GN DEN02607.850 Title II Reinstatement Policies for Colorado Insanity Acquittees On Temporary Removal Release

A. Background - Reinstating Title II Benefits to Insanity Acquittees in the State of Colorado Temporary Removal Release Program

Under the Colorado Code of Criminal Procedure, a defendant who is found not guilty of a criminal offense by reason of insanity (i.e., an insanity acquittee) is committed to a State mental health institution until determined eligible for release. If, at a release hearing, the defendant is found eligible for release, the committing court orders an official release under Colorado law, either unconditional or conditional, as outlined in GN 02607.850. The Colorado Code of Criminal Procedure provides an alternative method by which an individual committed to a mental health institution in connection with an insanity acquittal may be removed from physical confinement in the institution. This alternative process differs from a committing court's grant of a conditional or unconditional release under Colorado law.

The chief officer (i.e., administrator in charge) of the mental health institution in which the individual has been committed is granted the authority by Colorado State law to authorize treatment and rehabilitation activities involving temporary physical removal of the insanity acquittee inmate from the institution if certain procedures are followed. The chief officer of the institution must provide written notice of the proposed action to the committing court and the district attorney at least 30 days prior to authorizing temporary removal release of the defendant for treatment and rehabilitation activities. If the district attorney or the inmate's attorney of record files written objections to the proposed action within the 30-day period, the committing court must hold a hearing on the objections. If timely objections to the removal are made, no removal of the defendant from the institution can be authorized unless the committing court approves the temporary removal following a hearing. If no objections to the temporary removal are made within the 30-day period, the chief officer of the institution may institute the process to temporarily remove the inmate from the institution for treatment and rehabilitation activities without formal court approval.

A “temporary physical removal” of an insanity acquittee from an institution for treatment and rehabilitation activities is distinct from a “conditional release” of the individual under Colorado law. This type of therapy is a step in a treatment regimen that may lead to a conditional release. In order for an insanity acquittee to be granted a “release” from commitment to an institution under Colorado law, either unconditionally or conditionally, the court or a jury in a release hearing must find that the individual meets the applicable criteria for eligibility for release as stipulated in Colorado law. By contrast, a temporary removal of an insanity acquittee for treatment and rehabilitation does not require this finding. This process only requires an authorization by the chief officer of the institution that either draws no objection to the proposed temporary removal release for treatment and rehabilitation, or has the approval of the committing court if an objection is made against the proposed temporary removal release. An individual placed in the temporary removal program remains under court-ordered commitment to the institution. If an individual does not do well in the temporary removal release program, he/she may be immediately sent back to the original confining institution and re-confined without any notification or remedy for appeal of this action. This differs from the process for recommitting an individual on conditional release under Colorado law, which requires that a hearing be held to revoke the individual's conditional release.

While a “temporary removal” differs from a “conditional release”under Colorado law, both processes result in the individual being conditionally set free from confinement in a mental health institution. In both instances, the individuals are subject to requirements for ongoing treatment, supervision or monitoring as a condition for their release from confinement. The level of treatment, supervision or monitoring required for insanity acquittees in the temporary removal release program is often indistinguishable from that required for insanity acquittees granted a conditional release from commitment.

Typically, insanity acquittees committed to a mental health institution in Colorado who reside outside the institution on temporary removal status no longer have their basic living needs met by the institution.

An individual entitled to Title II benefits whose benefit payments are suspended because he/she is confined by court order in an institution at public expense in connection with an insanity acquittal or certain other verdicts or findings (see GN 02607.310) may have benefit payments reinstated when the individual is released from the care and supervision of the institution and the institution ceases to meet the individual's basic living needs (see GN 02607.850.A).

Generally, an insanity acquittee confined in a mental health institution in Colorado who is released from physical confinement in the institution, either as a result of a grant of a conditional release from commitment under Colorado law or placement in the Colorado temporary removal release program, and who remains subject to only some degree of supervision and monitoring as a condition of this release, will be considered to have been released from the care and supervision of the institution. (The transfer of an inmate from one confining facility to another such facility which is operated by or controlled by the State mental health system does not qualify as a release from the care and supervision of the institution.)

