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What Happens to my Social Security Disability if I Get Incarcerated?

  • By:The Law Center for Social Security Rights
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What Happens to my Social Security Disability if I Get Incarcerated?

When a person is facing jail time, one of the questions he/she may be wondering is whether disability benefits will be discontinued.  The basic rule is that the Social Security Administration will not pay benefits to a person who is incarcerated. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

  • If you are in jail for longer than one month, Social Security Disability benefits will stop being paid. If you are in jail for less than a month, there will be no interruption of your Social Security Disability benefits. However, in order for your benefits to be suspended you must be in prison for 30 days after your conviction. If you have not been convicted yet and are serving time in jail, then your benefits will continue until you have been convicted and serving time for 30 days.
  • If you have a minor child who is collecting an auxiliary benefit off your SSDI, their Social Security Disability benefits while a person is in jail will not be stopped as long as the jailed wage-earner continues to medically qualify for benefits.
  • Once one is released from jail, Social Security Disability benefits will be reinstated the month after release from jail as long as one still qualifies for the benefits.
  • To have benefits reinstated after release from prison, one would need to visit a local Social Security office and notify them of the release while showing your release papers.
  • The exception to this rule is if a person is in prison for more than 12 months. In this situation, benefits will not automatically be reinstated after your release. Instead, one would have to re-apply for benefits and go through the application process all over again.
Posted in: Legal Consultation

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