Will Bankruptcy Affect My Social Security Check in New York?

Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful process. As a result, you may have a lot of questions. One of the most popular questions asked is: “will bankruptcy affect my Social Security checks?” Read on to learn the answer.

What Happens When I File for Bankruptcy?

Essentially, the goal of bankruptcy is to give those who are behind on payments the fresh start they need in order to move on with their lives. When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as long as you pass the means test, you should wipe out all or most of your debt, in exchange for some of your property. On the other hand, when you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you essentially work out a 3-or-5-year repayment plan, wherein you will restructure your assets and pay off your debt.

What is the Means Test?

The means test will determine whether you are eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The goal of the test is to:

  • calculate your total income during the six-month period before your filing.
  • determine whether you currently have funds left over each month to pay your debts.

Will Filing For Bankruptcy Affect my Social Security Check?

Fortunately, while many assets are not exempt from bankruptcy, Social Security is 100% exempt. This means that you can still rely on your regular Social Security checks being completely untouched. This is a federal law, so no matter where you live in the United States, this is true. That being said, you should be very careful with how you handle your Social Security. If your Social Security is commingled with other assets, it may no longer be exempt from bankruptcy. One way to avoid this is by simply having a separate Social Security account that is used soley for Social Security funds. This will help avoid any potential commingling and will ensure that your Social Security checks are safe. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you make sure your Social Security remains untouched.

If you have any questions or concerns about filing for bankruptcy in New York, contact our experienced firm today.


Michael D. Pinsky, P.C. represents clients in bankruptcy actions and related matters. Please call 845-394-2616 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation.

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