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Old 11-04-2003, 06:44 AM
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Default Prison Inmate/Authority Social Security Questions Online...

Prisoner Rules & Answers To Your Questions

http://<<a href="http://www.socialse...urity.gov</a>>

Why does the Social Security Administration need to know that I am in jail?

When you initially applied for Social Security benefits, either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or for retirement, disability, or survivors (RSDI, also known as Title II) benefits, SSA told you about certain changes that could affect your ability to continue to get payments. For SSI benefits, the law states that you cannot live in a public institution (for example, a jail, prison, penal facility, etc.) for a full calendar month or more, and continue to get your SSI benefits. For Title II benefits, the law states that if you commit a crime and a court convicts you, and you serve more than 30 continuous days in jail following the conviction, you cannot get your Title II benefits. It is important that you tell SSA of any of these changes as soon as possible to avoid getting money that you are not due. You can contact SSA at anytime at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/reach.htm> to report any changes that may affect your Social Security payments.

What special programs are available for ex-prisoners?

The Social Security Administration does not provide any benefits just for ex-prisoners. Once you are released, you can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)(see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html>) payments if you are 65 or older, or are blind or have a disability have little or no income and resources.

Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability (RSDI—Title II) (see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10024.html> benefits may be payable if you have worked and paid into Social Security enough years (this is determined by your age and the date you became disabled or turned age 62), and: You have a physical or mental condition so severe that it will make you unable to do any work for at least a year, or You are legally blind, even with glasses, or You are age 62 or older. If you meet the above requirements, Social Security benefits may also pay: Your child who is under age 18, or severely disabled before age 22, or your wife who is age 62 or older, or is caring for your child who is under age 16 or severely disabled before age 22. If you think you could qualify for benefits based on the above requirements, you should call Social Security’s toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213. If you are severely disabled or over age 62 and you have dependents who could be paid based on your work covered by Social Security, you should call Social Security immediately.

I've heard that Social Security pays for information leading to suspension of a prisoner. If I report somebody, will I be paid?

By law, SSA can only pay incentive payments to jails, prisons, and other correctional institutions, not to private individuals. However, we would still encourage you to contact SSA if you believe someone in jail is improperly receiving Social Security benefits. This report can be made anonymously. To get in touch with SSA, you can call, FAX, write us, or visit our Internet website at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov>.

Will Social Security benefits to my spouse and children stop while I am in prison?

No. Your eligible family members will continue to receive benefits. You, or a member of your family, should contact Social Security right away to report that you are in jail.

My payments have been stopped, but I know there are other inmates who keep getting paid, why?

The rules for stopping Social Security payments for people who are in jail are different based on whether you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or you receive retirement, disability or survivor (RSDI-Title II) benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
SSI pays monthly checks to people who are 65 or older,or blind,or have a disability and who do not own much or have a lot of income. For more information about the SSI program see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html>. If you get a monthly SSI check and you are in jail, your SSI check will stop after you are in jail for a full calendar month. For example, if you were in jail on 3/21/01 and you will stay there to serve a three-month sentence, SSA will stop your SSI check beginning with April 2001. Your monthly SSI check will not start again until you contact your local Social Security office and bring your proof of release from jail with you to reapply for benefits. Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI—Title II) Benefits Title II pays monthly benefits to people who are disabled, people who retire after age 62 or widows and children of deceased workers. You or your family may get benefits from this program because you worked and paid taxes into the Social Security System during your working lifetime. To learn more about Title II Social Security benefits visit our website at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10024.html>. If you get Title II benefits and you are in jail and were convicted of a crime, your monthly benefits will stop after you remain in jail more than 30 continuous days following your conviction. Your checks will stop with the month you entered jail and were convicted. For example, if you were sent to jail on 3/21/01, convicted of a crime on 3/29/01, and the court ordered you to serve a 6-months sentence, your benefits would stop beginning with your March 2001 Title II check. Your benefits will stop until you are released from jail. Once released, you should contact your local Social Security office with your release papers and apply to get your benefits started. Also, if you are in jail awaiting trial, you will continue to get your Title II benefits until you are convicted.

I was released from jail and I am now living at home, however, I must wear a monitoring ankle bracelet monitoring ankle bracelet at all times. Can I have my benefits started again?

