I recently received an email question from a blog reader about the eligibility of a convicted felon for Social Security disability benefits. There is a simple answer here – you may not collect disability benefits during the time you are incarcerated. Social Security ruling 83-28 addresses this situation directly.
Assuming that Social Security will accept an application for disability benefits from a claimant who is incarcerated, I do not believe that the adjudication process actually stops during the incarceration. I have actually attended hearings held 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. Bottom line – it is an uphill battle for many reasons.
Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 23 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.
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