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SSA.Help4u.168, Accountant
Category: Social Security
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Experience:  Tax Accountant
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I have recently got a letter from social security Great

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I have recently got a letter from social security Great Lakes Program Service Center saying they are Garnishing my social security for $500 per month and I only make $1725 per month for court ordered Alimony which I believe from my attorney is ILEGAL in Illinois according to my Attorney Mario Pignato
JA: The Retirement Accountant will know how to help. Is there anything else the Retirement Accountant should be aware of?
Customer: they have with drawn $1500 from me and my wife passed away in April and I am having a tough time

Hello. Thank you for choosing this Q&A service for assistance. My name is Angela. I will be assisting you.

Alimony, they can't garnish for, however, if delinquent child support is a part of the alimony, then social security can garnish your social security for the delinquent child support. SEE BELOW:


Delinquent taxes

The Department of the Treasury can withhold Social Security benefits to collect overdue federal tax debts. It can use:

  • A Notice of Levy to collect overdue federal taxes under section 6334(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
  • The Federal Payment Levy Program to collect overdue federal taxes. This allows the Department of Treasury to withhold up to 15 percent of your monthly Social Security benefits until you repay the debt.

You cannot appeal the reduction of a Social Security benefit payment under tax levy to Social Security. Contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-***-***-**** to discuss any appeal rights.

Delinquent non-tax debts

The Department of the Treasury can withhold Social Security benefits to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed to other federal agencies under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134). The Department of the Treasury controls this activity and will contact you if you owe a non-tax debt.

We have no control over this reduction of Social Security benefits, and there is no appeal available under the Social Security Act. If you have questions in this situation, contact Treasury staff at 1-***-***-****.


If the above information clarifies matters for you, while it may not be in your favor, I ask that you be so kind as to scroll to the top of the page and select 3 or more stars to positively rate my response so that I can receive credit for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

Reading a bit further, actually, your social security can be garnished for alimony as well. SEE BELOW:

We can withhold Social Security benefits to enforce your legal obligation to pay child support, alimony or restitution. State laws determine a valid garnishment order. By law, we garnish current and continuing monthly benefits. We do not make retroactive adjustments.


You can refer to the following link to see how the withholding is calculated.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
how do I get thru to the treasury offset info

Contact Treasury staff at 1-***-***-****.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
my Lawyer sent a letter to the ss board that put the judgement thru with a copy of the statuate and got no response what do we do to get it rectified

I am unable to tell you how to get the situation rectified. Your lawyer should be able to assist you with that.

SSA.Help4u.168 and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the positive rating. I appreciate it. I located the IL Code of Civil Procedure relating to garnishments and in it, it does state that social security is exempt from garnishment. SEE BELOW:


Under Illinois or federal law, the exemptions of personal property owned by the debtor include the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $4,000 in value, in any personal property as chosen by the debtor; Social Security and SSI benefits; public assistance benefits; unemployment compensation benefits; workers' compensation benefits; veterans' benefits; circuit breaker property tax relief benefits; the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $2,400 in value, in any one motor vehicle, and the debtor's equity interest, not to exceed $1,500 in value, in any implements, professional books or tools of the trade of the debtor.


As your social security is supposed to be exempt from garnishment, your lawyer definitely needs to stay on top of this matter.