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Can A Person With A Felony Get Disability?

Published by GLmanage


Navigating the complexities of disability benefits can be challenging, especially for those with a felony record. Yes, a person with a felony can get Social Security disability benefits, however, there are nuances to understand. As professionals in disability law, we’d like to provide some clarity and support for individuals in this situation, shedding light on how one can secure benefits even with a felony conviction.

How Can A Felon Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

For a convicted felon or someone who has been confined in a jail, prison, or other penal institution, the pathway to securing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is nuanced but attainable. These are the main factors that should be considered:

  • Eligibility and Criteria: Whether you can get SSDI or SSI depends on your disability and whether it’s related to your felony. You can be eligible for these benefits if your disability happened before or after your felony and wasn’t caused by committing a crime. You’ll need to show that your disability makes it hard for you to work, as the Social Security Administration requires.
  • Application Process: Applying for SSDI or SSI means you have to give a lot of information about your health and work history. This is to make sure your application shows your current health and ability to work. If you’re applying, make sure all your medical records are complete and up-to-date.
  • Expert Guidance: Sometimes, getting help from legal experts who know about disability and criminal law can be helpful. This is especially true if you have an unresolved legal issue or are in a rehab program, as these can affect your application.

Can You Lose Disability Benefits If Convicted Of A Felony?

The stability of receiving disability benefits can be significantly impacted by a felony conviction. Beneficiaries must understand how their legal status might affect their ongoing support.

  • Benefits Suspension for Incarceration: If you’re in prison for more than 30 days in a row after being convicted, your SSDI or SSI benefits can be suspended.
  • Dependents’ Benefits: Even if your benefits are stopped, your family members might still get their benefits if they qualify.
  • Getting Benefits Back After Release: When you’re released, getting your benefits back is a big step. You need to contact Social Security and provide documents showing you’ve been released. However, there are certain rules about when your benefits can start again.

How Can Benefits Be Reinstated After Jail Time Is Served?

When individuals are released from prison, many face the challenge of re-establishing their financial stability. Reinstating disability benefits is often a crucial part of this process.

  • Reinstatement Process: Once you’re out, you need to reach out to Social Security and show them proof, like release documents, that you’re out of jail to start getting benefits again.
  • Reapplying After Long Jail Time: If you were in jail for more than a year, you’ll need to apply for SSI again. This involves checking your current health and disability.
  • Getting Ready: Being prepared helps make the process quicker. Make sure you have all your important documents, like medical records and release papers, ready.

Other Components To Consider

  • Medicare and Medicaid: Planning for life after jail includes knowing how being in jail affects your Medicare and Medicaid. It’s important to keep paying for Medicare Part B to avoid losing coverage.
  • Applying Before Release: Starting your benefits application before you get out of jail can make things go faster once you’re released. Some jails have special agreements with Social Security offices to help with this.
  • Community Resources: Using local support services and legal help is key to successfully navigating disability benefits. In places like Houston, there are many resources and legal experts to help with this.

Discover Disability Support In Houston, Texas

If you’re thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits but nervous to do so due to a criminal record, you’re not alone. The Law Office of Gerard Lynch stands as a beacon of hope and support for those navigating the complexities of disability law.

Through a unique blend of empathy, expertise, and personalized attention, our team is here to ensure that your disability benefits are secured in a smooth and well-informed fashion.

If you or a loved one is facing challenges in obtaining disability benefits due to a felony conviction, take the first step towards a brighter future. Contact the Law Office of Gerard Lynch for a free case consultation. Secure the benefits you rightfully deserve.

Client Testimonials


This case was my first time hiring a lawyer but I am glad that the attorney I chose worked diligently with me to help me get the results I was looking for. I am confident in letting the law offices of Gerard Lynch handle my business when needed, and I will be contacting this office when or is there is another matter that I need handled. I, Alexander Foster, am very satisfied with the outcome of my case. The Law Office of Gerard Lynch and I worked together and we achieved the goal that we were striving for. I am so thankful.

Alexander Foster,

The best and foremost compliment I can give this firm is the fact that I didn't have to come in to the office and overall my case was handled very expeditiously. Thanks for a job well done on my behalf.

Kathy Brown,

We need more lawyers like Mr. Lynch with an understanding heart and mind. May God bless you and your staff. I enjoyed working with Mr. Lynch and thank you so very much.

M. Robertson,

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be disabled permanently to receive Social Security Disability (SSD)?

No you do not. A claimant needs to be disabled for at least 12 months or have a medical condition that is terminal or expected to lead to death. Sometimes a claimant is not disabled permanently but has a certain time frame in which they are disabled from working. For example, a claimant may get into a car accident, need to have multiple surgeries and is out of work for at least one year. That claimant can receive benefits for the period before he or she returned back to work.

It is possible but rare. In a SSD case, medical records are your evidence and that is the proof you have to show the SSA and an social security judge that you do have a severe medical condition that keeps you from working. If you do not have recent medical records, it is much harder to win a case. There is a possibility, though not common, that your case might be approved simply by going to a consultative exam that SSA sends you to, where a doctor gives you a physical or mental examination.

One benefit of working with our office is that we will look carefully at your case and if you do not have enough or current medical records, we can often give you information about low-income or indigent health services where you can go and get medical treatment for free or greatly reduced cost.

Our law firm, the Law Office of Gerard Lynch, only charges our clients if we win their SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. We charge on a contingency basis, 25% of the backpay, a cap of up to $6000, awarded to a claimant when we win the case. The fees are regulated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If we do not win their case, we do not charge anything no matter how much work we have done. Once a client wins and their monthly checks begin, they will keep 100% of their checks.

Social Security Disability (SSD) comes from FICA taxes that are deducted from paychecks during the work history of a person. Every month that a person works and reports income to the government, taxes are deducted which are paid into social security. When FICA taxes are taken out of paychecks, most of it goes into the social security retirement fund. However, a smaller portion goes into the social security disability fund. People who become disabled over their lifetime and are not yet eligible to get their full age retirement benefits can get benefits from the disability fund. One difference between Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that Social Security Disability (SSD) is like social security retirement – it does not matter how much money a person has or how many assets they have.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a different program for disabled people and it is like a form of welfare. Like food stamps, if you have too much money, assets or property, then you will be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) even if you are clearly disabled. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for people who are either too young to have paid enough into the system or have not worked recently enough to receive Social Security Disability (SSD). The benefits given to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants come from the general US government fund. To receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a claimant has to be equally disabled to a person who receives Social Security Disability (SSD) – the standard for determining disability are the same. The only difference in deciding which claimant receives Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) comes from the amount of money paid into the social security system over one’s lifetime.