Can they take my social security disability check too satisfy a judgment against me for summary judgment?

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Can they take my social security disability check too satisfy a judgment against me for summary judgment?

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A New York State law called the Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) protects bank accounts that contain subsistence funds such as government benefits, pensions, and some earned income.  EIPA prevents creditors and debt collectors from freezing these accounts to pay private debts, like credit cards. 

Under EIPA, your bank account cannot be frozen if the balance is less than:  

  • $2,500* - if your account contains directly deposited exempt benefits, including Social Security, SSI, Veterans benefits, disability, pensions, child support, spousal maintenance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, Public Assistance, Railroad Retirement benefits, and Black Lung benefits;
 

or:

  • $1,740 - all other accounts.

*$2,625, for people sued on or after April 1, 2012

Now, it does not mean, though, that they will not try and levy your bank account.  You need to file with your bank what ever they require to show it is exempt.  If you are a senior citizen there are organizations and even legal aid that can help.  Good luck.


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