One of the few certainties in life is that everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect, and sometimes our imperfections land us in places we would rather not be. If a mistake lands you in jail, however, you may be worried about how it will affect your Social Security disability benefits.
First, it is important to know that if you have family members who are also benefiting from your disability benefits, they will continue to receive payments while you are incarcerated. However, Social Security disability benefits will not be paid to you while you are incarcerated. If you are already receiving them when you are sent to prison for more than 30 days, they will be suspended until your release. Once you have completed your sentence, your benefits will resume.
If you were not receiving benefits before you were incarcerated but you think you may be eligible, you can begin your application in prison. The best way to do this is to talk to someone at your facility or call the SSA to talk to a representative about applying for benefits. If you are approved, the Social Security Administration will begin sending you checks once they receive your official release documents.
Serious, disabling conditions affect people from all walks of life. Even if things haven't gone your way so far, know that there are ways to seek financial assistance for a disabling condition no matter what your situation. To ensure that your benefits start as soon as you get out of prison, it is important to fill out an application as soon as you think you may qualify.
Source: ssa.gov, "What Prisoners Need To Know," Jan. 15, 2014