Can Felons Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

After getting released from jail, many people often wonder, can felons get Social Security disability benefits? The simple answer is yes, a felony conviction does not automatically disqualify you from Social Security benefits. However, there are few exceptions to this rule. If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) after being released from prison you will not be eligible if:

  • Your disability happened or was made worse while you were committing a felony.
  • Your disability happened or was made worse while you were in jail, prison, or correctional facility for a felony conviction.
  • You made yourself a widow or an orphan by killing your spouse or parent (this applies to Social Security survivors’ benefits).

Being convicted of crimes such as sabotage, treason, and certain acts of terrorism can also affect your eligibility for SSDI benefits.

Can You Lose Your Social Security Benefits if You’re a Convicted Felon?

If you’re already receiving SSDI benefits before you’re convicted, these benefits will be stopped after you’ve been incarcerated for more than 30 days. Once you are released from jail your benefits can be reinstated the month following your release.

If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits prior to incarceration, these benefits will be suspended after you’ve been incarcerated for a full calendar year. If your benefits were suspended for less than 12 months, your SSI benefits can be reinstated after your release without a new without filing a new claim. In order for benefits to be reinstated, you must contact your local Social Security Administration office to begin the process.

Exceptions to these rules can be made if you are participating in an approved rehabilitation program.

After being released from prison, it’s hard to know what you can and can’t do. Can you lose your Social Security Disability Benefits if you are a convicted felon? Thankfully, the Social Security Administration doesn’t discriminate against convicted felons. If you’re in need of SSI or SSDI to help you through a difficult situation after incarceration, don’t be afraid to apply. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law will be by your side, helping you through the application and, if necessary, the appeals process. Contact us today to get started.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law