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There are a number of serious consequences to committing crimes—and many people don’t realize that the extent of those consequences go beyond jail time and fines. In some instances, your criminal record or your criminal status could affect your ability to receive Social Security disability benefits.

How Your Criminal Record Could Impact Your Social Security Disability Benefits

Generally, you cannot receive Social Security benefits if you:

  • Currently have an outstanding warrant for your arrest for a felony
  • Are currently incarcerated for a felony
  • Are currently institutionalized by court order for a crime for which you were found not guilty due to insanity or for which you were found incompetent to stand trial
  • Became disabled while committing a crime for which you were convicted—or your disability became worse while committing a crime
  • Were injured or became disabled, or your disability became worse, while serving time for a felony. However, you may apply to receive benefits for this disability after being released from prison.
  • Committed the crime of fraud to obtain Social Security benefits or if someone in the Social Security Administration committed fraud on your behalf
  • Are violating a condition of your parole
  • Are violating a condition of your probation

But You Can Receive Social Security Disability Benefits in Some Cases

Specifically, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you:

  • Have a criminal record but you are not currently in prison for a felony and you are not currently wanted for a felony
  • Are incarcerated but participating in a rehabilitation program such as a work-release program, and if your release will take place in a reasonable amount of time
  • Are injured but are not convicted of the crime associated with the injury

We have all made mistakes. You may have paid the price for your mistakes and learned important lessons from these mistakes. In many cases, if you serve your time and follow the conditions of your probation or parole, your criminal past will not affect your ability to secure Social Security disability benefits. To learn more about your specific case, contact Morgan & Weisbrod today via this website for a free, confidential consultation.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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