How Does Incarceration Affect my Social Security Disability Benefits?

POSTED BY devind . June 14, 2016

Imprisonment Affect my Social Security Disability Benefits

Unfortunately, there are times when a person applying for, or an individual receiving, Social Security Disability Benefits become incarcerated. This can have an impact on potential, or existing, recipients of benefits. According to Social Security Administration Rules, no monthly benefits will be paid to an individual for any part of a month that the recipient is incarcerated for the conviction of a felony.

If a person who has never received Social Security Disability Benefits is currently incarcerated and wishes to apply for benefits, they need to be released from prison in order to be considered for benefits. If the individual knows their release date, they can apply for benefits shortly before being released; however, their “Onset date” (the date on which they became disabled) cannot be prior to their release date.

If a person currently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits is incarcerated, their benefits will cease. According to Social Security Administration Rules, if an individual receiving benefits is convicted of a felony and incarcerated, any disability payments he/she was receiving will stop at the time of incarceration. No further payments will be issued until the recipient is released.

However, any Auxiliary Benefits from Social Security for the recipient’s dependents would continue as long as the recipient(s) are eligible.

Please note the rules for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, Benefits are different.

For more information pertaining to SSA Benefits and incarceration, as well as getting benefits restored.


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