Social Security Disability Benefits During Prison

Some of those who apply for Social Security Disability benefits, like any other group of people, have spent time in prison. When applying for disability benefits, this can affect potential backpay and can terminate your benefits if you go to prison while receiving them.

According to Social Security’s rules, disability benefits cannot be paid if a person who otherwise is eligible for benefits is incarcerated for 31 or more days because of a conviction. This includes those who are confined by court order to a mental health facility due to a crime. Incarceration includes confinement to a halfway house.

As a result, if a person served longer than thirty days due to criminal conviction during a time that he or she is arguing they are entitled to benefits there are precluded from being paid from that time if and when they are found disabled.

If you are incarcerated while receiving benefits, the same rules apply in that you are not eligible for payments during that time if you are imprisoned for longer than 30 days, and if that time period spans multiple months, you will not be eligible for benefits for any of those months affected. During that time auxiliary benefits to eligible children or your spouse may continue.

If you are imprisoned for a substantial length of time, a year or longer, you must file a new application for disability benefits, as you will be deemed to be no longer disabled due to a prison time of that length.

Criminal history can affect a Social Security applicant’s backpay and criminal activity can affect a Social Security recipient’s current and ongoing benefits. Those with a criminal history who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits are encouraged to speak with an attorney regarding any effect that history may have on their case.

Contact one of our attorneys at Hoglund, Chwialkowski, Mrozik, PLLC. at 855.513.4357 to find out more.


By Adam Kachelski

Written by Jennifer Mrozik

Jennifer is a partner in the firm and practices exclusively in the area of Social Security disability law. She continues to lead efforts to find solutions for clients in the sometimes difficult Social Security claims process.

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