If you are on United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability and get sent to prison, you will continue to receive disability checks. They will most likely be reduced in amount, however, depending on the duration of your prison sentence, the class of your conviction (felony or misdemeanor), and your impairment rating. Once you get out of prison, you can resume getting payments at your previous compensation level, assuming your service-connected disability warrants the same impairment rating as before.

A VA disability lawyer can help you sort out what will happen to your benefits if you are facing criminal charges and possible prison time. The legal team at the Disability Advantage Group offers a free disability case evaluation. Call us at +1-865-566-0800 if you have any questions about receiving disability checks if sent to prison and/or to get started with a member of our staff.

VA Disability Guidelines for Incarcerated Veterans

When a disabled veteran gets convicted of a felony and is sentenced to more than 60 days in prison, their VA disability benefits get reduced. The amount of reduction depends on the veteran’s VA impairment rating. This rating, which is based on the severity of one’s disability, determines one’s monthly compensation level.

If your VA impairment rating is 20% or higher, your benefit amount gets dropped to the 10% level for the duration of your prison sentence. If you are already at the 10% level, your benefit amount gets cut in half until you get released.

As of 2018, the VA compensation scale is as follows:

  • 10% rating: $140.05 per month    
  • 20% rating: $276.84 per month    
  • 30% rating: $428.83 per month    
  • 40% rating: $617.73 per month    
  • 50% rating: $879.36 per month    
  • 60% rating: $1,13.86 per month    
  • 70% rating: $1,403.71 per month    
  • 80% rating: $1,631.69 per month    
  • 90% rating: $1,833.62 per month    
  • 100% rating: $3,057.13 per month

So, if you currently receive $269.30 or more per month in VA disability, then your benefits will get cut to $136.24 per month while you are in prison. You do not rack up arrearage during your sentence. In other words, the difference between what you were previously receiving and what you receive while in prison does not accumulate and get paid to you upon your release.

As you can see, a prison sentence can cost you a significant amount of income, particularly if you have a high impairment rating.

The Case of Probation, Work-Release Programs, and Halfway Houses

If you were convicted of a crime but sentenced to probation, a work-release program, or a halfway house rather than prison, there is good news: your VA disability benefits will not be reduced while you serve out your sentence.

For a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation, Call the Disability Advantage Group at +1-865-566-0800

If you have any concerns about how being sent to prison will affect whether you receive disability checks from the VA, you should speak with a lawyer right away.

The VA disability team at the Disability Advantage Group wants to help you with any VA issues you are having. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation. To speak with a member of our team today and to answer any questions about receiving disability checks if sent to prison, call us at +1-865-566-0800.