Can a bank hold my Social Security check?

Asked by: Shayne Zulauf  |  Last update: March 13, 2024
Score: 4.5/5 (51 votes)

If your account has more than two months' worth of benefits, your bank can garnish or freeze the extra money. For example: If you receive $1,000 in Social Security benefits by direct deposit each month, and you have $3,000 in your account, the bank can turn over $1,000 of the $3,000 to a debt collector.

How long can a bank hold on to your Social Security check?

Generally, a bank must make funds deposited into an account by a government check available for withdrawal not later than the business day after the banking day on which the funds are deposited into an account held by the payee of the check and in person to an employee of the bank.

Is it illegal for a bank to withhold your money?

A federal law, the Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFA), or Regulation CC, provides exceptions that allow banks to delay or "hold" funds deposited by check for an extended period of time. When this happens, you must be given a notice stating the reason for the hold and when your funds are available for withdrawal.

Can a bank legally put a hold on a check?

Yes. Regulation CC provides six exceptions that allow banks to extend deposit hold periods. The exceptions are considered safeguards against risk. These are the exceptions: Checks deposited to new accounts (accounts that […]

How long can a bank hold your money?

According to banking regulations, reasonable periods of time include an extension of up to five business days for most checks. Under certain circumstances, the bank may be able to impose a longer hold if it can establish that the longer hold is reasonable.

Bank Accounts & Your Social Security, SSDI, SSI, VA Checks

31 related questions found

How do I get my bank to release hold on my check?

You can ask your bank to provide an explanation for the hold or sometimes even to release the hold. In most cases, you won't be able to do anything about the hold though, and because all banks have them, you can't switch banks to avoid them either.

What to do if a bank is holding your money?

Refer to your deposit account agreement for the bank's funds availability policy. If your bank is a national bank or federal savings association, and you believe it is holding your funds longer than allowed, file a written complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) Customer Assistance Group.

Can I call my bank to release a hold on a check?

In many cases, there is nothing you can do if the bank has a hold on your deposit. You can check with your bank to make sure there isn't an error, but you'll most likely have to wait until the hold clears.

Why would a bank put a hold on a personal check?

The hold allows us (and the bank paying the funds) time to validate the check – which can help you avoid potential fees in the event a deposited check is returned unpaid. Keep in mind, though, that a check may still be returned unpaid after funds have been made available to you.

What is the largest check a bank will cash?

You're usually in the clear if your check is below $5,000. Some places charge larger fees for larger amounts and almost all put a flat cap on how much you're allowed to cash. The type of check matters too. Most banks will accept government checks because they know the funds exist.

Can a bank teller ask why you are withdrawing money?

Yes they are, in fact they may be required to due to money laundering regulations and tax laws. Also why are you withdrawing that much money?

Why are banks allowed to hold your money?

Check holds are designed to protect both you and the bank. They allow the bank time to ensure that the check deposit will go through so that you're not in danger of going into overdraft or having the check returned. That's a plus since overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees can quickly pile up.

What type of bank accounts Cannot be garnished?

Some sources of income are considered protected in account garnishment, including: Social Security, and other government benefits or payments. Funds received for child support or alimony (spousal support) Workers' compensation payments.

Can Social Security take money from my bank account?

If a review determines that your resources have gone above the limit, the government has the right to subject your wages or your accounts to garnishments in order to collect any benefit overpayments back from you.

How do I remove a hold from my bank account?

When figuring out how to remove a hold on a bank account, you can often contact your bank and find out what caused the hold. If it was a pre-authorization hold placed by a merchant on a debit card transaction, you might be able to contact them directly and have them remove it.

Who can release a hold on a check?

There's not much you can do while waiting out a check hold. Your bank will do the work and the funds will be available to you when the check clears. But if you're concerned about when that will happen, you can contact your bank to see how long it could take for the funds to become available.

Can a bank override a hold?

Sometimes, a bank can override the hold for you. Those situations include: in an emergency, when a long hold time has been placed on the check, and when you're a customer with an established good history. A bank may also override a hold if it verifies the check at the time of the deposit.

Can I sue if my bank won't release my money?

You Have A Right To Sue Any Bank That Unlawfully Keeps Your Money, Or Who Fails to Follow Your Instructions For Disbursing It. Banks owe you a duty to only give out funds that you authorize, and to only give out funds in the manner that you instruct them.

How much money can a bank hold for you?

Generally, there's no checking account maximum amount you can have. There is, however, a limit on how much of your checking account balance is covered by the FDIC (typically $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution), though some banks have programs with higher limits.

Which states prohibit bank garnishment?

What States Prohibit Bank Garnishment? Bank garnishment is legal in all 50 states. However, four states prohibit wage garnishment for consumer debts. According to, those states are Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Can creditors garnish Social Security?

Generally, Social Security benefits are exempt from execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or from the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

What states do not allow garnishment?

State Garnishment Laws

While all states allow wage garnishment for child support and unpaid state taxes, four states — North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas — don't allow wage garnishment for creditor debts.

Can the government see how much money is in your bank account?

The Short Answer: Yes. Share: The IRS probably already knows about many of your financial accounts, and the IRS can get information on how much is there. But, in reality, the IRS rarely digs deeper into your bank and financial accounts unless you're being audited or the IRS is collecting back taxes from you.

Can I withdraw $20000 from bank?

Unless your bank has set a withdrawal limit of its own, you are free to take as much out of your bank account as you would like. It is, after all, your money. Here's the catch: If you withdraw $10,000 or more, it will trigger federal reporting requirements.

Can bank tellers see your balance when withdrawing money?

Bank tellers can see your account balance, including money coming in and going out. However, they cannot see what specifically you spent your money on.