Therefore, an individual confined to a mental health institution in Colorado in connection with an insanity acquittal who is entitled to Title II benefits and who is released from physical confinement in the institution may receive Title II benefits, even though the individual has not been granted an unconditional or conditional release from commitment under Colorado law, if the individual:

  • has been placed on temporary removal release by an administrative action by the chief officer of the Colorado State mental health institution in which the individual has been committed, and

  • is no longer physically confined to the institution, and

  • does not have his/her basic living needs met by the institution, and

  • requires only some degree of supervision and monitoring while he/she is on temporary removal release.

B. Procedure – Reinstating Benefits to Insanity Acquittees in the State of Colorado Who Are on Temporary Removal Release

1. Criteria Required for Reinstatement of Benefits to Insanity Acquittees on Temporary Removal Release in the State of Colorado

Reinstate Title II benefits to an individual who is a Title II beneficiary and a Colorado insanity acquittee if the:

  • chief officer of the Colorado State mental health institution in which the individual was committed and confined has authorized temporary physical removal of the individual from confinement for treatment and rehabilitation activities outside of the institution (see GN DEN02607.850.A for the procedures that must be followed before the chief officer of the institution may authorize a temporary removal release), and

  • individual is no longer physically confined to the institution, and

  • individual is subject to only some degree of supervision and monitoring as a condition of temporary removal release, and

  • institution no longer provides the individual with his/her basic living needs (i.e., food, clothing and shelter).

    NOTE: Do not reinstate benefit payments to an individual who is in temporary removal release status if the individual is placed in a 24-hour lock-down setting in another facility as a condition of his or her temporary removal release (i.e., the individual remains subject to continual supervision and monitoring). Do not consider an individual placed in this type of setting as being subject to only some degree of supervision and monitoring.

    An individual in temporary removal release status who resides in a group home in the community may have benefit payments reinstated if the individual is subject to only some degree of supervision and monitoring and the institution from which the individual has been temporarily removed for treatment and rehabilitation no longer provides the individual with his/her basic living needs. The fact that the group home may receive a subsidy from the State mental health agency is not material to the decision to reinstate benefit payments.

2. Effective Date For Reinstating Benefits

Benefits payments will not be reinstated any earlier than the month after the effective date of these instructions. If the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. are met, and all factors of entitlement/eligibility are met (see GN DEN02607.850D), reinstate benefits to an individual in the temporary removal release program beginning with the first month throughout which the individual is residing outside the institution on temporary removal release. Generally, this will be the first month that starts after the date on which the individual is released from physical confinement in the institution pursuant to a temporary removal release and begins living outside the institution.

NOTE: See GN DEN02607.850G. for instructions on resuming benefit suspension if the beneficiary is re-confined in the institution because of cancellation of his/her temporary removal release.

C. Procedure – Evidence Needed for Reinstatement Action for Insanity Acquittee on Temporary Removal

1. FO Instructions on Documentation for Reinstating Benefits to Insanity Acquittees Placed on Temporary Removal Release

a. Review the inmate's official temporary removal release documents from the institution.

  • Secure copies of all temporary removal release documents to ensure that the individual has been placed on temporary removal release from the original confining institution. (See GN DEN02607.850A. for the procedures that must be followed before the chief officer of the institution may authorize a temporary removal release from the institution.) (See GN DEN02607.850C.1. for the contents of the temporary removal release documents.)

  • Where an individual is required to reside in a restrictive setting in another facility as a condition of his/her temporary removal release from the original confining institution, determine whether the individual must remain in a 24-hour lock-down setting while residing in that facility on temporary removal release. (See GN DEN02607.850B.1. NOTE.)

  • Obtain a statement from the original confining institution that the institution will not provide the individual placed on temporary removal release with his/her basic living needs while he/she resides outside the institution on temporary removal release. (See GN DEN02607.850B.1.)

b. The temporary removal release papers should contain as much information as possible about the inmate placed on temporary removal release.

NOTE: The temporary removal released inmate is responsible for providing his/her temporary removal release documents to SSA for reinstatement of Title II benefits. If the beneficiary needs assistance in obtaining the documents, see GN DEN02607.850C.2. for processing.

The temporary removal release document should include:

  • sufficient identifying information about the inmate on temporary removal release, such as the inmate's name, social security number, inmate number given at the institution (if any), date of birth, inmate's address, father's name or mother's maiden name or other descriptive information, to verify that the individual identified in the document as having been placed on temporary removal release is the same individual whose Title II benefits have been suspended because of confinement in connection with an insanity acquittal and for whom benefit reinstatement is being requested; and

    NOTE: For purposes of benefit reinstatement, the FO should request appropriate proofs of identification. Verify that the beneficiary/inmate for whom benefit reinstatement is being requested and the individual identified in the temporary release document as having been placed on temporary removal release are the same individual.

