TN 14 (04-12)

GN 02607.310 Provisions for Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI) Verdicts or Findings for Confinements Beginning 04/01/2000 and Continuing

A. Rules for confinements beginning 04/01/2000 and continuing

NOTE: Public Law 106-170 (enacted 12/17/1999 and effective 04/01/2000) created two significant changes to the prisoner suspension policies. The changes are:

  • the grand jury indicts a beneficiary charged with a criminal offense (the requirement that the criminal offense carry a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year no longer applies); and

  • the court declares the beneficiary NGRI as defined in GN 02607.310A.1, in this section and orders his or her confinement to an institution. The beneficiary must remain in the institution for more than 30 continuous days before SSA will suspend his or her benefits. The NGRI suspension is then retroactive to the initial confinement date for the beneficiary's commitment.

1. NGRI suspensions for confinements beginning 04/01/2000 and continuing

a. NGRI beneficiary

NGRI beneficiary is

  • guilty but insane with respect to a criminal offense;

  • not guilty of a criminal offense by reason of insanity;

  • incompetent to stand trial under an allegation of a criminal offense ( for processing guidelines for these types of mentally incompetent beneficiaries refer to GN 02607.330); or

  • determined to have a similar verdict or finding with respect to a criminal offense based on similar factors (such as mental disease, mental defect or mental incompetence); and

  • confined to an institution for more than 30 continuous days at public expense.

b. Determine if we must suspend benefits due to NGRI

Suspend benefits to an NGRI beneficiary when a court issues a verdict as indicated in GN 02607.310A.1.a in this section and an institution takes custody of the beneficiary because of the verdict.

c. Determine the NGRI suspension effective date

Suspend benefits effective with the month (including any part of the month) an institution confines the beneficiary for more than 30 continuous days at public expense following a NGRI verdict.

Count more than 30 continuous days as follows: Date of court order (or confinement date if later than the court order date) plus 30 consecutive days = 31 or more days. Count the day the court issues the order as the first day of the period then add 30 consecutive days to this day to equal 31 or more days.

2. Court order declaring a beneficiary NGRI

A court of competent jurisdiction issues a verdict, finding or ruling based on the prevailing laws of that jurisdiction that declares the beneficiary as:

  • guilty but insane with respect to a criminal offense;

  • not guilty of a criminal offense by reason of insanity;

  • incompetent to stand trial under an allegation of a criminal offense (for processing guidelines for these types of NGRI beneficiaries, refer to GN 02607.330A.2.); or

  • having a similar verdict or finding with respect to a criminal offense based on similar factors (such as mental disease, mental defect or mental incompetence).

These findings may occur because the court reviewed the evidence and psychological evaluations during or before the course of the beneficiary’s criminal court trial or because of some other administrative or judicial process after the court trial (i.e., civil commitment).

3. Confinement of an NGRI beneficiary

For title II purposes, the confinement date equals the court order date, unless the mental institution admits and confines the beneficiary after the court order date. In this instance, the confinement date is the date the mental institution admits the beneficiary into custody.

When a court issues an order to confine a beneficiary in a United States mental institution for more than 30 continuous days, we consider the beneficiary confined for title II suspension purposes.

Confinement includes either of the following factors:

Confined beneficiaries include those who are:

  • confined by court order for more than 30 continuous days as described in GN 02607.310A.2. in this section;

  • temporarily hospitalized outside the mental facility; or

  • escapees or those who fail to report to begin court ordered confinement.

Confinement begins with:

  • the first confinement in any U.S. correctional or mental facility following a court order; i.e., confinement begins when the beneficiary is both confined for more than 30 continuous days; and

  • under a court order as described in GN 02607.310A.2. in this section, for benefit suspension purposes.

Confinement ends with:

  • conditional release (official release from the institution that is subject to continued supervision or treatment and where the institution is no longer providing the beneficiary's basic living needs). For NGRI reinstatement guidelines, refer to GN 02607.850; or

  • official unconditional release (formal permanent release) from an institution.

NOTE: Some jurisdictions have special procedures for re-confining NGRI beneficiaries (i.e., insanity acquittals) on conditional release, which differ from usual civil commitment procedures. If a court orders the beneficiary re-confined under these special procedures, consider the NGRI beneficiary confined in connection with the NGRI verdict or finding. Suspend benefits if the other criteria in GN 02607.310A in this section are met. Refer the case to your Regional Prisoner Coordinator (RPC) to obtain an opinion from the Office of General Council (OGC) Regional Office if there is a question about whether the re-confinement was under special procedures that apply to insanity acquittals. For a list of RPCs, see GN 02607.990.

B. NGRI suspension does not apply

1. Court-ordered psychological evaluation

Do not suspend benefits when the court requires that an institution confine a beneficiary for a psychological examination to determine competency (mental fitness) to stand trial. The court has the authority (a court proceeding) to require the beneficiary to undergo psychological testing or evaluation before it makes its final decision about a beneficiary’s competency. After the institution completes the psychological evaluation, the court makes a decision about the beneficiary’s competency and issues a court order to confine the beneficiary, if applicable.

2. Beneficiary is not confined

Confinement does not include:

  • release from the care and supervision of the confining institution; and

  • the institution ceases to provide for the beneficiary’s basic living needs; or

  • residence in an institution for 30 days or less.

C. Policy for auxiliary benefits when the wage earner or disabled wage earner is the NGRI beneficiary

Payment continues to all auxiliaries on the account when we must suspend the wage earner’s or disabled wage earner’s benefits due to NGRI.

D. Procedure when the auxiliary or the survivor beneficiary is the NGRI beneficiary

If the NGRI beneficiary is an auxiliary or survivor beneficiary, suspend benefits as indicated in GN 02607.310A. through GN 02607.310B. in this section.

Adjust benefits to the other beneficiaries on the account under the deduction-before-reduction procedure. For more information on the deduction-before-reduction procedure, refer to GN 02603.040.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202607310
GN 02607.310 - Provisions for Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI) Verdicts or Findings for Confinements Beginning 04/01/2000 and Continuing - 10/02/2012
Batch run: 10/02/2012
Rev:10/02/2012