Yes, contact your local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator>/ to report your release from jail and your change to ankle bracelet monitoring at your home

I was released from prison and transferred to a halfway house that is under the control of a State's Department of Corrections. Can I have my benefits started again?

If you are living in a halfway house that is under the control of the State Department of Corrections, SSA will not pay you benefits until you are released from the total control of the State Department of Corrections. If you are living outside of the prison and you are paying your own expenses (food, rent, clothing, utilities, medical care, etc., except for the cost of your ankle bracelet monitoring) you can get Social Security benefits again. Whenever you are released from prison or jail to a halfway house, you should check with your local Social Security office to find out if your benefits can start again.

Other than incentive payments, what benefits are there for a prisoner reporter?

There are several benefits for correctional and mental health institutions to report prisoner information to the Social Security Administration such as: • Reporters may request to receive a verification file from SSA. Reporters can use the verification file to help identify and correct false inmate information in their own records. (An inmate may have given a false name, date of birth, etc., when he/she was arrested. This file may provide the reporter with the correct name, date of birth, etc., that SSA found for that inmate during their matching process.) This may assist the reporter in tracking other incidents of false identity associated with that individual.
• State Welfare Agencies must check for periods of incarceration for an individual when he/she applies for Food Stamps. Since State Welfare Agencies can request that information from Social Security, they do not have to contact other State agencies or local correctional and mental health institutions for that same information. • While confined, inmates receive food, clothing and shelter at taxpayer expense. Not stopping social security payments made to inmates allows the inmates to receive a windfall of government benefits. Timely reporting stops incorrect payments. Reporting to the Social Security Administration helps to enforce the law.

I have never been in jail but the Social Security Administration thinks I have. Why?

When SSA receives reports from jails across the country it is not unusual for a prisoner to give the jail officials false identity information including fake names, made-up Social Security numbers, and incorrect dates of birth. SSA’s field offices conduct a full investigation to make sure that all of the inmate information we get from jails is correct. When SSA learns that a prisoner is using someone else’s identity we keep a record of that information to make sure it doesn’t happen again. While it is no doubt disturbing to learn that someone is trying to use your name or SSN, you can be sure that the presence of a prisoner report on your SSN does not harm your Social Security record in any way

Why do I have to pay back the benefits I received while I was in jail when I did not know I was supposed to tell Social Security I was in jail?

When you applied for Social Security benefits, you were told of the changes or choices that you might make while receiving Social Security benefits that could affect your ability to continue to get payments. SSA told you that you are responsible for reporting these changes to us. You were also given a copy of those conditions or reporting requirements for your own records. Social Security has a record of your agreement that you understood these reporting requirements and that you received a copy of these materials. This makes you responsible for paying back any money you should not have gotten because you did not report to SSA.

Can I use my Medicare while I'm in jail?

If you have any questions about whether or not Medicare will pay for any care you get while in jail, contact the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Information is available on their Internet site at <http://www.medicare.gov>.

I have had my checks stopped. How do I start getting paid again?

When the jail releases you, you should contact your local Social Security office. They will decide if you should get your checks again. Be sure to bring along your release papers to prove your release from jail to SSA.

Can I continue to serve as a representative payee while in jail?

Possibly. SSA will look into whether you are still the best person to manage the payments on behalf of the Social Security beneficiary. The fact that you are in jail does not automatically mean that you cannot continue as a representative payee.

How does Social Security determine whether a facility is eligible for $200 or $400?

SSA will pay $400 for inmate information we receive within 30 days after the individual's date of confinement/conviction or $200 for inmate information we receive after 30 days but within 90 days after the individual's date of confinement/conviction. SSA does not pay for inmate information we receive after the 91st day following the individual's date of confinement/conviction.

What happens to my Medicare when my checks stop because I go to jail?

There are two parts of Medicare, Hospital Insurance and Supplemental Medical Insurance.
If you were getting Medicare and cash benefits before you went to jail, your cash benefits will stop but your hospital insurance (Part A) coverage will continue. To keep your Supplemental Insurance (Part B) coverage or medial insurance that you are paying for, you must pay the premiums or your coverage will end. If your coverage ends while you are in jail because you did not pay your Medicare premiums, you will be able to enroll again during the next General Enrollment Period (January through March of each year). Your insurance coverage will start again the following year. If you reenroll, you will be responsible for any unpaid past-due premiums and your ongoing premium will be higher.

