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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Will My Criminal Record Affect My Disability Benefits


If you are in need of Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of a disability, it’s understandable why you’d be concerned about having a criminal record. Those who are convicted of crimes in California are often treated differently and can lose certain rights.

With that in mind, it would make sense – albeit unfortunate – if your criminal history barred you from important public benefits. The truth is, most applications for SSD and SSI benefits are denied the first time, so if this happened to you, it may not be your criminal record to blame.

How a Criminal History Can Impact SSD & SSI Eligibility

As long as you weren’t convicted for crimes as serious as sabotage and treason, you haven’t automatically lost your eligibility for disability benefits. If you were convicted of these crimes, you might have more important things to worry about anyway.

That said, it’s not so simple to say that your criminal history won’t have an impact on your eligibility for public benefits – because it can, even if you aren’t a treasonous saboteur. Your criminal history, after all, is more than just your conviction – it’s any active warrants, arrests, or violations of your probation or parole, too.

If you have an active warrant for your arrest or have violated a condition of your probation or parole, you are ineligible for disability benefits. Benefits also stop when you’ve been in prison for 30 days, but they can be reinstated the month of your release.

You’re additionally barred from disability benefits if you became disabled while committing a crime. Should the Social Security Administration determine that your disability occurred because of a crime you committed, your eligibility for these benefits will likely be permanently denied.

What Happens If I Become Disabled in Prison?

You can apply for disability benefits when you developed a disability in prison, or an existing disability was worsened during your incarceration. You won’t receive these funds, however, until after your release.