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Older Americans Pushed Into Poverty as Feds Garnish Social Security for Student Debt


Older Americans Pushed Into Poverty as Feds Garnish Social Security for Student Debt

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

The federal government is garnishing Social Security checks to recoup unpaid student debt, leaving thousands of retired or disabled Americans below the poverty line and setting the stage for an even bigger problem, according to a new report.


Once again, our government sides with the wealthy over its citizens.


Americans are increasingly wage, insurance and debt/interest slaves to the 1% and speculators looking to gain profits from taxpayers!

The for-profit charter school scam, pushed by hedge-funds and trumps new education sec, is designed to destroy public education.


It is only fair that Social Security wages be docked so that payments as necessary can flow back to Trump University.
We are not running a charity here!
Those students gained valuable business experience by attending Trump University - such as how to cheat people out of their money.


Sad to say, dropping out of college was one of the best decisions in my life -- only because I had little choice.


If Paul Ryan "reforms" Social Security to his liking, average Social Security checks are to drop $168/ month.


Actually facts matter Trump university was not eligible for student loans....but Bill Clinton's salary as honorary chairman of an online university may have been.


The "offset"policy also leaves many disabled people unable to find representation. Most who represent the disabled who have been wrongfully denied their disability application do so on a contingency basis. You win, you pay, you lose, you pay nothing. The risk lies with the representative. The fee comes as a percentage of whatever retroactive benefits the disabled claimant will get, usually 25% with the fee capped at $6500. Most disability claims go on for years before finally reaching an administrative law judge, and, if denied there, on to a federal court. If the claim reaches federal court, the government can seize the attorney's fee to "offset" student debt. Because the statute authorizing attorney fees in disability claims says that it is the "prevailing party" who is entitled to attorney fees, the Supreme Court decided that it is not the attorney who is entitled to be paid for his/her work, but the claimant (who has paid the attorney nothing) who is entitled to the attorney's fee. The government then seizes the entire fee to "offset" the claimant's debt.

I do not know of many people, federal judges and government employees included, who are willing to work for nothing. Some representatives will chalk this up as a cost of doing business, but many are not willing to put in as much as thirty hours of research and writing for nothing (the fee for which is well below market rates to begin with). Disabled people without representation are at a tremendous disadvantage given the complexity of the law and the overwhelmingly disproportionate rate of denials just to save SSA money. Telling representatives that their fees will be seized to pay off their clients' debt is a sure way to insure that the disabled will go into the lion's den without an ally who knows the law. While a republican might see this as a benefit to society, people with functioning brains and even the tiniest smidgeon of compassion should rebel at the prospect of seizing a disabled person's paltry benefits to pay off debt.


Yeah, nothing new. Many conservatives, for years, have been using the pejorative " entitlements " when mentioning SS. What they mean is they are entitled to access these funds for their own greedy purposes and entitled to garnish SS funds for students debt.

Once they start down this road what's next? Garnish SS funds for other debts, like for collection agencies!


But just know, "growth" is the only economic indicator, no matter how much, and to how many millions, economic driven inequality and misery grows.


Worse, they may even attempt to eliminate SS in the future.


So, the elderly who built this nation, fought the previous wars for us and all that aren't too big to fail and therefore cannot be bailed out? How cruel.


Absolutely criminal and inhumane!!!

What does this action say about our nation? "Older Americans" who fought in VietNam and hundreds of thousands of other veterans and their families will be particularly hard hit. Meanwhile, the professed "patriots" in Congress (and emperor-elect) spout vapid rhetoric about helping our veterans and at the same time, allow this garnishment of Social Security benefits for student debt to proceed with their blessings, no less.

Will the destruction, oppression, and malevolence embodied in the actions of leaders throughout our nation (governors, state legislators, members of US Congress, etc.backed by the greedy, megalomaniacal crowd like the Koch's, Adelsons, Mercers, etc.) NEVER END?


It is not the government it's those running the government placed there by all that free $$peech.


How else to pay for those lovely WARS.


Oh well, I've eaten top romain before.


This time of year romain is expensive unless you live somewhere that you can grow your own.


"And more than 70 percent of the money collected through offsets went toward interest and fees, as opposed to the loan balance.": In other words, you are not going to get out of debt. Period. Time is overdue for socialism where education and healthcare, to mention only two, need to be publicly funded and for total non cooperation. NOW.


Happy to say that staying in college was the best decision of my life. The difference was that back then I could pay for a whole year of college with saved pay from the previous summer work. Worked every summer and never had to borrow any money for school.


That's partly because we haven't had any real growth since the 70's. All of our growth has, been purely numerical, and has come from borrowing and debasing our currency. Maybe if we had real growth then the inequality, while still around, wouldn't have grown to such an extent.