Why did I not get a Social Security check for the last month I was in jail?
My sentence was for over 30 days, but I was only in jail a few days last month.
The law states that you cannot get payments for any month, any part of which you spend in jail, following your conviction and confinement of more than 30 continuous days. For example, if you were convicted on March 29th, sent to jail that day and remained in jail until May 2nd, you would not get benefits for any of those 3 months.

What if I did not receive an incentive payment that I think was due or I disagree with the amount of the payment?
I have other questions about the incentive payments I receive from SSA, what should I do?

Contact your local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator>/. SSA requires that you provide us with as much information as possible about your specific situation (e.g., the identifying information about the inmate, the dates of confinement/conviction, the date information was reported to the Social Security Administration, etc.).

How does a reporter know which prisoners are getting checks?

The reporter does not need to know that a prisoner is receiving a check. SSA asks for a report of all prisoners so that we can check our records and identify those individuals receiving checks.

Can a jail send prisoner reports to the Social Security Administration over the Internet?

Not yet, but we are working on it. The Agency is currently running a pilot to open this method of reporting so we hope to be able to offer it in the future.

The Social Security Administration asks for a lot of information from State and local jails. What information can you give us to help catch criminals?

The Social Security Act and other Federal laws protect the privacy of Social Security records. However, under certain situations, Social Security can release information to law enforcement officials in order to locate fugitive felons or individuals indicted for or convicted of violent crimes. Law enforcement officials should contact their local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator>/ for more information.

I have been re-arrested for a parole violation. Will my benefits stop?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html>) payments will stop beginning with the first month throughout which you are in jail. Regular retirement, survivors and disability (RSDI--Title II) (see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10024.html>) benefits will stop with the month your parole or probation is officially cancelled by a court or parole board, and then only if you are in jail for more than thirty calendar days.

I'm appealing my conviction. If it is reversed, will I get my benefits back?

SSA will repay your Title II (see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10024.html>) Social Security benefits back to the date they were stopped if you are not convicted of a crime after your appeal. (For this to apply, all charges that you were convicted of must be reversed, you will not be tried again on these same charges, or, you are found not guilty after your new trial.) If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income payments (see <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html>), your benefits will not be reinstated. While you are living in a public institution (for example, a jail, prison, detention center, etc.) for over a full calendar month, you cannot receive SSI payments.

I was found 'Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity' and confined to a facility under the control of the State Department of Corrections. Recently, the court changed my confinement from a "criminal" to a "civil" commitment. Can I have my benefits started again?

No, you must actually be released from the facility to have your benefits begin again

If I submit a prisoner report on the first of the month, when will the incentive payments be received for that report?

SSA does not pay incentive payments based on a matched information from a specific monthly report. Rather, SSA must process each matched SSN record on an individual case basis. Some cases may take us longer to process then others. SSA maintains a record of each matched record you submit and the date the information was received in SSA. At the time that a suspension of benefits is processed by SSA, we will trigger the payment to you on that record. The payment will be based on the timeliness of your report of the inmate, not SSA’s processing time.

How can a reporter know when an incentive payment is received?

The Treasury Department makes electronic funds transfers (eft) on the first business day of a month to your institution’s bank account to directly deposit incentive payments that are payable to your institution. The eft payment will carry an identifier of “SSATREAS” along with your institution’s facility number to identify the eft as a SSA incentive payment. This special identifier on the eft will alert your bank that the deposit to your institution’s bank account represents a SSA incentive payment. In addition, at the time SSA issues the incentive payments to Treasury for eft transfers, SSA also releases a letter to your institution to notify you about the amount of the direct deposit to your institution’s bank and accompanying information about why you were paid an incentive payment.

If a county or city jail makes the original report, but the prisoner is transferred to another facility after the court convicts the inmate, who gets the incentive payment?

In many instances, after the court convicts an individual, the jail transfers the individual to a State penitentiary to serve his/her sentence. The State takes custody of the individual and will then report the conviction and confinement information to SSA for this individual. SSA will pay an incentive payment <http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/...p?p_faqid=1242> for a timely conviction report when we stop the individual’s Title II benefits.

My jail already reports all of this information to someone else. Why can't the Social Security Administration get the information from them?

