Definition of Aggregate Disposable Weekly Earnings

Nobody gets to garnish 100 percent of your paycheck. Federal law sets limits on the percentage of your pay you can lose to creditors or child support. The percentage applies to your aggregate disposable weekly earnings. This is the amount you have left in your weekly paycheck after taking out mandatory expenses such as income tax.

What Comes Out

If your employer has to garnish your wages, she first subtracts state and federal income tax, plus Social Security and Medicare payments from your pay. Disability-insurance payments and mandatory retirement payments -- a public-employee retirement system, for example -- get subtracted, too. What's left is your disposable income. Health insurance premiums, union dues and personal expenses, however necessary, are not a factor in the calculations for aggregate disposable weekly earnings.

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