  • the name of the original confining institution from which the inmate has been physically removed pursuant to a temporary removal release; e.g., the document has the original confining institution's name and address on the letterhead; and

  • the terms and conditions of the inmate's temporary removal release; e.g., amount of supervision and monitoring the inmate will receive while on temporary removal release; the amount and type of medication or treatment the inmate may be required to receive while on temporary removal release; where the inmate will reside while on temporary removal release; responsibility/source(s) for the individual's basic living needs while on temporary removal release; etc., and

  • the signature of the chief officer of the confining institution authorizing the inmate's temporary removal release, and the date the chief officer signed the document; and

    NOTE: The inmate or his/her representative also may be required to sign and date the document.)

  • the date (and time, if appropriate) the temporary removal release is effective (i.e., the date/time the individual was released from physical confinement and began residing outside the institution on temporary removal release).

    NOTE: It is imperative that we know the time of the temporary removal release if the date of the temporary removal release is on the first day of the month.

c. If the release papers do not contain sufficient information to clearly show that the individual placed on temporary removal release and the beneficiary/inmate requesting reinstatement are the same person, or to show the effective date/time of the release, the terms and conditions of the release, etc.:

  • Verify the authenticity of the temporary removal release document with the original confining institution that is shown on the letterhead. You need to determine if the individual in temporary removal release and the beneficiary requesting reinstatement are the same person.

  • Contact the original confining institution to secure needed information and/or to verify information provided by the beneficiary concerning his/her temporary removal release from the institution (e.g., time and date of release, terms and conditions of release, and verification that the institution is no longer providing the individual with his/her basic living needs).

2. FO Instructions When The Beneficiary Cannot Provide Temporary Removal Release Documents to SSA

Ask the beneficiary where he/she was last physically confined. Compare this information with the PUPS record to see if the report is accurate.

If the report is:

  • accurate and the beneficiary is capable, then tell the beneficiary to contact the institution to obtain his/her temporary removal release papers.

  • accurate and the beneficiary needs assistance in obtaining his/her temporary removal release documents, then contact the institution. If the institution indicates that the beneficiary has been placed on temporary removal release, ask the institution to provide the temporary removal release documents for this individual under the institution's letterhead along with a statement verifying that the institution no longer provides the individual with his/her basic living needs while he/she is on temporary removal release. See GN DEN02607.850C.1.a. and GN DEN02607.850C.1.b. The document authorizing the individual's temporary removal release must contain the signature of the chief officer of the institution in which the individual has been committed and from which the individual has been physically released for treatment and rehabilitation. Ask the institution to fax the documents to your FO or mail them to the FO address.

    NOTE: If the institution reports that the beneficiary has been placed on temporary removal release but will not provide the temporary removal release document for the individual, contact the institution and obtain the information in GN DEN02607.850C.1.b. and document it on a report of contact or SSA-5002, if applicable. Sign the document and place in the file. Add a remark on PUPS that you were unable to obtain a temporary removal release document from the institution but you did contact the institution and verbally verified the identity of the inmate and the temporary removal release information with the institution over the phone.

  • inaccurate, resolve the discrepancy, then ask the beneficiary for his/her places of confinement since he/she was committed. Update PUPS to reflect the additional periods of confinement, if necessary. After the discrepancy is resolved, obtain the temporary removal release documents per GN DEN02607.850C.

    NOTE: Instances may arise when the FO will need to contact the original confining institution to verify the effective date/time of the temporary removal release of the individual even though the individual provided a temporary removal release document. If a temporary removal release document appears obscure, fraudulent, or not reliable, contact the institution or releasing official to verify its authenticity and verify its contents.

    If the institution reports that the beneficiary has been neither placed on temporary removal release by the institution nor granted an unconditional or conditional release from commitment under Colorado law by the committing court, do not reinstate benefits. Inform the institution that the beneficiary has reported to SSA that he/she is on temporary removal release from the institution and that SSA will not reinstate benefits to the individual until proof of temporary removal release is provided to SSA to substantiate the individual's report.

D. Procedure – Review Factors of Eligibility Before Beginning Payments

You must review and determine if the beneficiary meets all factors of entitlement and eligibility before paying benefits; e.g., work deductions, no child in care deductions, etc.

