1. Home
  2. Social Security Benefits After Incarceration: What You Need To Know

Social Security Benefits After Incarceration: What You Need To Know

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Benefits

An individual released from incarceration may be eligible for Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability benefits if they have worked or paid into Social Security enough years. An individual released from incarceration may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits if they are 65 or older, are blind, or have a disability and have little or no income and resources. 

Social Security’s Definition of Disability

We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

SSA does not pay partial or short-term disability benefits.

If you meet the above requirements, Social Security benefits also may pay:

  • Your child who is under age 18, or severely disabled before age 22, or
  • Your wife who is age 62 or older, or is caring for your child who is under age 16 or severely disabled before age 22.

For additional information via our pamphlets, please see the links below:

If you believe you qualify, call our toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

Does Social Security pay benefits to prisoners?

If I am arrested on a criminal charge, or a parole, or probation violation, will I still get my monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments?

Why does Social Security need to know that I am in jail?

How a conviction affects your Social Security benefits?

My checks stopped while I was incarcerated. How do I restart my benefits?

Will my benefits start again if the court reverses my conviction?

My husband is presently incarcerated and does not receive Social Security benefits. Are my son and I eligible for any benefits while he is in jail?

What happens to my Medicare when my checks stop because I go to jail?

I was transferred from prison to a halfway house that is under the control of my state’s Department of Corrections. Can I have my benefits started again since I am no longer in prison?

Can I have my benefits started again if I am on home monitoring and must wear a monitoring ankle bracelet at all times?

Thank you for trying AMP!

You got lucky! We have no ad to show to you!