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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Restoring Benefits: State and Local Initiatives

  • Organization: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Date Created: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
  • Submitted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
  • Attachment(s): LINK

Several states and communities have undertaken initiatives to facilitate access to federal benefits upon release. Jails and prisons can help inmates restore their benefits or apply for benefits to which they may be entitled but which for one reason or another they did not have upon incarceration. For example, correctional facilities can:

  • screen inmates for potential eligibility for SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, TANF, veterans benefits or food stamps;
  • have information and necessary forms available;
  • learn the basic program rules to assist inmates;
  • provide assistance to inmates in completing applications;
  • work with local community mental health providers who know benefit issues; and
  • work with the federal, state and local government agencies responsible for administering benefit programs.
  • Examples of initiatives to assist inmates with benefit issues are provided below.

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