See GN 02602.005 for factors that may affect eligibility to Title II benefits. See GN 02602.040 for instructions on the resumption of Title II benefits after a period of suspension.

E. Procedure – Processing the Temporary Removal Release Reinstatement Action

Process the temporary removal release reinstatement action through POS/PUPS per the instructions in GN 02607.860.

F. Procedure – Processing a Request to Reinstate Benefits to a Colorado Insanity Acquittee Based on Temporary Removal Release

1. FO Instructions- Reinstating Benefits To Insanity Acquittees Placed on Temporary Removal Release

If the FO receives a request for reinstatement based on temporary removal release, take the following actions:

  • Secure copies of all documents bearing on the issue of temporary removal release reinstatement; i.e., temporary removal release documents and other required information. See GN DEN02607.850C. for development and documentation requirements.

  • Review the documents and other information to determine if the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. for reinstating benefits to an insanity acquittee in temporary removal release are met.

  • If the criteria for reinstating benefits are met, determine if the beneficiary meets all factors of entitlement and eligibility for Title II benefit payments (see GN DEN02607.850D.).

  • Reinstate benefit payments to the individual if the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. for reinstatement are met and all factors of entitlement/eligibility are also met. See GN DEN02607.850B.2. for the effective date for reinstating benefits.

  • Process the temporary removal release reinstatement action through POS/PUPS, if applicable, per GN 02607.860.

  • Tickle the case for 6 months via the MDW to recall the case. Recontact the beneficiary to make sure he/she is still in the temporary removal release program. Process the recontact information per the instructions in GN DEN02607.850F.3.

2. PC/OCO-ODO/ODIO Instructions--Reinstating Benefits to Insanity Acquittees in Colorado Placed on Temporary Removal Release

If the PC/OCO-ODO/ODIO receives a request for reinstatement based on temporary removal release, take the following actions:

  • Review the temporary removal release documents and other information submitted with the request to determine whether the documentation is adequate to decide if the beneficiary meets the requirements for reinstatement in GN DEN02607.850B.1. (See GN DEN02607.850C. for instructions on determining if the temporary removal release documents provided by the beneficiary are acceptable and contain sufficient information for making a decision on the request for reinstatement of benefits based on temporary removal release.)

  • If further development is needed to make a decision on the beneficiary's request for reinstatement based on temporary removal release, forward the information to the FO for development and subsequent processing. The FO will continue processing the temporary removal release reinstatement request to completion.

  • If further development is not required by the FO (i.e., all required evidence is present, valid and complete), determine if the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. for reinstating benefits to an insanity acquittee in temporary removal release are met.

    If the criteria for reinstating benefits are met, determine if the beneficiary meets all factors of entitlement and eligibility for Title II benefit payments (see GN DEN02607.850D.).

    Reinstate benefit payments to the individual if the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. for reinstatement are met and all factors of entitlement/eligibility are also met. See GN DEN02607.850B.2. for the effective date for reinstating benefits.

  • Process the temporary removal release reinstatement action per GN 02607.860.

    When reinstating benefits, diary the case for 6 months via the PC diary control system to recall the case. Recontact the beneficiary to make sure he/she is still in the temporary removal release program. Process the recontact information per the instructions in GN DEN02607.850F.3.

3. FO or PC/OCO-ODO/ODIO Action on the Recontact of the Beneficiary on Temporary Removal Release

Necessary action on the recontact with the beneficiary to verify if temporary removal release still applies:

  • Recontact the beneficiary. Ask if he/she is still in the temporary removal release program.

  • If necessary, contact the institution in which the individual was confined before being placed on temporary removal release to determine the beneficiary's status.

  • If the beneficiary had his/her temporary removal release cancelled (i.e., rescinded or suspended) and he/she was returned to the institution for confinement and treatment, obtain the exact date that the beneficiary's re-confinement in the institution began. Place the beneficiary back into LAF S7 suspension status per GN DEN02607.850G.

  • If there is no reported change in the beneficiary's temporary removal release status, repeat the tickle every 6 months via the MDW to recall the case. Recontact the beneficiary again to make sure he/she is still in the temporary removal release program. Continue this recontact process until he/she is granted a conditional or unconditional release under Colorado law (see GN 02607.310 and GN 02607.850).

