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Prisoners
Are NOT Paid
Social Security Benefits
By: Barbara Kestler
With Thanks To:
Larry G. Massanari,
Regional [III] Commissioner

Most prisoners wonder how they will ever be able to survive when they are at last released from prison. Who will hire them? Must they instantly return to crime just to get food and a place to live?

Many old prisoners and those who are disabled, wonder how they will even manage to survive inside prison. They have no income and even medical treatment is impossible to afford! 

Both those groups have heard stories that Social Security can help. Old and disabled prisoners hope that Social Security will pay them enough so that they can eke out an existence. Released prisoners think that prison has disabled them and they can get help to get started "on the streets." Both groups are wrong! Prisoners are NOT paid Social Security benefits.

Because we get so many inquiries about these supposed programs, we asked Social Security for the straight facts. The Philadelphia Regional Coordinator is (as of this writing) Sandro Pollice (phone 215-597-2836). According to him: "Please be aware that the frequently quoted articles which claim that ex-prisoners can obtain a lump-sum payment or are eligible for SSI1 because they are a 'disadvantaged minority,' or because all prisoners are considered disabled, are FALSE.

The Social Security Administration has a web site. It provides authoritative information about benefits. One "fact-sheet" is entitled "What Prisoners Should Know About Social Security." That "fact-sheet" explains that no benefits are paid while a person is imprisoned. Upon release, qualified persons2 may collect retirement benefits or disability benefits.

Your government wants released prisoners to be desperate and penniless. that way, they will be forced to instantly revert to "crime" in order to survive.

1 "SSI" stands for "supplemental security income." It is NOT paid to prisoners. It may be paid to penniless US citizens 65 or over.
2 The qualifications for retirement benefits are that the person worked paying into Social Security for at least 10 years and that he/she is 62 years old or older. Disability benefits are paid only to "recent" workers who are expected to die or to be laid-up for at least a year.



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