How Secure Is Your Social Security? 3 Special Considerations You Need To Understand

Law Blog

If you receive any sort of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefit payment, you're subject to a lot of confusing rules about who receives benefits, how they can be garnished, and how to stop taking them if you change your mind after a few months.

Here are 3 weird social security situations you should understand:

If you get locked up, they keep your disability payments.

Passed in 2009, the No Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Act forbids the SSI from paying out disability benefits to anyone locked up for more than 30 days. This can really put a burden on couples and families who rely on the income from disability or retirement payments.

One household member's incarceration will not affect the other members' payments as long as they remain eligible during incarceration. If you believe that you will be incarcerated and your family will suffer hardship, contact your local social services to set up assistance before you begin serving your sentence, if possible.

Once you have completed serving your time, you will be eligible to have payments resume. The SSA will require proof of your meeting all release conditions.

Your financial institution must protect your assets—usually.

As long as you have an account dedicated solely to SSA deposits, no creditor may touch your balance for an unpaid debt unless the creditor is a federal government entity. Even then, your bank must protect at least 2 months worth of SSA payments from garnishment.

To receive this protection of your benefit, don't use your SSA direct-deposit account for anything else, even if it's only selling trinkets on e-bay or depositing checks from your old aunt. Any funds in your account not drawn from an SSA account will void the protection of your benefits. Open a separate account for all other income streams.

You can stop retirement payments within limits.

Suppose you decide to take your retirement benefit at 65 because job prospects are slim. A few months into receiving payments, you get a great job offer that more than covers your bills. What do you do?

You can file SSA Form 521 and have your benefits suspended until you really need them. You'll have to repay what you've been sent in benefits, but you'll end up seeing your SSA retirement benefit grow by opting to receive a later payout.

If you are confused by any of the rules governing your SSA benefit payment, consult with an experienced disability law firm, like Iler and Iler. Their attorneys will be able to help you sort through any problems with your benefits. Private disability insurers must also follow rules regarding benefits, and a disability attorney will assist you with those issues as well.


16 October 2015

injured at work? what do you do now?

Were you injured at work and fighting to get the workers compensation that you have paid into each year? Sometimes, getting those payments can be very difficult. What do you do when an employer fights the claim? Do you need a lawyer to help you through the process? How will you pay for a lawyer if you cannot even pay your electric bill? You are probably as lost as I was when I went through the process. Fortunately, you can learn from my experience with the system and find the answers to many of the questions that you have about filing a workers comp claim and fighting the system when it is denied.