Can I receive veterans’ disability benefits while in prison?

In some situations, you may be able to receive veterans’ disability benefits while you are in a federal, state, or local prison or jail. However, whether you can continue to receive benefits and the amount of benefits that you may be eligible to receive depends on why you are incarcerated.

What You Need to Know if You are Facing Jail Time

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Your veterans’ disability benefits will only be reduced if you are convicted of a felony and in jail or prison for 60 days or longer.
  • If you are convicted of a felony and imprisoned for 60 days or longer, your veterans’ disability benefits will be reduced. If you have a disability rating of 20% or more, you will be reduced to the 10% disability rating. If you have a disability rating of 10%, your benefits will be reduced by half.
  • Some benefits may be apportioned to your spouse, your children, or your dependents during this time depending on their need and the other details of your situation.

It is important to remember that there should be no change in your benefits if you are:

  • Convicted of a misdemeanor
  • Sentenced to fewer than 60 days in prison
  • Sentenced to a work release program, a residential re-entry center, or community control

It is also important to be prepared for the end of your prison term.

What Happens When You Are Released?

If you are released from prison, your VA disability benefits can be restored beginning on the first day of your release as long as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is notified of your release within a year. You may receive full veterans' disability benefits even if you are in a work release program, living in a halfway house, or on parole. The amount of your benefits will be based on the severity of your disability at the time you are released.

Are you getting the VA disability benefits you deserve? Contact an experienced and attentive disability attorney at Morgan & Weisbrod today to make sure you are getting the benefits you have earned. Our lawyers can help you understand your rights as well as which steps you can take immediately to protect your rights.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law