TN 29 (05-01)

SI 02310.070 Title XVI Prisoner/Inmate Suspensions


Social Security Act, Section 1611(e)(1)(A); 20 CFR 416.201, 416.211, 416.1325


See SI 00520.001 for more definitions regarding individuals residing in public institutions. See SI 00520.009 for additional information about residents of penal institutions.

  1. Correctional institution--A correctional institution (also known as a penal institution) is a public institution that the Federal government, and a State or political subdivision of a State; e.g., a city or county, operates or has direct or indirect administrative control over the correctional institution. These types of institutions house, feed and maintain control of an individual when the appropriate officials arrest, charge him/her with a crime, or the courts convict him/her of a criminal offense.

    NOTE (1): A private facility that is acting as an agent of Federal, State, or local correctional authorities is considered a public institution for SSI purposes. See SI 00520.001C.2. for guidelines on determining whether the facility is acting as an agent.

    NOTE (2): Some of the most common types of public correctional institutions include: prisons, jails, mental facilities (mental facilities that hold individuals found not-guilty-by reason of insanity or other mental conditions as described in GN 02607.300); boot camps, medical correctional hospitals, work camps, detention centers, juvenile detention centers, halfway houses, drug or alcohol rehabilitation centers that are under the control of a correctional institution or authority.

  2. Confinement--An individual is confined when he/she is a resident of a public correctional institution and physically resides in the institution and receives, or can receive, substantially all of his/her food and shelter, and any or all other services which the institution makes available; e.g., vocational rehabilitation, educational, medical or dental, etc., regardless of whether the individual makes payment to the institution for any of the services. (See SI 00520.001B.5. for more information on residence in a public institution.)

    NOTE: It is immaterial whether an individual actually sleeps in the bed the correctional institution provides, or whether he/she consumes the meals, or utilizes the services, as long as he/she could.

  3. Throughout a Month--The term "throughout a month" means the entire period from the first instant of the first day of a calendar month through the last instant of the last day of the month.

    EXAMPLE (1): Jasmine Smith, a title XVI recipient, was arrested and confined in a detention center on March 16, 2000. She could not make bail and stayed in the detention center until her trial on June 1, 2000. Since Jasmine was in a correctional institution throughout the month of April 2000 and remained confined, she is not due benefits for April 2000 on.

    EXAMPLE (2): Bickford Brown, a title XVI recipient, went to jail on 1/30/00. Bickford was unable to make bail until 2/29/00. Bickford was released "to the streets" on 2/29/00 at 11:59 p.m. Bickford is not subject to suspension of his title XVI benefits because he did not meet the throughout the month provision at a public institution.

  4. Release--Official discharge from a public correctional institution. Release is effective with the date the correctional institution relinquishes custody or control of the individual when the individual is free to return to his/her normal living environment; e.g., "released to the streets."


The chart below explains the effective dates and the changes in the law in regard to incarcerated and confined title XVI recipients:



January 01, 1974

Prohibits payment to residents of public institutions (e.g., correctional institutions) throughout a month.

NOTE: Public Law 104-193 provides for incentive payments to State/local institutions for information resulting in suspension of SSI payments to individuals confined to correctional institutions. The law was enacted on 8/1/96.

March 01, 1997

Implementation of the SSI incentive payment provisions. SSA began paying correctional/mental institutions for inmate information resulting in suspension of SSI payments to individuals confined to correctional institutions.


See SI 00520.009 for additional information about SSI eligibility for individuals in correctional (penal) institutions.

1. Resident of Correctional Institution

A resident of a correctional institution is a resident of a public institution for SSI purposes and, if he/she is in the correctional institution throughout a month, he/she is ineligible for SSI.

NOTE: A private facility that is acting as an agent of Federal, State, or local penal authorities is considered a public institution for SSI purposes (see SI 00520.001C.2.a).

a. Authorized Absences

A title XVI recipient remains ineligible for benefits during periods of authorized absence from the correctional institution. These absences include periods of participation in some alternatives to traditional incarceration, where the provision of food and shelter (or the arrangement for such provision) remains the responsibility of the correctional authorities.

EXAMPLE: Some of these situations include:

  • prisoners who are sent to work on farms on a seasonal basis;

  • boot camp programs;

  • daily work release programs that allow individuals to work in the community during the day, but require them to return to the correctional institution at night; and,

  • period as an inpatient in facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, even if Medicaid is paying over 50 percent of the cost of care.

b. Unauthorized Absences

An individual is ineligible for SSI during periods of unauthorized absence from a correctional institution.

EXAMPLE: Some examples of unauthorized absence include:

  • escape,

  • walking away from a work detail and not returning, and

  • failing to report to a correctional institution for confinement after the court allows the convicted individual a temporary absence to return home to get his/her affairs in order before incarceration commences, etc.

2. Home Confinement Programs

Individuals participating in alternatives to incarceration outside of formal correctional institutional settings for whom the correctional authorities are not providing food and shelter (either directly or indirectly) are not residents of a correctional institution. An example of such a situation is home confinement (e.g., home tethering, etc.). In this situation, the correctional institution is not providing the individual's basic living needs.


The following provisions do not apply to title XVI residents of correctional institutions.



14-Day Temporary Absence Rule

SI 00520.001B.7. and
SI 00520.001C.4.

Employees of Institutions

SI 00520.010A.1. and
SI 00520.010A.2.

Levings Decision--Eighth Judicial Circuit

SI 00520.120C.1.a.

Special Benefits for Institutionalized 1619 Eligibles

SI 00520.130B.3.

Temporary Institutionalization (TI) Benefits

NOTE: You must always make a TI determination on a prisoner case. Generally, prisoners are not eligible for TI benefits and a denial is applicable.

SI 00520.140B.2. and
SI 00520.140C.6.

Educational/Vocational (ED/VOC) Training

SI 00520.400C.2.b.

Publicly Operated Community Residence (POCR)

SI 00520.500C.2.a.

Resident of a Public Emergency Shelter for the Homeless (PESH)

SI 00520.600C.3.


See SI 00520.900 - SI 00520.920 for prerelease procedures to apply to correctional institutions.

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SI 02310.070 - Title XVI Prisoner/Inmate Suspensions - 05/23/2001
Batch run: 01/27/2009