Felony Convictions and Disability Benefits

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

What happens if you are disabled and can’t work, but you have a felony conviction? Will you automatically be denied Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”)?

Felony Convictions and the Disability Process.

Whether you will be eligible for SSDI benefits if you have a felony conviction turns on what exactly is going on in your situation. So, it depends on things like whether you are currently serving a prison sentence, are evading a conviction, have been released from prison, are on parole, or became disabled as a result of committing a crime.

Let’s take a look at how the SSA handles some of these situations.

You Became Disabled As The Result of Committing A Crime.

This one is pretty straight-forward and should be no surprise to you at all.

If the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) determines that your disability occurred, or a pre-existing condition you had was made worse, because of some crime you committed, then you cannot apply for disability benefits for that condition.

You will be permanently banned from applying for benefits associated with that disability.

You Became Disabled Around The Time of Committing A Crime.

If your disability occurred (or, again a pre-existing condition was made worse) at a time and place that is close to the commission of a crime you will be automatically disqualified from receiving SSDI benefits.

There doesn’t have to be a direct causal connection between the offense and your disability by the way. As long as the two things— your crime and your disability— occurred close in time and place, benefits will be denied.

Fleeing Felons.

If you’re evading arrest for committing a crime, you cannot apply for disability benefits.

This rule applies to anyone who is avoiding prosecution—including those who have escaped from custody, or are engaged in active flight-escape.

If you were receiving benefits, don’t expect to receive any disability benefit payments for any month during which there is an active warrant out for your arrest.

You Are On Parole or Probation.

If you are on parole or are on probation, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits for an ongoing disability as long as you do not violate the terms of your parole/probation. If you do, then you cannot get disability benefits for any period of time that you are in violation of the terms of your probation/parole.


If You Have Questions about Disability Benefits, We Can Answer Them.  

The area of social security disability benefits can be complex and confusing. If you have questions about SSDI benefits, or have been denied benefits, call us. We are experienced disability attorneys. We FIGHT to get our clients the benefits they deserve. We have offices throughout Missouri, and Kansas, and in Belleville/Swanson, Illinois. We have offices in several cites in Oklahoma, too. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Send us an e-mail or call 855-727-8625.