Department of Veterans Affairs
VA benefits are affected if a beneficiary is convicted of a felony
and imprisoned for more than 60 days.
Disability or Death Pension paid to an incarcerated beneficiary must be
discontinued. Disability compensation paid to an incarcerated veteran rated
20-percent or more disabled is limited to the 10 percent rate. For a surviving
spouse, child or dependent parent receiving Dependency and Indemnity
Compensation, or a veteran whose disability rating is 10 percent, the payment is
reduced to half of the rate payable to a veteran evaluated as 10 percent
amounts not paid may be apportioned to eligible dependents. Payments are not
reduced for participants in work-release programs, residing in halfway houses or
under community control.
to notify VA of a veteran's incarceration can result in overpayment of benefits
and the subsequent loss of all VA financial benefits until the overpayment is
recovered. VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted
for an outstanding felony warrant.
convicted of a federal or state capital crime are barred from receiving VA
Can a Veteran Receive VA Benefits While in
VA can pay certain benefits to
veterans who are incarcerated in a Federal, state, or local penal institution.
However, the amount we can pay depends on the type of benefit and reason for
incarceration. This fact sheet provides information about the benefits most
commonly affected by imprisonment.
How Will Your Imprisonment Effect the
VA Disability Compensation?
monthly payment will be reduced beginning with the
61st day of your imprisonment for a felony. If your payment
before you went to prison was greater than the 10% rate, your new payment amount
will be at the 10% rate. If you were getting the 10% rate before you were
imprisoned, your new payment will be half the 10% rate. Compensation benefits
are not reduced if imprisoned for a misdemeanor.
VA Disability Pension?
If you are imprisoned in a
Federal, state, or local penal institution as the result of conviction of a
felony or misdemeanor, such pension payment will be discontinued effective on the 61st day of
imprisonment following conviction.
Are You Eligible for VA Medical Care While Imprisoned?
Incarcerated veterans do not forfeit their eligibility for
medical care; however, current regulations restrict VA from providing hospital
and outpatient care to an incarcerated veteran who is an inmate in an
institution of another government agency when that agency has a duty to give the
care or services.
VA may provide care once the veteran has been unconditionally
released from the penal institution. Veterans interested in applying for
enrollment into the VA health care system should contact the nearest VA health
care facility upon their release.
Dependent(s) Receive Any of the Money Not Paid While You Are Imprisoned?
VA can take all or part of the
benefits you are not receiving and apportion it to your spouse, child or
children, and dependent parents on the basis of individual need. They should
contact the nearest VA regional office for details on how to apply. They will be
asked to provide income information as part of the application process.
Benefits Be Resumed?
Your award for compensation or pension
benefits shall be resumed the date of release from incarceration if the
Department of Veterans Affairs receives notice of release within 1 year
following release. Depending on the type of disability, VA may schedule you for
a medical examination to see if your disability has improved. You will need to
visit or call your local VA regional office for assistance.
Note: You are considered to have been released from
incarceration if you are paroled or participating in a work release or half-way
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