Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for two years. I have recently been convicted of armed burglary and will spend at least 18 months in prison. I am wondering what will happen to my SSDI benefit. Will I continue to receive SSDI while I am in jail, and if not, how do I reinstate my benefits upon my release?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provide wage assistance to workers who are unable to work.
Individuals who are receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, however, will have their benefits suspended if they have been convicted of a criminal offense and are confined to a jail, penal institution, or prison for more than 30 continuous days.
Other individuals may also have their benefits suspended if they are confined to an institution if the courts find them guilty but insane, incompetent to stand trial, or not guilty by reason of insanity.
Can my spouse and children receive their dependent SSDI payment while I am in prison?
If you have been sent to prison for more than 30 continuous days, you will not receive your SSDI benefit. The good news, however, is that your spouse or other dependents who are receiving SSDI auxiliary benefits may continue to receive their payment as long as they remain eligible.
Note: Auxiliary benefits are not paid for SSI.How do I reinstate my SSDI benefits upon my release?
Some prisons have pre-release agreements with the Social Security Administration. If this is the case for your prison you should be able to talk to your prisons representative and have them contact the SSA within ninety-days of your scheduled release date.
You can also call the SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213 and schedule an appointment to discuss your case with the SSA. Tell the SSA about your situation and provide information about your release date. Its generally best to schedule an in person appointment where you can meet with an SSA representative. You will also need to bring official prison release documents to your appointment.
The SSA will review your eligibility to receive benefits upon your release. If you are eligible for benefits you may be able to receive benefits the month after the month of your release.
What if I violate my parole or my probation?
The Social Security Protect Act was updated in 2005. Now fugitive felons are barred from receiving both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for any month in which there is an unsatisfied warrant for their arrest for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, that is a felony or, in jurisdictions that do not define crimes as felonies, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year regardless of the actual sentence imposed under the laws of the place from which the warrant is issued.
Benefits may also be suspended if an individual is violating a condition of his or her probation or parole when the originating crime is either a felony or a misdemeanor.