Can I receive Social Security disability benefits if I have been convicted of a crime?
You are not eligible to receive any Social Security disability benefits during the months where you have an outstanding warrant for a felony or a crime that is punishable by imprisonment or by death. However, you can still receive disability benefits if you have been arrested. It is important that you hire an attorney that is well versed in SSDI cases, to make sure that you still receive benefits when you are qualified to receive them.
Benefits are not generally paid for any time that you spend incarcerated after a conviction of a crime. Your family members, if they are otherwise eligible, can still qualify for disability benefits. This rule applies even if you were found not guilty due to mental disease or defect, and also if you were determined to be incompetent to stand trial.
If you violate any condition of your parole or probation, you likewise cannot receive your Social Security disability benefit payments for that particular month. An attorney can advise you of how to properly defend yourself if you wish to appeal a disability claim or any cessation of benefits.
As far as incarceration, you are not paid your benefits since you won't need any continuing income source as a prisoner. All of your needs are being taken care of by the prison. Even if you are not incarcerated for a full month, you will not receive any benefits for that month. In addition, if you are convicted of a crime that is punishable by death, you will not receive Social Security disability benefits.
Confinement for the purposes of Social Security disability benefits is defined as prison, jail or any correctional facility or penal institution that is under the jurisdiction and control of the justice system, or where incarceration for convicted criminals is accomplished. Even if you are occasionally out of that facility for school, a work release, or hospitalization, you are still considered confined, and you cannot receive benefits.
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