Social Security hearings in jail or prison

The second part of Gordon Gates’ article on whether you can receive Social Security disability benefits while incarcerated, talks about hearings in prison.

The problem – incarcerated claimants often do not get treatment from physicians who are very interested in filling out forms or helping the prisonor/claimant. Further, judges tend to be somewhat skeptical about the credibility of an imprisoned claimant.

I have done hearings in prisons and I agree with his concerns. It is much harder to prove a case for someone who is incarcerated.

  • You do not get to see your own doctor.
  • You can wait weeks or months to get medical care.
  • You may not get the medical care you need.
  • Medical providers may doubt that you have a particular condition or its severity even if the condition was well documented before the incarceration.
  • Just documenting the impairment can be next to impossible in some cases.

If you are close to your release date, it can be useful to try request a continuance until you are out and can see your own doctor.  Also, if there is a question about the severity of your medical condition, Social Security may want to send you for a consultative examination – which also requires you to be out of jail or prison.

If you cannot continue your case, don’t worry about it. Just because you have your hearing while incarcerated does not mean you wont win.  Just put on the best case you can.

May an Incarcerated Felon Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Photo by Hernan Piñera