The federal benefits that are exempt from garnishment include:
Social Security Benefits
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
" Military Annuities and Survivors' Benefits
" Student Assistance
" Railroad Retirement Benefits
" Merchant Seamen Wages
" Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Death and Disability Benefits
" Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Benefits
" Compensation for Injury, Death, or Detention of Employees of U.S. Contractors Outside the U.S.
" Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance.
Other exempt funds include:
" unemployment income,
" some social security disability income payments,
" some workman's compensation payments, and
" some joint account funds if the account is held by spouses as tenants by the entirety and the judgment is against only one spouse.
Even if the bank account is in just your name, there are some types of funds that are considered "exempt" from debt collection under state or federal law. The rationale behind these laws is to allow people to preserve the basic necessities for living. Exempt funds remain exempt when deposited in checking, savings or CD accounts so long as they are readily available for the day to day needs of the recipient and have not been converted into a "permanent investment."