[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of Social Security-related columns by Ameriflex representatives. Click here for a related article.]

Q. Can I give my Social Security benefit to a charity? — Andrew

A. Andrew, unfortunately, your generosity is not something the Social Security Administration can accommodate. Your benefit can only be distributed to you.

You can, however, receive your benefit and then write a check to a charity, thereby taking advantage of the tax benefit of a charitable donation.

Q. Does a bankruptcy affect Social Security benefits? — JT

A. Ordinary creditors such as credit card companies and mortgage holders are not entitled to any earnings from Social Security during a bankruptcy or after a discharge. There are other types of credits that are, however, such as the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS can levy up to 15 percent of Social Security benefits in order to pay back taxes. It is crucial that you speak with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss these types of details prior to filing.

Readers: Email your Social Security questions to bibi.taylor@ameriflex.com.

— Justin Anderson, CFP, CRC, CLU, is a financial planner and Bibi Taylor, MBA, is the Social Security project coordinator at AmeriFlex, 3700 State St., Suite 310, in Santa Barbara. Call 805.898.0893 for more information. Financial advisors and registered representatives associated with AmeriFlex Financial Services offer securities and advisory services through SagePoint Financial Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through AmeriFlex Financial Services, which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI.