Social Security Benefits for Felons

Social Security Benefits for Felons

If you are applying to receive or are already receiving disability benefits and are convicted of a felony, one of your primary concerns is likely the impact of your conviction on your eligibility to receive SSDI benefits. While generally, a conviction itself will not affect your eligibility to receive benefits, if you are facing incarceration, this may suspend your benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss eligibility for social security benefits for felons.

Social Security Benefit Eligibility for Felons

As noted above, a felony conviction by itself does not impact your eligibility to receive SSDI benefits. However, a convicted felon will not be eligible to receive SSDI benefits if:

  1. Their disability arose (or became worse) while committing the felony.
  2. Their disability arose (or became worse) while incarcerated as a result of the felony conviction.
  3. Ineligible for survivors’ benefits, if they caused themselves to become a widow or orphan by killing their spouse or parent.
  4. They are convicted of a federal offense involving sabotage, treason, or similar crimes. If this is the case, a court may order that any wages paid to them during the quarter when the conviction happened or any net earnings they receive from self-employment during the taxable year when the conviction happened be excluded from determining any disability benefits they receive.

Even if one of the above exceptions applies, it is still worthwhile for a convicted felon to try to apply for SSDI benefits, because they may still be eligible for a period of benefits that freezes their earning record and ensures their retirement benefits do not decrease.

Effects of Incarceration on Social Security Benefits Eligibility

You are not eligible to receive SSDI benefits during periods of incarceration due to either a felony or misdemeanor conviction. The policy rationale behind this is that benefits are meant to help you meet your food, medical, and shelter needs. While you’re in jail, these needs are considered met. Specifically, the Social Security Administration will suspend your SSDI benefits once you have been incarcerated for 30 days, and that suspension will be lifted once you are released. Even if you are currently imprisoned, you may still apply for benefits if the jail or prison in which you are incarcerated has a pre-release agreement with the SSA.

Felons Who Fled From Incarceration

Convicted felons who flee or escape are not eligible to receive benefits if they flee to avoid prosecution or confinement or escape from custody. Specifically, if there is an outstanding felony warrant out against you, you will not be able to receive benefits.

Reach Out to an Experienced SSDI/SSI Benefits Attorney Today

The prospect of losing your SSD or SSI benefits if you are convicted with a felony is a scary one. If you are convicted of a felony and facing possible incarceration, you should contact the experienced Social Security attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC to advise you as to how your conviction may impact your benefits. Our attorneys can help ensure your benefits are not terminated or, if they have been terminated, help you apply for reinstatement.

Contact us today for assistance.