Managing Your Court Case

Faqs About Receiving Disability With A Felony Conviction

There is no guarantee that you will continue to receive Social Security disability benefits. If you become ineligible, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can deny you benefits. One situation in which your benefits could be impacted is if you become a convicted felon. If you are facing felony criminal charges or have a felony conviction and receive disability, here is what you need to know. 

Does a Felony Conviction Automatically Disqualify You?

In most instances, a felony conviction does not necessarily mean an automatically termination of your disability benefits. However, there are some situations in which the SSA might deny your benefits. 

If your disability is the result of an injury that occurred while you were committing the felony crime, your benefits could be denied. For instance, if you fell while burglarizing a home and injured your back, the SSA might not approve your benefits. You could also be denied benefits if your disability occurred while you were incarcerated for a felony act. 

If you already receive disability benefits and are sentenced to jail or prison for a felony conviction, your benefits will be stopped while you are incarcerated. Even if you are living in a halfway house or hospitalized under the control of the Department of Corrections, you cannot receive benefits. 

What Can You Do?

If your disability was not connected to your crime, you can apply for benefits once the Department of Corrections completes your pre-release documentation. The agency will provide the SSA with a copy of the documents and you can begin the application process. 

In the event you were already receiving benefits and are heading to jail or prison for a felony crime, you can apply for a reinstatement of your benefits if you are released within 12 months after the SSA stops them. However, if you are imprisoned for a longer time, you will need to complete a new application for benefits and go through the approval process again. 

What If Your Application Is Denied?

If the SSA denies your application, you can file an appeals request. You will need to address the concern of the agency before your benefits can be approved. 

For instance, if the SSA is not convinced that your disability is not directly connected to your crime, you will need to show medical evidence from treatment you received prior to that point. If you have medical records or a doctor willing to write a statement on your behalf, it could help your case. 

For more information, contact Cooper & Bayless PA or a similar firm.