Veterans in prison and parolees may be eligible for certain VA
benefits and access to local and state resources. The benefits and
resources provided here are not all-inclusive as others may be
available. The VA can pay certain benefits to veterans who are
incarcerated in a federal, state or local penal institution. However,
the amount paid depends on the type of benefit and reason for
incarceration. It is important to note that if the veteran is
receiving either VA disability compensation or VA pension benefits,
the veteran, or a family member, should contact the VA at
1-800-827-1000 immediately to notify them of the veteran's
incarceration. Failure to notify VA of a veteran's incarceration could
result in the loss of all financial benefits and result in the veteran
owing the VA a substantial overpayment. The benefits most commonly
affected by imprisonment are listed below:
VA Disability Compensation The veteran's
disability compensation monthly payment will be reduced beginning with
the 61st day of your imprisonment for a felony. If their payment
before they went to prison was greater than the 10 percent rate, their
new payment amount will be at the 10 percent rate. If they were
getting the 10 percent rate before they were imprisoned, their new
payment will be half the 10 percent rate. Compensation benefits are
not reduced if imprisoned for a misdemeanor.
VA Disability Pension If the veteran is
imprisoned in a Federal, state or local penal institution as the
result of conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, their pension payment
will be discontinued effective on the 61st day of imprisonment
VA Medical Care While Imprisoned Incarcerated veterans do not forfeit their eligibility for
medical care. However, current regulations restrict the 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. The 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.
Receipt of VA Benefits by the Dependents of a Incarcerated
Veteran VA can take all or part of the benefits
an incarcerated veteran was receiving and apportion it to the
veteran's spouse, child or children, and dependent parents on the
basis of individual need. Spouses, children and dependent parents
should contact the nearest VA regional office by calling 800-827-1000
for details on how to apply or call the Tarrant County Veteran Service
office at 817-531-5645 for assistance. You will be asked to provide
income information as part of the application process.
Resuming VA Benefits after Incarceration The
veteran's award for compensation or pension benefits shall be resumed
on the date of release from incarceration, if the Department of
Veterans Affairs receives notice of release within one year following
release. You are considered to have been released from incarceration
if you are paroled or participating in a work release or halfway house
program. 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 at 1-800-827-1000
for assistance. For veterans in Tarrant County, contact the Tarrant
County Veteran Service office at 817-531-5645 to get your benefits
The VA also has a Guidebook for Veterans Incarcerated in Texas that
provides information about housing, finding and keeping a job, VA
healthcare, mental health services, alcohol and substance abuse
treatment, financial assistance, legal assistance, and obtaining
federal benefits to name a few. View the guide at A Guidebook for Veterans Incarcerated in Texas.
In addition, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has a guide
called "Planning for your Release". View their guide
at Planning for your Release
Other Benefits and Resources for Incarcerated Veterans
VA's Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program helps
incarcerated veterans successfully rejoin the community through
support, including those addressing mental health and substance-use
problems. For more information, visit their website at Homeless Veterans
VA Veteran's Justice Outreach Program of North Texas The purpose of the Veteran's Justice Outreach Program of
North Texas is to avoid unnecessary criminalization of mental illness
and extended incarceration among veterans by ensuring that eligible
veterans, in contact with the criminal justice system, have access to
VA mental health and substance abuse services, when clinically
indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate. Call a
Justice Outreach Specialist at 214-857-2252, 214-857-2260 or
903-583-6241 for more information.
The Tarrant County Re-entry Program The Tarrant
County Re-entry Program has information on re-entry service providers,
substance abuse treatment facilities, mental health resources,
housing, employment, and healthcare just to name a few. Services for
incarcerated veterans re-entering the local community can be found at
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Re-entry and Integration
Division The Texas Department of Criminal
Justice has established the Re-entry and Integration Division. This
division's purpose is to better focus state resources to reduce
recidivism and address the needs of juvenile and adult offenders. The
Re-entry and Integration Division (RID) has a voluntary reentry
program that is offered on multiple units within the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice. This program assists offenders in preparing for a
successful return to the community. Re-entry case managers conduct a
pre-release assessment to determine an offender's pre- and
post-release needs. Case managers develop a re-entry plan in
cooperation with the offender, community providers and family support
systems. This program is designed to address offender needs in nine
areas that have been identified as keys to successful re-entry. Those
nine areas are, obtaining identification documents, housing
assistance, employment, education, health care, substance abuse
assistance, transportation, clothing, food and amenities, financial
resources and support systems.
They have also created a very informative guide for inmates
preparing to return to society entitled "A New Start. A Re-entry Guide for Texas Key Information for
Successful Reintegration".The guide can be viewed at
Guide for Texas.
