Conviction of a Crime and SSA Disability Benefits

A history of conviction for a felony, most likely, will not affect your ability to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. There are exceptions, however. You are not eligible for SSDI benefits if your disability arose or was worsened while committing a felony, or if your condition occurred or was made worse while incarcerated for conviction of a felony.

If you are receiving an SSI benefit and you are incarcerated, then your benefits will be suspended for the duration of your stay. If your incarceration lasts for less than 12 months, then you should notify the Social Security Administration once you are released. Your benefits will be reinstated in the month in which you are released. If your incarceration lasts longer than 12 months, then your benefits will not be reinstated upon your release. You will need to reapply for benefits.

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, then you will not receive a benefit for the time you are incarcerated. However, if you have a spouse and/or children who qualify for an auxiliary benefit, then they will continue to receive their payment as long as they remain eligible. Once your incarceration ends, benefits can be reinstated the month following the month you were released.

If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest due to flight to avoid prosecution or confinement, escape from custody, or flight-escape, then you are not eligible to receive disability benefits. You also are ineligible for benefits during any month in which you violate a condition of your probation or parole, as imposed under federal or state law.