Suspension of Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Upheld
The court of appeals for the Fourth circuit held that 42 U.S.C. § 402(x), which suspends payment of social security benefits to incarcerated felons is constitutional. Social security benefits are non-contractual benefits subject to congressional discretion. Note that the statute only suspends benefits to prisoners convicted of a felony who spend more than a month in jail or prison. Hence, it should not apply to misdemeanants, pretrial detainees or felons who spend less than a month in detention. All circuits to consider the matter have upheld the statute. See: Davis v. Bowen, 825 F.2d 799 (4th Cir. 1987).
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