For more information, contact the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice Re-entry and Integration Division at 936-437-4452 or visit
their website at Re-entry
and Integration Division.
Catholic Charities Catholic Charities' Veteran
Services Program promotes housing stability among very low-income
veterans and their families who are at risk of or are currently
homeless. Veterans should call 877-414-8345 for eligibility
requirements and to find out how to apply. You can get more
information at their website at Catholic
Charities, Fort Worth.
Texas VFW Foundation The Texas VFW Foundation
administers a financial assistance fund to assist eligible veterans
with basic life sustaining needs such as payment of mortgage/rent,
phone, utilities, etc. Visit their website at Texas VFW to
get an application or call them at 512-291-6850.
Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans Texas Lawyers for Texas Veteran provides free legal counsel and
advice to veterans and the surviving spouses of deceased veterans,
without regard to financial ability. After financial evaluation and
qualifications, a veteran's legal matter requiring representation will
be referred to a volunteer attorney in the field of law for the
matter. They hold monthly meetings at the VA Fort Worth Outpatient
Clinic, 2201 S. E. Loop 820. Directions are I-20 Campus exit, north
service road in Fort Worth by appointment only. Call 817-546-4460 to
schedule an appointment.
Texas Re-entry Services Texas Re-entry
Services offers a wide range of client services in order to better
prepare ex-offenders for their reintroduction into society. Contact
them at 817-834-2833. Their address is 3001 Race Street, Fort Worth,
Cornerstone Assistance Network The
Cornerstone Assistance Network provides on-going and long-term
development for participants through mentoring, job readiness and
educational programs, as well as transitional and permanent supportive
housing programs. View their website at Cornerstone
Assistance Network or call them at 817-632-6000 for more information.
Texas Offenders Re-entry Initiative (TORI) The mission of TORI is to guide and empower ex-offenders to
maximize their potential and increase their opportunities for
successful reintegration into society. Some of the services they
provide are transitional housing and independent living assistance,
education, family reunification, healthcare, spiritual guidance, and
mentorship to name a few. Go to their website at www.medc-tori.org/ or contact
them at 214-941-1325, ext 300, for more information.
Salvation Army Prison Rehabilitation Services The Salvation Army plays a growing role in prison
rehabilitation and crime prevention. Services include Bible
correspondence courses, prerelease job-training programs, employment
opportunities in cooperation with parole personnel, material aid and
spiritual guidance to both prisoners and their families. Contact them
at 817-531-2923 or 817-344-1805 for more information.
Social Security Benefits for Persons Formerly Incarcerated Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
benefits are suspended when individuals are confined to jail or
prison. For Social Security beneficiaries, benefits remain suspended
until the inmate is released. For SSI beneficiaries, benefits are
terminated when the individual is incarcerated for a year or more.
Newly released inmates need funds to cover living expenses when they
are released from prison. To help them make a successful transition
back into the community, benefits need to be started as soon as
possible. Contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213
to see how to restart benefits. You can also go to their website at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10504.html
for more information.
211 Texas (Finding Help in Texas) 211 Texas
helps Texas residents connect with the services they need. They
provide easy-to-find information from over 60,000 state and local
health and human services programs. Veterans should dial 211 from any
phone when seeking services after incarceration. After you call 211,
select Option 1 for local resources and Option 2 for state resources.
If you can't reach them by dialing 211, contact them at 877-541-7905.
Their website is www.211texas.org/211/.
Military Discharge Upgrade Assistance Incarcerated veterans may have discharges that are Other
Than Honorable. Veterans may submit a request to their respective
military service requesting their discharge be upgraded or military
record corrected. Veterans relocating back to the Tarrant County area
should contact the Tarrant County Veteran Services office by calling
817-531-5645, or by writing to Tarrant County Veteran Services, 1200
Circle Drive, Suite 300, Fort Worth, TX 76119 to seek assistance with
submitting a military discharge upgrade request.
The Department of Education
The Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult
Education's has a guide called Take Charge of Your Future that
has a wealth of knowledge on educational resources for incarcerated
individuals reintegrating into society. To see a copy of the guide,
visit their web page at Take
Charge of Your Future.
Other Benefits Incarcerated veterans should
also view the Tarrant County Veteran Services homepage that lists more
benefits they may be eligible for. Visit our website at Tarrant County Veteran
Tarrant County provides the information contained in this web site as a public service. Every effort is made to ensure that information provided is correct. However, in any case where legal reliance on information contained in these pages is required, the official records of Tarrant County should be consulted. Tarrant County is not responsible for the content of, nor endorses any site which has a link from the Tarrant County web site.
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