Will I Be Able To Keep My Disability Benefits If I File For Bankruptcy?
If you are struggling to pay your bills and your debt is piling up, you might be considering various options that include filing for bankruptcy. Yet for anyone who receives disability benefits, the prospect of filing for bankruptcy can be stressful because you are likely wondering: will I be able to keep my disability benefits if I file for bankruptcy? In most situations, the answer to that question is yes. Indeed, most debtors can exempt disability benefits in a bankruptcy case, and any current or future disability benefits will not be liquidated in a case. However, there are other issues to consider, and you should always speak with a West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney about the specifics of your case. In the meantime, the following are some questions you can ask yourself to understand more about how disability benefits are treated in a bankruptcy case.
What Type of Bankruptcy Are You Filing For?
First, what type of bankruptcy are you considering—Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or another type of bankruptcy? If you are planning to file for a type of reorganization bankruptcy under Chapter 13 or Chapter 11, you will not need to worry about losing your disability benefits since these types of bankruptcies do not involve the liquidation of assets. You will only need to learn more about whether you will be able to keep your benefits if you are planning to file for a liquidation bankruptcy under Chapter 7.
While exemptions are still relevant to reorganization bankruptcies, exemptions are used to determine the total amount of a debtor’s repayment plan rather than determining which assets a debtor can keep.
Are You Referring to Social Security Disability Benefits?
Assuming you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, are the disability benefits to which you are referring Social Security benefits? If you are asking about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, you should know that these are exempt under Florida law.
Are You Referring to Veterans or Military Disability Benefits?
If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, are you concerned about veterans’ or military disability benefits? The HAVEN Act, which was signed into law in 2019, exempts disability benefits from the VA. The protects these benefits from liquidation in a Chapter 7 case, and it also exempts these benefits from Chapter 13 bankruptcy calculations.
Are Your Disability Benefits from a Private Source?
Depending upon the type of benefits, it is important to know that some types of private benefits are not exempt in the same way as public disability benefits, such as SSDI or SSI benefits, or VA benefits. To determine whether your private disability benefits would be exempt, you should talk with a bankruptcy attorney.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyer
Do you have questions about public benefits or private disability benefits in bankruptcy cases? You should get in touch with one of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Kaplan & Eller to find out more about how your assets will be handled in your bankruptcy case.