Eve intends to plead guilty to a criminal charge.  Eve has a child Bob. Alice has guardianship of Bob and also management of Eve's income which includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSI will not be paid if Eve is convicted.  If all or part of the sentence is "time already served," will the Social Security Administration (SSA) demand repayment for those months?

UPDATE: An unofficial opinion from a lawyer Alice contacted said it depends on (list of factors I didn't follow) and that in the cases where it shouldn't be paid, sometimes SSA doesn't catch it.  I retorted that if they catch it later, not only will there be more to pay back, but they might accuse Eve (or maybe even Alice, as custodian) of fraud for continuing to accept it.

SECOND UPDATE: Alice manages Bob's funds, but ALSO manages Eve's funds, since Eve is not allowed to do so while incarcerated. Sorry for not making that clear.  Above edited accordingly.

  • 2
    This should be on topic for Money.SE. The question is about SSI benefits and payments which is on topic. If no suitable answer is found, a post to Law.SE may be helpful but only if Money.SE does not yield sufficient expertise.
    – Freiheit
    Sep 5, 2018 at 0:10
  • Are the SSI benefits being paid to Eve or to Bob? How many months are we talking here? 2 months or 120 months?
    – Freiheit
    Sep 5, 2018 at 0:11
  • Officially paid to Eve, but since she is in jail, someone else has to manage them. That person is Alice. I do not know whether Alice was assigned by the court, by CFS, or by Eve. And I do not know the nature of the charges nor the likely length of sentence. I do know that Bob has been living with Alice for more than a year.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 5, 2018 at 0:30
  • 1
    Personally, I think anyone who can't keep track of the difference between "R" and "B" is not likely to give an intelligent answer. But let the edit stand.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 5, 2018 at 0:31
  • According to the update, it might continue and it might not. And she might have to pay some back. And she might have to pay back a lot later on. In other words, the qestion cannot be answered.. Oh, well.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 5, 2018 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


The SSA publication 05-10133 indicates that benefit recipients are not eligible during their incarceration.

A less authoritative source indicates that a conviction is required and that benefits paid to dependents continue even if the convicted is not eligible. This is particularly relevant here in the event that the child is receiving benefits, that portion should not be effected.

Both sources indicate that a 12 month incarceration requires re-application for benefits.

The stereotypical answer for Money.SE is to treat this as a likely debt or planned expense. It may be difficult for Eve to save for this expense but if she is able to prepare to pay it back she should. That way if it is owed, she can cover it. If it is not owed then the money is there to do something else with.

  • The question is not whether benefits will stop, but whether a sentence including "time already served" can result in a repayment obligation for those months. As for the future, "Alice" intends to provide "Eve" the bare minimum of the funds received in the future so that the remainder is available for repayment.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 5, 2018 at 2:38
  • Not downvoting, because the info is certainly useful.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 5, 2018 at 2:47

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