government attach those payments?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

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Yes, they can.

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The amount depends on your showing of it's causing hardship over and above basic living allowances

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Section 207 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 407) protects Social Security benefits from garnishment, levy or other withholdings by the federal government, except:

  • To enforce child support and alimony obligations under Section 459 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 659);
  • For certain civil penalties under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (18 U.S.C. 3613);
  • With a Notice of Levy to collect overdue federal taxes under Section 6334(c) of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • Through the Federal Payment Levy Program to collect overdue federal taxes by levying up to 15 percent of each monthly payment until the debt is paid under Section 1024 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-34);
  • To withhold and pay another federal agency for a non-tax debt you owe to that agency according to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134).
Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

If there are no arrears on the payment established, then the withholding will typically not be above 25%

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bear with me a moment and I'll get the SS operations manual regs on this

Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

If justice asks for a garnishment of more than 25% there is still a hard limit.

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The system limits the garnishment amount to the lesser of the State maximum or the maximum under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)) and is based on the law of the State where the beneficiary resides. Hereafter, the CCPA limit is referred to as the “Federal” limit. The CCPA limits garnishment to:

  • 50%, if the beneficiary is supporting a spouse and/or child other than the spouse and/or child whose support has been ordered.

  • 60%, if the beneficiary is not supporting another spouse and/or child.

  • 55% or 65% respectively, if the garnishment order or other evidence submitted indicates the original support ordered is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

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You'll see that here: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202410215

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But again, if you have been making your payments as proscribed, there may be no garnishment at all ... and the most COMMON amount (where there IS a garnishment) is 25%

Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

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If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the faces or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit")

JustAnswer will not credit me for the work unless you do.

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Thank you!

Lane

I have a law degree, (Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986