CS Levy on Unemployment


#1

I have recently had a levy on my bank account from the Division of Child Support in Washington. The money in the account was completely comprised of my unemployment benefits and it is the only money I have. This puts me in an extreme financial hardship as I have no job, and the money I had saved from unemployment to pay my bills until I get a new job is now on hold by Washington State. Do I have any recourse? Can another state levy North Carolina unemployment benefits? It was my (limited) understanding that while unemployment compensation may be garnished, it cannot be 100% drained of all funds. What are my rights (if any) concerning this matter? The support officer in Washington stated that unemployment benefits of any state are not exempt from DCS levy and can be removed from my bank account. I have already asked for a hearing by Washington to determine the eligibility of these funds. My objections were:

  1. The money is solely from Unemployment and therefore may be exempt.
  2. The levy causes extreme financial hardship.
  3. This was a joint account and a portion of the money belongs to my spouse.

I recently received a notice that the hearing will be scheduled. The office in WA only listed 2 of my 3 objections and I immediately phoned them per the instructions on the notice and left a message with the support officer detailing all 3 objections. I have also made photocopies of my lease, electric, and water bills to show the amounts needed to pay and mailed them to the support office in Washington as evidence to my objections. Is there anything else I can do?

Thank you in advance for any advice.


#2

I guess this forum should be titled: “Legal issues: Attorneys MAY respond”!


#3

I don’t know the rules for child support in WA, but I will answer your questions based on NC law:

  1. It isn’t exempt. The most they can take in NC is 25%.
  2. Doesn’t matter.
  3. If they levy a joint account the most money they can take at any one time is 1/2.

You should consult with an attorney in WA, and try to modify the child support amount since you are unemployed.