Proposed bill would stop benefit garnishment for student loans

by May 13, 2015

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Getting a college degree is something that people all across Tennessee strive to do. Unfortunately, in order to pay for an advanced education, people often take out significant student loans with the intention to pay them back as soon as they get a job.

However, getting a job that pays enough to cover living expenses as well as huge debt payments is much more difficult than people think. In many cases, people can fall behind on payments and default on the loan. This can be even more likely if a person suffers a serious injuries or illness.

Being disabled can put a person’s employment prospects and earning capacity in serious jeopardy. Thankfully, in many cases, a person who cannot work due to disabling injury or illness is eligible to pursue benefits from Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income. 

If you collect either of these benefits, you should be aware of a bill that has been proposed to protect them if you also carry student loan debt. Currently, it is possible for recipients of federal benefits to have a portion of those benefits taken away to repay loans.

Not all benefits can be taken, however. For instance, SSI payments cannot be taken to repay debt, and a portion of your SSDI benefits are protected as well. But considering how crucial every dollar is for people who depend on this support, any garnishment can prove to be devastating.

However, a bill recently introduced in the Senate would protect all Social Security benefits from being garnished to repay student loans. If passed, the bill would be a critical method of protection for people who depend on federal benefits but are also still saddled with student loans.

This is certainly a proposal to keep an eye on and we will continue to follow any developments.

Source:, “The Government Can Take Your Social Security to Pay Student Loans, But Maybe Not for Long,” Christine DiGangi, Dec. 14, 2015