No, prisoners can't access Social Security benefits

It is an older complaint that those who are in prison should not be able to access Social Security benefits. Prior to the 80s and 90s, those in prison could receive their benefits, because they'd paid into the Social Security program over time. That's changed since then, though.

One thing that you should know if you're on Social Security disability (SSD) or plan to enroll in it is that if you end up being convicted of a crime, you can lose your benefits for the time period in which you're in prison. Social Security benefits are not payable to those who are in jail or prison if they are incarcerated for over 30 continuous days. If a person is jailed but has not yet been convicted, then that individual may still collect Social Security.

If you have a spouse or child who currently receives monthly Social Security checks for being a dependent, then those payments will continue. Additionally, once someone is released from prison or jail, he or she is again eligible for SSD and may begin to collect the funds the month after he or she is released.

If you are sent to prison or jail and want to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you'll also be out of luck. Since the government is housing and feeding you, you won't qualify for this benefit. You can receive them once you're out of jail or prison as long as you were incarcerated for less than a year. If it's been more than a year, then you'll need to apply for the benefits again, which is something your attorney can assist with.

Source: Creators.com, "Prisoners Do NOT Get Social Security," Tom Margenau, Aug. 09, 2017

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