Can Wages Be Garnished When Receiving Food Stamps?

Threats of wage garnishment can be very upsetting if you live on a limited income and rely on food stamps to help reduce your grocery bill. Laws in your state may offer you some protection against garnishment, but this protection isn't always automatic. You'll have to take action to protect your wages.

State Garnishment Laws

If you are eligible for food stamps, you may have some protection against wage garnishment. In some states, such as Wisconsin, food stamp recipients are exempt from wage garnishment. Other states may not automatically exempt food stamp recipients from garnishment, but will allow you to request an exemption on the basis of economic hardship.

Requesting an Exemption

When you receive notification of a wage garnishment, the court or agency enforcing the garnishment typically includes information on requesting an exemption. If you can't find this information in the notice, contact the issuing court or agency and ask for details on the exemption process. This usually involves completing a form and providing documentation of your financial status. You may also have to participate in a court hearing.

Getting Help

If you have difficulty understanding the exemption laws in your state, or can't figure out how to file for an exemption, contact your local legal aid office for help.

References

About the Author

Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.