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If Social Security and Medicaid are paying the bills, I don't think the IRS or a collection agency could garnish them.

Actually, your thinking is incorrect. The IRS does have the ability to garnish both retirement and disability SS payments for debts owed to the federal government, like federal taxes or federally guaranteed student loans. SS payments can also be garnished for alimony and child support, and some civil penalties.

That said, as Ira pointed out, if the debt was incurred long enough ago, it should be considered uncollectible now.

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