Levy on Social Security Benefits

Sheryll Ziporkin, Associate Commissioner

Social Security Administration

6401 Security Blvd

Baltimore, MD      21235-6401

January 28, 2010

Dear Ms. Ziporkin,

Received your letter of January 21st.  To quote a trite phrase; “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  Your department, Social Security Administration, operate under the laws and regulations of Title 42 not Title 26.  It is true that you have no control over the issue that I have with the IRS.  You do however, have control over those funds that are dispersed by the Social Security Administration as benefits.  According to your governing law found at Title 42 USC, Chapter 7, Supchapter II, Section 407, is quite clear;

42 USC 407 Assignment of Benefits

(a) “The right of a 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 or any other legal process, or to 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.”  (emphasis added)

I am not sure what the phrase used in section 407 means to your office, but it is quite clear to me.  “… (n)o 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.”  A review of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which you say authorizes this action by the IRS, FPLP  and FMS, makes NO EXPRESS reference to Section 407 of Title 42.  In order for the IRS, FPLP or the FMS to have authority to continue the levy the “law” giving such authority must “by express reference” to section 407 of Title 42 so declare.

Under Title 26 USC 6332(a), The Financial Management Service can ONLY honor a requested levy on those funds SUBJECT TO LEVY.  As Title 42 Section 407 points out, social security benefits are NOT SUBJECT TO LEVY!  All anybody has to do to shut me up is to provide the specific law, not regulation, that amends Section 407 of Title 42.

Respectfully,

encl: Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997

Title 42, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, Section 407

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