Can Children With Parent In Prison Get Social Security Benefits?


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Daniel Pountney answered
Yes, the only person that should be affected by an individual being incarcerated is the individual.

  • Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments can be paid to people who are age 65 or older or who are blind or disabled and whose income and resources are below certain limits.
  • SSI payments are suspended for the months that an individual is confined to prison. When the individual is released, he or she does not automatically become eligible for SSI again. The period of imprisonment for a criminal offense must be more that 30 continuous days in jail in order for the suspension of payments to kick in.
  • However, the USA Social Security Administration states that children who receive benefits through an incarcerated parent: "Although you cannot receive monthly Social Security benefits while you are confined, benefits to your spouse or children will continue as long as they remain eligible."
  • Benefits can be reinstated to the jailed person starting with the month following the month they are released. If the period of confinement is more than 12 months though, a new application will have to be made. Medicare is also affected when someone is jailed.
  • The hospital insurance remains in tact during a prison sentence but the medical insurance part will only continue if monthly payments continue to be met.
As you can see, incarceration is bad news for people who are incarcerated. Removal of benefits is often seen by prisoners as part of their punishment. Actually, it is simply that the government is unwilling to financially support people who they feel have a debt to pay to society already.

The system though ensures that dependent children are not financially affected by the crimes of their parents.

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