Can I Get Military Retirement Pay While Incarcerated?

Can I Get Military Retirement Pay While Incarcerated?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are roughly 107,400 veterans serving time in local or federal facilities. Yikes!

“When a veteran goes to jail, what happens to their benefits?”, “Is it possible to receive retired military pay even if a veteran is serving time?” Find out more info on this link

The answer you’re looking for is yes, in most cases. The only cases where a criminal conviction could threaten a federal pension are those involving acts of espionage, treason, sabotage, etc., against the United States.

Oh, and we also want you to know that inmates in a federal, state, or municipal correctional facility may be eligible for some Veterans Affairs or VA benefits. But, hold your horses, because they may be able to make a payment. However, how much will depend on the type of benefit and the offender’s circumstances.

But, how will a person’s imprisonment affect the following scenarios mentioned below? Stay tuned to find out more folks!

VA Disability Compensation


“So, can I get military retirement pay while incarcerated and how does the process work?” If you are convicted of a felony, your VA disability benefits will be decreased on the 61st day of your sentence.

Inmates whose disability payment rate is 10% will have that percentage halved while they are behind bars. Inmates receiving VA disability payments for a rating of 20% or higher will have their payments reduced to the 10% rate.

Participants in work release or halfway house programs will not have their compensation cut. The benefits will resume after the prisoner is released. If VA believes that the disability has progressed, a fresh medical evaluation may be necessary.

VA Disability Pension

Pension payments from the VA cease on the 61st day of incarceration for anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and serving time in a Federal, State, or municipal correctional institution.

What About Education Benefits?

We also want you to know that people who are in jail but not for a felony are still eligible for their full monthly payments. Full monthly benefits are available to ex-offenders as well, including those who are halfway house residents or taking part in work release programs.

Only the price of tuition, fees, and required books, supplies, and equipment may be reimbursed to inmates convicted of a felony.

If another federal, state, or local program already covers the full cost of tuition, fees, books, equipment, and supplies, the VA will not cover any additional amount. When other government programs cover only a portion of the total cost of education-related expenses, VA can approve payment for the remaining balance.

Medical Care

Amazingly enough, folks, veterans who find themselves behind bars do not lose access to VA healthcare benefits. When a veteran is detained in a facility run by another government agency, VA is prohibited by regulation from providing hospital or outpatient care to the veteran.

The good news is that VA may be able to help once the veteran is no longer incarcerated. So, if you’re in a similar situation, be sure to reach out them ASAP.

What Else to Know?

We can’t stress this enough folks! It’s important to stay on top of your veteran benefits when you’ve found yourself in a pickle. We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have rights. Read more on this page.

“When a veteran is incarcerated, does he or she lose access to certain benefits?” We’re glad you’ve asked this question because we have the answers you’re looking for.

If a veteran is incarcerated, VA may transfer all or a portion of his or her unpaid benefits to a surviving spouse, child(ren), or dependent parent(s) based on the family’s financial situation.

If a family member wants information on applying for VA benefits, they should contact the VA regional office in their area ASAP. Oh, and as part of the application process, they will be asked about their income.

Here’s another question that a lot of people ask. “When I get out of jail, will I immediately be able to resume receiving my benefits?”

A veteran’s eligibility for VA benefits is normally reinstated upon their release from incarceration. However, within a year of their release, the veteran must inform VA that they have been released from incarceration. Benefits can be reinstated for up to 12 months previous to the notice date if the veteran contacts the VA at a later date.

When a veteran is low-key released from prison, VA will work with the Department of Justice, state agencies, and the National Reentry Resource Center to ensure that their benefits are reinstated as soon as feasible.

Depending on the nature of your impairment, VA may want to schedule a medical checkup to assess your progress.

“How will the VA know I’m in jail?” Here’s what you absolutely mustn’t do. You should NEVER hide the fact that you’re in jail from the VA.

It is your duty to inform them of your incarceration ASAP.  Why is this so important to do? Well, you may be subject to disciplinary action by VA if you fail to update them on your current incarceration status.

To protect yourself from losing future benefits or facing sanctions for lying to a government body, we advise you to act quickly and without fear. What’s done is done. The point is to move forward with honesty and integrity.

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