Ask Larry

Shouldn't My Daughter's Benefits Be Started Again Once She's No Longer Incarcerated?

My daughter and grandchild were receiving widow and survivors benefits. My daughter was incarcerated so she lost her benefits. Where does the benefits she was receiving go? Also shouldn't she start receiving them again once she was released? Thanks

Hi. Yes, assuming that your daughter is still eligible for benefits. I don't know if your daughter was receiving widow's benefits based on her age or if she was receiving survivor benefits on the basis of having a child in her care, but if it's the latter then her benefits could only be resumed if she still has a child in her care who is drawing benefits and who's either under age 16 or is disabled.

Benefits to prisoners can be resumed effective with the first month that they are no longer incarcerated for a full month. And, Social Security benefits are paid a month behind. So for example, if a person was released from prison on October 2nd, then their benefits could potentially be resumed effective with their payment for November that would be due in December.

Social Security doesn't automatically resume payment of benefits to released prisoners, however. If your daughter has been released then she'll need to contact Social Security and submit proof of her release in order to get her benefits reinstated. As for where benefits go when they're suspended due to a person's incarceration, they simply remain in the Social Security trust fund. No benefits are payable for months in which a person is incarcerated for more than 30 days due to conviction of a criminal offense.

Best, Jerry

Oct 15 2021 - 2:35pm
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