Can I collect disability if I have been convicted of a crime?

Being convicted of a crime does not void your Social Security Disability benefits, but being in jail does. If you are incarcerated or confined to an institution by court order or more than 30 days, your SSDI payments will stop for the months you are in jail or a psychiatric hospital. However, whether you are sentenced to prison or not, you must inform the Social An incarcerated womanSecurity Administration (SSA) if you have been convicted.

Criminal SSDI Benefits Will Stop

The SSA will not pay benefits to people whose food, shelter, and medical needs are being met by a penal institution or court-ordered psychiatric hospital. Your benefits will be reinstated the month following your release. In addition to incarceration, you will lose benefits for the following reasons:

  • You have an outstanding arrest warrant for escaping custody or evading prosecution or confinement.
  • You have violated a condition of your probation or parole.
  • You have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or have been found incompetent to stand trial.

If you participate in an approved vocational rehabilitation program while you are incarcerated, you might be able to continue to collect SSDI benefits. If your family is eligible for SSDI dependent benefits, they can continue to collect benefits while you are imprisoned.

Convicted Felons Are Eligible for SSDI

Being convicted of a crime does not prevent a person who is otherwise eligible for disability benefits from applying and being approved. In fact, in some situations, you can apply for benefits while you are still in prison through a pre-release application procedure so that they will start as soon as you are out. In other situations, you can apply once you are released.

Keller & Keller Helps With Social Security Applications and Appeals

If you are struggling to get the Social Security benefits to which you are entitled, contact our Indianapolis Social Security attorney for assistance. We work with clients to provide the most complete initial application possible and to build a case for appeal if the initial application is denied. You do not have to take on the Social Security Administration alone. Reach out to us to learn more.


James R. Keller
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