What Happens to Your Disability Check If You Go to Jail? (Answered)

what happens to your disability check if you go to jail

The provision of disability checks for disabled persons is to allow them to cater to themselves since their disabilities may affect their sources of livelihood.

If you have been living with severe ill health for over a year and meet certain criteria, you may be eligible to receive disability checks. However, you may wonder what happens to your disability check if you’re found guilty of a crime.

If you already receive disability benefits and are sentenced to serve a jail term, relevant authorities will suspend your disability check. Once you’ve spent up to 30 days in jail after your conviction, your right to enjoy such benefits will cease.

In this case, they will not count your stay in prison during your trial. Continuation of the disability checks will only be when you’ve met some conditions.

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Factors that May Prevent You from Receiving Your Disability Check

Recipients of disability checks undergo evaluation periodically to determine their eligibility to continue receiving their checks. This evaluation occurs every three years for people below the age of 50 or every seven years for people above 50.

Factors that may disqualify you from receiving a disability check include:

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1) Imprisonment

If you are guilty of any crime and sentenced to serve a jail term, you will get disqualified from receiving subsequent disability checks. Although, relevant authorities may reconsider you to continue receiving the checks once you complete your jail term.

Depending on the payment scheme you are under, you may stop receiving your check a month after your conviction or immediately after your conviction. Towards the end of your term in jail, you can contact the scheme administrators to inquire about your eligibility to continue receiving your disability check.

2) Health Improvement

While serving your jail term, your health condition might improve and not be considered a disability anymore. Health conditions that qualify someone for a disability check include chronic kidney diseases, cancer, mental disorders, blood disorders, amputations, spinal cord injuries, visual impairment, hearing difficulty, and speech problems. Some of these health challenges can improve with adequate health care.

If you show signs of improvement during your Continuing Disability Review (CDR) or medical assessment after your prison term, you may be disqualified from receiving your disability check.

3) Retirement

does your disability stop if you go to jail

Your eligibility for a disability check will cease when you reach retirement age. So, if you come of retirement age when serving your jail term, you become ineligible to receive a disability check when released.

However, the worth of your disability check may be equal to your pension, so there might not be a difference.

4) Turn-Over from Your Assets

Disability checks aim to reduce the economic hardship disabilities may cause disabled persons, but if you already have an investment that’s yielding profit, then you may be ineligible to receive disability checks.

After being released from jail, you might have to reapply for the disability checks. And in the course of reapplying, the scheme administrators will evaluate your financial status. The profits from your investment(s) will determine your eligibility to continue receiving your disability check.

5) Dishonesty

You will have to provide information about yourself when applying for a disability check. Such information includes your employment status, financial worth, and a report of your disability. You may lose your check and be prosecuted if you provide untrue information.

6) Financial Status of Family Members

The scheme administrators will consider your family members’ income before you are deemed eligible to continue in the scheme. As a child, your parent’s income will be the determining factor, while one’s spouse’s income will be used as the determining factor if married.

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Exemption for People Depending on You for Finance

If you have people dependent on you financially, probably your wife and children, they will continue to receive your disability check even while you’re in jail. However, this will only happen if you pass the tests to qualify you for the check.

How to Continue Receiving Your Disability Check

There are a few steps to get you back on the payroll after serving a jail term. However, if you’ve not spent up to a year in prison, you will start receiving your check without having to reapply.

1) Begin Early to Process Your Application

what happens to your disability check if you go to jail

If you are serving a jail term, you must begin to process your disability check as soon as you’ve gotten your release date. The application process may take months and leave you stranded if uncompleted upon your release.

You may use the services of a social worker to help you with processing the application or ask a family to stand in for you. However, you won’t start getting your checks until your release.

Apart from processing your disability check, your spouse, child, or parent can represent you in receiving your check. If your disability prevents you from managing your finance, you should consider asking any of your family members to do it on your behalf.

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2) Get a Medical Report

You will have to confirm your disability status before you start receiving your disability check again. You will need a medical report from a doctor or licensed medical source documenting disabilities. Reports from friends, families, colleagues at work, or even health care providers cannot replace a medical report.

3) Provide a Proof of Release

Part of the requirements for reapplying for your disability check is proof of your release from jail. While you can start processing your application months before your release, you will need to submit a document from the prison proving that you’ve completed your prison term.

4) Hire a Disability Attorney

Hiring a disability attorney will help ease the process of reapplying for a disability check. Without the help of a disability attorney, you might end up giving irrelevant or insufficient information in the application process.

Your disability attorney will also liaise with your doctor in providing the relevant medical information that will help you reclaim your disability benefits. You will get a higher chance of reclaiming your benefit with the help of a disability attorney.

What Happens to Your Disability Check If You Go to Jail? (Answered)


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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