Starting Social Security disability benefits after incarceration

After you are released from jail or prison, will Social Security let you restart your benefits or will you have to start a new application?

The answer depends on the kind of benefits you received (Social Security Disability Insurance – SSDI, or Supplemental Security Income – SSI) and how long you were incarcerated in jail or prison.

Restarting SSI after incarceration:

It is possible to restart SSI benefits if you were incarcerated for less than 12 months.

AFTER you are incarcerated for a year or longer though, you have to start a new claim for benefits:

For SSI beneficiaries, benefits are terminated when the individual is incarcerated for a year or more.

Restarting SSDI after incarceration:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are suspended during incarceration.

For Social Security beneficiaries, benefits remain suspended until the inmate is released.

As far as I can tell, there is no time limit on restarting a SSDI claim after incarceration.

For more information directly from Social Security, click here. If I missed something, let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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  • Dianewheeler16

    Son was incarcerated for a felony but was released after only 10 days. Most charges were dropped. Social Security wants to dock him two months pay. He was in jail on Aug 31 to Sept 13. He suffers from mental illness and Social Security and SSI are his only income. Is thisthe law? Is there any type of appeal? He lives on his own with a guardian and payee’s help.

    • http://StasiukFirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

      My understanding is that an individual loses entitlement to benefits for any part of month spend incarcerated post-conviction *IF* the incarceration is more than 30 days. See: http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1227/related/1

      Note: I cannot provide legal advice through comments or address your son’s specific circumstances.

  • mark bagwell

    Now they want you to come in and bring paperwork when you were incarcerated from and to dates even though they must already know this information,as of when you were incarcerated or they wouldnt have stopped the benefits to begin with. in other words from what date until what date.They sent me home from the office to get my convivtion date paperwork. I wa sreleased january 30th and today is feb27th and still no letter or check from them. im on ssdi

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.r.bounds1 Kelly Ray Bounds

    I am Kelly Ray Bounds and I had my benefits stopped from a 2 year prison sentence. I am disabled with steel spacers in my low back and emphysema. It has been 2 and a half years and I still haven’t heard from the disability appeal. I was on disability since 2001 and was thrown in prison on misdemeanor charges in 2007. Released 2009. I still am surviving without benefits
    My email is Abowler79@verizon.net.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.r.bounds1 Kelly Ray Bounds

    I am looking for help to get my benefits returned. I have been unable to get my benefits returned for the last 2 and 1/2 years. They were taken when Judge Connelly and his family of judges in Erie threw me in jail. I have not been able to get them returned. My attorney a Paul Mayor of Friday and Cox have been useless as help in restoring my benefits. I need help in this matter.

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