Effects of Criminal Convictions on Disability Claims

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long-term disability claims lawyer

Many people who find themselves in trouble with the law wonder how a conviction could affect their Social Security disability benefits. The good news is that a conviction alone does not automatically make a person ineligible for disability benefits, but there may be cases in which certain people will not be considered or may have their benefits suspended.

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits or are concerned about how a recent arrest could impact your benefits, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP helps clients in Philadelphia and Delaware with long-term disability claims. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (215) 858-8440 to schedule a free consultation.

When Convictions Affect Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration (SSA) states that Public Law 96-473 includes provisions precluding consideration of felony-related impairments and confinement-related impairments in title II disability determinations or decisions for people convicted of felonies. The same law also suspends the benefits of disabled workers and childhood disability beneficiaries incarcerated because of felony convictions.

In short, a person is not eligible for Social Security disability benefits if:

  • His or her disability occurred because or was worsened while committing a felony.
  • His or her disability occurred or was worsened while he or she was imprisoned in a correctional facility.
  • He or she is currently in prison after being convicted of a felony (although certain exceptions exist for individuals who participate in approved court rehabilitation programs).

When a person who was already receiving benefits is convicted and sentenced to jail or prison, his or her benefits will be suspended 30 days into his or her period of incarceration. If an individual is released within 12 months, he or she can usually get benefits reinstated without having to file a new application.

long-term disability claims lawyerAnother reason the SSA may decline to provide benefits is if a person has an active warrant for his or her arrest. In such cases, the SSA will not provide any benefits until the warrant is resolved.

Following release from jail or prison, many people may still be ordered to complete periods of parole or probation. In such cases, individuals are still able to receive disability benefits. Any violation of parole or probation, however, can result in benefits being suspended.

The bottom line is that a criminal conviction alone will not make a person ineligible for Social Security disability benefits. Anybody who believes that his or her criminal background might factor into the SSA’s decision to provide benefits should have an experienced lawyer review their application before filing.

Find a Long-Term Disability Insurance Attorney in Pennsylvania

If you are concerned about how your criminal record could impact your ability to obtain or retain disability benefits, you will want to make sure that you quickly find legal counsel for assistance with your claim. Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP assists individuals throughout the greater Philadelphia area and Delaware.

Call (215) 858-8440 or contact us online to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free consultation.

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