The Department of Justice has designated April 24th-April 30th as National Reentry Week. As a participant agency in the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, Social Security continues to work with other federal agencies to increase transparency about government programs and services.
Our dedicated reentry web page, https://www.ssa.gov/reentry/, includes SSA-related information about accessing Social Security benefits and resources and links to other federal agencies. Family members and advocates can readily access information for their relatives or clients about filing for or reinstating benefits, obtaining replacement Social Security cards, veterans’ services and healthcare.
Improving Service to Citizens Returning to the Community after Incarceration
We are making tremendous strides toward ensuring continuity of re-entry services for citizens preparing to return to the community. We continue to work with federal, state, and local corrections officials to establish prerelease agreements for Social Security benefits. We are working with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to complete a national prerelease agreement that will cover all federal prisons. In addition, we have active statewide prerelease agreements with 43 states. We are working diligently to reach 50 states by the end of 2016.
Some individuals become disabled while in custody and may be eligible to receive disability benefits upon release. Through the pre-release agreements with state and local correctional facilities, individuals can apply for benefits or begin the process of reinstating benefits prior to or shortly after their release. These benefits and resources are the key to their ability to resume family responsibilities, secure housing, and cover basic living expenses.
Ensuring Returning Citizens are Reconnected to Services Upon Release
Frequently when individuals who have paid their debt to society leave custody, they do not have current identification. Without these documents, they find it very difficult, if not impossible, to secure employment, housing, healthcare, or government assistance. Often to obtain identification, individuals are required to provide proof of their Social Security number (SSN). We have a prisoner SSN replacement card MOU with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which covers all Federal prisons nationwide. We also have over 39 statewide agreements and approximately 20 agreements with county and other local facilities. These arrangements help speed up the process of obtaining a replacement Social Security card.
For more on National Reentry Week, visit https://www.justice.gov/reentry/reentry-week
For more on the Reentry Council, visit https://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/projects/firc/