Do I Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits if I Have Prior Criminal Convictions?

long term disability criminal

A felony conviction alone will not usually keep an insurance company from approving you for long term disability benefits. Likewise, a conviction will not affect your dependents’ or survivors’ benefits. However, if law enforcement sent you to jail or prison, your insurance company may suspend your benefits during the time you reside in a correctional facility. For more information on whether you qualify for long term disability benefits if you have prior criminal convictions, please read on, then contact our experienced national long term disability law firm today.

Can convicted felons receive long term disability benefits?

As stated above, a felony conviction generally does not have an impact on your eligibility for long term disability insurance benefits. However, you may encounter a few exceptions to this rule. You may not be eligible for long term disability insurance benefits if:

  • Your disability arose, or got worse, while you were committing a crime
  • Your disability arose, or got worse, while you were imprisoned in a jail, prison or correctional facility for a felony conviction, or
  • You made yourself a widow(er) or an orphan by killing your spouse or parents (this applies to long term disability insurance survivor benefits)

Nonetheless, it is still worthwhile to apply for long term disability insurance benefits even if one of the above-listed situations applies to you. Even though you will not receive cash benefits, the insurance company may grant you a period of disability that will “freeze” your earnings record, which can prevent your benefits from decreasing because of the time you are off work.

How does incarceration affect your long term disability insurance benefits?

The vast majority of insurance companies will not pay benefits to those who are confined in a jail, prison or other penal institution, for either a felony or a misdemeanor. Because the facility is meeting your food, shelter and medical needs during periods of imprisonment, you are not eligible for benefits while you remain incarcerated – unless you participate in an approved vocational rehabilitation program, i.e. a program that helps you return to work upon your release.

When will your long term disability benefits stop during the criminal law process?

Typically, your insurance company will suspend your long term disability benefits after thirty days of incarceration, unless you participate in a rehabilitation program. Your insurance will usually reinstate your benefits the month following your release.

Please bear in mind that insurance companies will not pay benefits to people who flee to avoid arrest or prosecution or escape to avoid jail or prison.

Speak with one of our skilled long term disability insurance attorneys to discuss your eligibility and begin preparing your case.

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If you or someone you know is looking to receive long term disability benefits, contact Walker & Hern for a free consultation.

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