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Can I Get SSD Benefits if I'm Incarcerated?

If you are facing criminal charges and the possibility of jail or prison, you may be wondering what would happen to your Social Security Disability benefits. Would your payments stop? If so, can they be reinstated once you are released? Or, will the payments continue while you serve your sentence?

It’s important that you are aware that SSI and SSD payments are not payable during the time that you are confined in jail, prison, or another institution for committing a crime. Once you are released, you are not automatically eligible for SSI or Social Security payments.

Do you qualify for benefits?

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have a disabling medical condition that is expected to last at least one year, or result in death. The fact that a person is an unemployed parolee does not qualify as a disability.

SSI benefits are paid to people who are 65 and older, or who are disabled or blind, and whose income and resources are low enough that they meet Social Security’s limits.

What happens to the benefits I was receiving?

If you were receiving Social Security before you were incarcerated, your benefits will be suspended as long as you are admitted for 30 or more continuous days in a jail or prison. However, you can get your benefits reinstated beginning the month following the month of your release.

Though you are not able to receive Social Security benefits while you are confined, if your spouse and children are eligible, their benefits will not stop.

If you have been receiving SSI, your benefits will be stopped while you’re in jail or prison, but they can be reinstated in the same month of your release. However, if you are imprisoned for at least 12 consecutive months, your SSI benefits will be terminated and you will have to submit a new application.

Filing an Application from Prison

Once you learn your release date, we recommend getting a family member to help by contacting our firm, this way we can notify Social Security about your upcoming release. If you are filing for Social Security Disability benefits, we can help by gathering the required medical evidence from your doctors.

Our goal is to help you get your benefits started shortly after your release. If you need further legal advice, please contact our firm to arrange a consultation with a Dallas SSD attorney.