Unfortunately, other State and Federal organizations frequently make similar requests for information. Federal law does allow the Social Security Administration to share prisoner information with other Federal programs for the administration of health and income maintenance programs. Currently, State welfare agencies contact SSA to obtain prisoner information about Food Stamp applicants. One of the goals of our prisoner-reporting program is to eliminate some of the duplicate requests for prisoner information from Federal agencies. Also, the information that one organization requests may not meet everyone’s needs. However, if your facility does submit the same information to, for example, your State Department of Corrections, please contact your local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator> and let them know. It may be possible to arrange the forwarding of that information to Social Security. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to report to us so that we can make sure we are not issuing checks that are not due.

How can a reporter use the incentive payment money?

The Social Security Act does not contain any restrictions on how your institution may use the money your institution receives in incentive payments.

Is my report due the first of every month?

No. SSA does not establish a specific date that you must submit your monthly inmate report to SSA, only that your institution must report monthly. You should submit your report on a date that is practical for your institution and will ensure that your institution will receive the maximum amount of incentive payments.

I know I sent in my report, but someone from Social Security has called me asking where it is. Why?

Social Security has reporting agreements with over 3,000 reporters, most of which report to SSA monthly. From time to time, reports (tapes, cartridges, diskettes) may get lost in our mail room operations. SSA has a database that tracks inmate reports. The database will send an alert to one of our SSA field offices if your monthly report is overdue (45 days has elapsed since SSA received your last monthly report). The SSA field office will contact you to initiate a search for the missing report. If you respond that you sent your monthly inmate report to SSA, SSA will undertake a manual search for the report. If SSA is unable to locate the report, we will ask you to resubmit it.

How do I apply for money from Social Security to pay for the development of software to submit reports?

Congress appropriated funds only to pay for the incentive payment program. After you start reporting inmate data to SSA and receive incentive payments, you can use this money to help you upgrade your computer software and hardware to allow you to report prisoner information to SSA more effortlessly and timely

Is there a limit to the number of names that I can submit on one report?

There is no limit as long as all of your inmate data can fit on the media you are submitting. We cannot accept zip files.

Why does the Social Security office keep contacting the jail for information that has already been reported?

We do not want to stop someone’s check when they are not in jail, or do not meet the requirements <http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/...p?p_faqid=1224> for SSA to stop their Social Security payments. Before we can stop someone’s check, they must be in jail throughout a full calendar month (for someone receiving Supplemental Security Income payments), or they must be both convicted and confined for more than 30 continuous days (for someone receiving retirement, survivors, or disability payments—Title II). The initial report helps us to identify those individuals who are in jail and receiving payments. The additional contact with the jail helps us to verify that SSA must stop the Social Security checks.

If we have to submit a corrected report, can we still receive an incentive payment? How soon do we have to resubmit it to qualify for a payment?

Yes. Reports returned to you for correction and resubmission qualify for the incentive payment based on the original submission date if the corrected report is resubmitted within 45 days.

Why doesn't Social Security send a computer expert to the jails and prisons, or provide other technical assistance to help correctional staff in setting up a computer system?

Social Security does not have the staff to support sending a computer expert to over 5,500 correctional and mental health institutions across the United States to assist in setting up a computer system for reporting inmate data to SSA. However, SSA provides technical assistance, whenever possible, to correctional and mental health institutions that have questions about reporting inmate data to SSA. If you have technical questions about reporting formats, or other software issues, contact your local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator>/ for further assistance

If a county or city jail makes the original report, but the prisoner is transferred to another facility before conviction, who gets the incentive payment?

Generally, SSA pays the incentive payment <http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/...p?p_faqid=1242> to the first reporter to provide SSA with timely information that leads to the suspension of an SSI recipient’s payments

Should our monthly report only include new bookings or should it be a complete census?

Social Security asks that the initial report submitted by an institution consist of a complete inmate census. After that, monthly reports should consist of only new bookings

Sometimes I enter information for a prisoner more than once on my pre-formatted diskette. Is that a problem?

No, the systems within SSA will sort out duplicate data and eliminate the duplicate inmate information.

Who do I contact if I have problems with my pre-formatted diskette?

Contact your local Social Security office at <http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator>/. If they are unable to assist you, they will forward the issue to the appropriate staff within SSA.
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