Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and Incarceration
For the most part, prisoners are prohibited from receiving disability and SSI benefits. Benefits are regularly suspended when an individual is confined to a penal institution for 30 or more consecutive days. Specifically, benefits cannot be paid to individuals confined by the court to institutions at the public’s expense due to criminal activity. The law prohibits individuals to be paid SSI benefits while living in a public institution for a full calendar year or more. In order to avoid complications with receiving money an individual is not due, Social Security should be notified of changes that affect payments ( https://www.ssa.gov/reach.htm ).
Benefits can be reinstated the month an individual is released from imprisonment. Alternatively, individuals jailed 12 or more consecutive months require the filing of a new application and require approval of the new application by Social Security in order to again begin receiving benefits. Additionally, an institutionalized individual’s dependent spouse and/or children continue to receive Social Security benefits assuming they remain eligible for benefits.
An individual at a prison with a prerelease agreement with the Social Security Administration may contact Social Security 90 days before his/her scheduled release date on his/her own or through his/her prison’s representative An individual from a prison without a prerelease agreement may contact Social Security on their own to schedule an appointment to apply for benefits.
If you have any questions, or would like us to handle your case, call the Law Offices of William Biebuyck PLLC, toll free at 844-GOT DENIED ( or (844) 468-3643), or send us information in the evaluation box on the Home page, and we will contact you promptly.