Have you been released from jail or prison recently? If so, one of your first priorities is probably getting income in the door so you can get back on your feet. If you were recently released from incarceration, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits if you have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a “disability,” and if you worked or paid into Social Security long enough to qualify for benefits.
If you are 65 or older and you were recently released from incarceration, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or you may qualify for SSI benefits if you are blind, have a disability, or have very little income at the moment.
What Qualifies as ‘Disabled’?
The SSA considers you disabled if you:
- Are not physically able to do the work that you did before the disability;
- The SSA decides you are not able to adjust to easier work because of your medical condition; and
- Your disability has lasted at least one year, or it’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.
If you have a short-term disability, for example, if you have a disability that is supposed to last less than one year, the SSA can’t help because it does not pay for short-term disabilities.
When You Meet the Requirements
The good news is that if you end up meeting the SSA’s requirements for disability benefits, the SSA may also pay your child who is under the age of 18, or a child who became severely disabled before the age of 22, or the SSA may pay your wife if she is under the age of 62 or older, or your wife who is caring for your child who is under 16, or your child who became seriously disabled before their 22nd birthday.
“What if I’m currently receiving disability benefits and I’m incarcerated?” According to the SSA, “ If you receive Social Security, your benefits will be suspended if you’re convicted of a criminal offense and sent to jail or prison for more than 30 continuous days. Your benefits can be reinstated starting with the month following the month of your release.”
If you’re a prisoner who is interested in receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, we invite you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for professional legal assistance.