DI 10105.105 Temporary Disregard of Impairments Incurred or Conditions Aggravated in Prison
For any month during which the individual is confined, any impairment which arises, or the aggravation of an impairment which occurs, in connection with an individual's confinement due to conviction of a felony committed after October 19, 1980, must be disregarded in determining whether the individual is under a disability for purposes of benefits payable.
1. Period of incarceration-establishing a freeze
In a Disability Insurance Benefit (DIB) claim where the exclusion of confinement-related impairments changes the outcome of the disability determination, a determination would be made for purposes of establishing a freeze, but not for purposes of paying benefits to the worker or any auxiliaries for any month during which the worker is incarcerated.
Usually, an impairment is considered to have arisen in connection with confinement when it first occurs during confinement (i.e., impairment is diagnosed to have begun during confinement, and there is no evidence showing that signs and symptoms occurred prior to confinement).
Similarly, medical conditions that began prior to confinement and then increase in severity during confinement are considered to have been aggravated in connection with confinement.
NOTE: The disability freeze period does not apply to Disabled Widow’s Benefits (DWB) applicants. A DWB claim that is based on confinement-related impairments would be denied. When the DWB, is no longer confined, disability can be established. A new application is necessary.
2. DIB payment period
For number holders (NH) who have had a freeze period established under the procedures in DI 10105.025A, cash benefits can be paid for months subsequent to his or her period of incarceration. In such a case, the disabled worker's cash benefit and those of any auxiliaries would begin when:
the worker is released from prison, provided he or she is still disabled, or
a new application(s) for cash benefits is filed.
3. Conviction reversals
Subsequent overturn of a felony conviction can reopen the decision for payment of benefits in DIB, and DWB cases.