How Does Incarceration Affect Social Security Benefits?

Question: I am a veteran receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and have been arrested. What will happen to my benefits?

Answer: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits ($735/month for a single veteran) are immediately suspended when you go to jail. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will be suspended after you are convicted of a criminal offense and spend more than 30 days in jail or prison.

  • It is important to remember that you will only lose benefits while you are in jail or prison. If you are in Veterans Court, substance abuse/mental health treatment, probation, or another diversion program, you will NOT lose your benefits.
  • Even if you cannot receive monthly SSDI payments due to incarceration, your spouse and children will continue to receive their benefits.

Restarting SSDI Benefits After Your Release: Your SSDI payments can be restarted when you are released, if you bring your official release papers to your local Social Security office. You will receive your first payment the month after your benefits are reinstated.

Restarting SSI Benefits After Your Release: If you are incarcerated for less than 12 months, your SSI benefit payments can be restarted the month that you are released. You must take your official release papers to your local Social Security office to restart your benefits. However, if you are in jail or prison for 12 or more months continuously, you will no longer be eligible for SSI benefits. You must start the eligibility process over by filing a new application for benefits.

Local Social Security Offices:
Orange County
Social Security Administration
5520 Gatlin Avenue
Orlando, FL 32812
(866) 964-6146
*Call for an appointment*

Osceola County
Social Security Administration
1201 East Oak Street
Kissimmee, FL 34744
(800) 772-1213
*Call for an appointment*
Filing A New Application:
SSDI: File at local office or online:
SSI: File at local office (make an appointment first)