Social Security / SSDI

How Can I Stop a Social Security Garnishment After it Stared?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I receive ss disability due to having brain tumors. They are benign. But I have had to full brain surgeries & one round of radiation & I still have the tumors.

I read your article about stopping the garnishment on social security checks & how it should be done when you get the notice from ss that it will happen.

I never received any type of notification from Social Security.

I only realized when my check was short. I had to call them and ask them why. My monthly check was $991 they now take 15% of my check. I wondered if you had any advice on what I should do.

Thank you, Jessica.

Answer:

Dear Jessica,

I’m so sorry you are having to deal with all of this and the health issue.

In a perfect world, you would have received a notice prior to the garnishment and you could have followed the steps in that article of mine you mentioned.

Do you have any idea what the garnishment is for? Post your answer in the comments section below and I’ll see it.

Social Security is a little coy on how to stop a Social Security wage garnishment after it starts.

However, it is possible to deal with this after the garnishment has started. But keep in mind, it won’t stop immediately. It’s a process.

What we do know is this is a nontax debt owed to a federal agency. If this is regarding a student loan then there are different approaches like rehabilitation.

But according to the Department of the Treasury, that filters the original requests for Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) from Social Security, you can still request an appeal or reconsideration after the AWG begins.

The first step will be to complete a Hearing Request – Administrative Wage Garnishment form.

You will also need to submit a signed financial statement. For some odd reason, the Department of the Treasury has moved all their forms around and made them difficult to easily find. I finally found them here.

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Here is a copy of the financial disclosure form you will need to complete.

The Hearing Request – Administrative Wage Garnishment form seems to imply you can submit your request for waiver or reconsideration by email or postal mail.

I think with all the documents they are asking for that you should send the paper copy of the completed forms and supporting package by physical mail and make sure you get some proof of delivery. If they claim they never received your request, you’ll have some proof they did and maybe that will push your case forward.

But be sure to keep copies of everything you send in case they claim it gets “lost.”

The more complete the information is that you send in, the easier it will make it for them to reconsider your request.

Do not send original documents with your request. Make copies. Once you get all your documentation together, take it all to a local office supply store and they will be able to help you make photocopies to send.

I would suggest you make two complete photocopies of the completed two forms and all the documentation. Send one copy by traceable means with proof of delivery to:

Debt Management Services
Attn: AWG Analyst
Post Office Box 830794
Birmingham Al 35283-0794

Then put all your original documents away and put your copy of everything you sent in a safe place. Staple the proof of delivery to this second copy you keep.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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