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Can you qualify for SSI or Disability if you have felony charges in your past in Virginia.

Buena Vista, VA |
Attorney answers 3


The mere fact that you have felony charges in your past does not necessarily keep you from receiving disability benefits. However, there are two key exceptions:

1. You are not eligible for disability benefits if you still have an outstanding warrant for a felony.
2. You are not eligible for regular Title II Disability Insurance Benefits if your disability is the result of injuries suffered during the commission of a felony. This is called the "Felony Impairment Rule". For example, let's say you were injured in a car crash after you were drunk driving. You are charged with and convicted of a felony DUI. Your serious injuries include multiple herniated disks in your back. If you allege disability due to the back problem, then you may be denied DIB benefits because your disabling condition arose during the commission of the felony DUI. You may still be eligible for SSI benefits, however.

Given these considerations, you should probably seek the advice of an attorney.

This comment is published by and reflects the personal views of Nick Ortiz, in his individual capacity. It does not necessarily represent the views of his law firm or his clients, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them. The purpose of this comment site is to assist in dissemination of information about disability law, but no representation is made about the accuracy of the information. The information contained in this comment is provided only as general information for education purposes. The tips and suggestions contained in this comment may not be appropriate for your individual case. Please do not accept anything in this comment as legal advice unless and until you have hired me to represent you in your claim for benefits, and I have agreed – in writing – to represent you. By using this website you understand that this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This comment should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.


My colleague is correct. And, if this person was transferred to a hospital from a prison - that is he is serving a prison sentence for a felony conviction, they are not eligible for benefits themselves - although dependent children may be eligible for those months even while the person is in jail.

Since SSA looks at the date a application is filed to decide what months a person gets benefits, do not delay - contact SSA TODAY to get a claim filed..

You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is

In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

Their link is:

You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I practice in Virginia and one of my specialities is Social Security law. As the others have said, a felony should not be a hinderance to getting SSI or Social Security unless the claimant is a fleeing felon.

This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.

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