If you are convicted of a crime and have to serve time in jail, there is a federal law whose title summarizes what you can expect regarding your Social Security benefits – 2009’s “No Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Act.” The Act prohibits prisoners from receiving any Social Security benefits if they serve more than 30 continuous days in jail, but there are a couple gray areas. Further clarification of the impact that imprisonment has on benefits is available from a Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security Disability attorney.
One of those gray areas is retroactive benefits – benefits that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) decides to award you for time in the past. You cannot receive a check for retroactive benefits while you are in prison, but you are still entitled to those benefits. Consequently, you have to wait until you are out of prison in order to receive those benefits.
Another gray area is benefits for spouses and children that come in part from benefits going towards an inmate. The SSA will suspend benefits for the inmate, but the other parties should be able to continue receive their portion of the benefits.
If you receive Social Security benefits of any sort and go to prison, you or perhaps your spouse need to notify the SSA of your status. Many beneficiaries get in trouble every year for continuing to receive benefits even though they are not entitled to them because of their being in prison; in many cases, it is a spouse who continues to receive and cash the checks. This is illegal and could result in federal charges and having to pay back the improperly received benefits to the SSA.
Did imprisonment impact your or a family member’s Social Security benefits?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability attorneys