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


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

Answered 10 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;


  • $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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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