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Did you know that roughly one out of ten people in the United States prison system has served in the military – and that the majority of veterans who are incarcerated served during a time of war? Many of these veterans are disabled, and many receive veterans’ disability benefits for their service-related physical conditions and mental illness. What happens to this support during their incarceration? Let’s look at some frequently asked questions related to incarceration and VA disability benefits:

Can I receive veterans’ disability benefits while in prison? 

On the sixty-first day of your incarceration, your VA disability benefits will likely be reduced. For example, if you are receiving disability compensation at the 20 percent rate, VA will reduce your benefit to the 10 percent rate. Part of your benefits may be sent to your spouse, your children, or your other dependents, depending on their need.

Can I receive veterans’ disability benefits if I am wanted for a felony? 

No, felony fugitives cannot receive veterans’ disability benefits. In addition, their dependents, such as their spouse and children, cannot receive support.

Can I get benefits after I am released from prison? Can someone with a criminal record receive veterans’ disability benefits? 

You can absolutely receive VA disability benefits even though you have a past criminal record as long as you did not receive a dishonorable discharge related to your crimes. You can also begin to receive your full benefits after your release from prison – just be sure to let both the VA and your case manager know about your disability benefits situation. Also, realize that you may have to be reevaluated for benefits if you wait more than a year following your release to secure full benefits again.

Note: you can receive disability benefits while in a work release program, in a halfway house, or while on parole.

Texas veterans’ disability attorney 

VA disability benefits can become even more complicated and hard to understand if you are dealing with a complication like felony and incarceration. It is vital that you understand how your family can secure the support that they need during your prison, and that you understand how to restart your full benefits after your release. Do you need assistance with your veterans’ disability benefits claim? Talk to a Dallas VA disability claim lawyer at Morgan & Wiesbrod today.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

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


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