Clarification of U S Code: TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 407 as relates to Soc Sec levy, garnishment.

On my first post I asked this question:

Are Social Security benefits [checks] exempt from levy, garnishment, and assignment if federal school loans are delinquent or child support payments are owed? If they are exempt what law states that they are [citation]?

I received (2) answers:

1. It's Federal Law, not State, so they are not exempt in ANY State.

2. They are not exempt from federal debts or child support payments, no, those are some of the few things they can be garnished for.

Then I found this in the United States Code:

TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 407

§ 407. Assignment of benefits

(a) In general
The right of any person to any future payment under this subchapter shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the moneys paid or payable or rights existing under this subchapter shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

(b) Amendment of section
No other provision of law, enacted before, on, or after April 20, 1983, may be construed to limit, supersede, or otherwise modify the provisions of this section except to the extent that it does so by express reference to this section.

(c) Withholding of taxes
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit withholding taxes from any benefit under this subchapter, if such withholding is done pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 3402(p)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by the person entitled to such benefit or such person’s representative payee.


It sounds as though social security checks are exempt – can anyone explain how they are not. I would very grateful to gets this clarified.

Thanks in advance for your help and thanks to the two folks that replied to my initial post.