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DisabilityDoes a Criminal Conviction Matter With Disability Benefits? 

April 13, 2023

It’s hard to shake a past criminal conviction. Whether it was a youthful mistake or a serious offense that you to changed and grew from, it can feel like a past criminal conviction — even a simple misdemeanor — can shadow you for years. Job applications, auto insurance, and loan documents often want to know: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” 

It can feel frustrating, not to mention embarrassing.

But what if you become disabled and need benefits to support yourself because you can’t work? Does the past — especially past convictions — matter? This blog looks at whether a criminal conviction prohibits you from receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. 

Disability Attorney in Omaha and Council Bluffs 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.’s Social Security Disability team can help you secure benefits needed  to support yourself. Our caring attorneys and staff can offer support and advice as it pertains to your disability and the benefits approval process. Remember, you’re more likely to have a successful disability claim with an attorney by your side, especially if you have a criminal conviction on your record. Call us today at 402-991-2100. You also can share your story here.

Disability Benefits and Jail Time 

There is good news: A past conviction — even a felony — won’t prohibit you from being eligible for disability benefits if you become disabled following your release or after your probation is complete. While the conviction may stay on your record for years or even forever, the federal government won’t disqualify you from receiving benefits if you apply once your time has been served. In other words, the SSA doesn’t discriminate against those who have made jail or prison-worthy mistakes in the past. 

There are a few expectations, but they are unusual. 

For instance, if you were disabled at the time you committed the crime and your condition worsened because of what you did (let’s say you were injured during it) you can’t qualify for more disability. Folks who are on probation or parole for a past conviction can still receive disability benefits as long as they are in compliance with the terms of their parole or probation. 

What Happens if I Am Getting Disability Benefits and Become Incarcerated? 

Your disability benefits will come to a halt if you are in jail or prison for more than 30 days. Once released, your SSDI benefits will be reinstated. 

Should Convicted Felons Hire a Disability Lawyer? 

No matter when, where or what the crime was you committed, a disability attorney can help ensure you secure the benefits you need to support yourself. If you or a loved one have a criminal conviction on their record and become disabled, seek the help of an experienced Omaha and Council Bluffs disability attorney today. We can help. 

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a medical malpractice case or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. 

Our firm can help. Call 402-991-2100 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential form. 


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