October 21, 2014

May an Incarcerated Felon Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

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.