Polishing the Professional

Can Prisoners get Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Payments?

Both programs prohibit payments to most prisoners. 

Social Security will suspend your Social Security benefits if you are confined to a jail, prison, or other penal institution for more than 30 continuous days due to a criminal conviction. Although you cannot get monthly Social Security benefits while you are confined, the SSA will continue to pay benefits to your dependent spouse or children if they remain eligible.

If you get SSI, the SSA will stop your payments after you are imprisoned for a month. 

If you use the SSA’s prerelease procedure, they may be able to reinstate your benefits starting with the month you are released. SSI recipients who are confined 12 consecutive months or longer, must reapply for SSI and again be approved.

(Source: SSA)

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