G. Procedure – FO or PC/OCO-ODO/ODIO—Suspending Benefits if Colorado Insanity Acquittee's Temporary Removal Release Is Cancelled

Instances will occur where the individual placed on temporary removal release cannot cope or will deteriorate while residing outside the institution in a less secure or restrictive environment. The chief officer of the original confining institution has the authority to cancel the temporary removal release (i.e., rescind, suspend or otherwise remove the individual from participation in the program) and return the individual to confinement in the institution if, for example, the individual's participation is unsatisfactory, the individual's mental health deteriorates, etc. The chief officer of the institution will remove the individual from the temporary removal release setting and send the inmate back to the institution for confinement and treatment.

NOTE: A Colorado insanity acquittee placed on temporary removal release who is re-confined in the institution because of cancellation of his/her temporary removal release is considered confined “in connection with” the insanity acquittal for benefit suspension purposes.

1. Re-confinement to the Institution

If the beneficiary has his/her temporary removal release cancelled and is re-confined in the institution, and this period of confinement lasts for more than 30 continuous days, suspend benefits effective with the month in which the individual was re-confined in the institution.

NOTE: Do not suspend benefits if the period of re-confinement is 30 days or less, the individual is again placed on temporary removal release, and the criteria in GN DEN02607.850B.1. are met.

2. Re-confinement to the Institution For More Than 30 Continuous Days

If you have verified the identity of the inmate and determined that suspension of benefits is appropriate because of the individual's re-confinement to the institution for more than 30 continuous days, then process as indicated in the chart:

STEPS

ACTIONS

1

Create a new PUPS record for this period of re-confinement. Determine the source of the inmate re-confinement report. (See GN 02607.460 to create a new PUPS record based on the source of the inmate report.)

2

Send advance notice to the beneficiary/representative payee, if appropriate. See GN 02607.970A. for the advance notice to send to the beneficiary based on the source of the inmate re-confinement report. Mail advance notification to the beneficiary at the address of record on the MBR.

NOTE: Do not change the mailing address of the beneficiary unless the beneficiary personally requests it.

3

Suspend benefits using PUPS based on the source of the inmate report. See GN 02607.700A.2. for PUPS automated processing exclusions. See GN 02607.700B and GN 02607.700C for additional PUPS suspension processing instructions.

The new PUPS Record/Alert will contain a Reporter Identification Code (RID Code) of “SELF” if the beneficiary reports to SSA his/her re-confinement to the institution. See step 4 for information on additional RID and FID codes that can be used for the PUPS record if the beneficiary does not “SELF” report his/her re-confinement.

4

Use the RID code of “OTHR” if the re-confinement of the beneficiary to the institution is reported by the beneficiary's representative payee or other third party (other than the institution) having knowledge of the re-confinement of the beneficiary to the institution. If the information came from a source that does not have a reporting agreement with SSA; e.g. a court system, social worker, newspaper report, non-correctional institution source, etc., also code the RID code as "OTHR."

If the beneficiary's re-confinement is reported by the institution use the appropriate RID and FID code for the confining institution where the beneficiary is being re-confined. Check the Reporter Identification Code (RID) and the Facility ID Code (FID Code) to make sure they are correct. Change the RID and FID codes, if necessary, to reflect the correctional or mental health institution that provided the commitment/conviction or re-confinement information to SSA. See GN 02607.820 for instructions on accessing the IRCS screens to obtain RID and FID codes for reviewing PUPS alerts and changing the RID/FID codes.

5

Annotate the date of commitment in the date of conviction field on PUPS.

NOTE: If the commitment/conviction date is earlier than the date of confinement on the PUPS record, change the date of commitment/conviction to equal the date of re-confinement on the PUPS record. Post the original date of commitment/conviction to the Remarks section on the PMRK screen for the PUPS record. This step is necessary in order to pay the correct amount of incentive payment to the institution/facility. PUPS calculates the Title II incentive payment amount based on the commitment/conviction date and the SSA receipt date, not the re-confinement date and the SSA receipt date.

Annotate the date of re-confinement in the date of confinement field on the new PUPS record.

6

Check the receipt date on the PUPS record to make sure it reflects the date that SSA received the report of re-confinement for the beneficiary that would cause SSA to suspend the Title II benefit.

7

If there are multiple PUPS records for the same individual, assure that all other pending PUPS records are closed. See GN 02607.710A.2. for clearing other PUPS pending records.

8

Check to see if the beneficiary has possible title XVI entitlement and, if found, process per GN 02607.705.

9

Determine if a manual incentive payment will be necessary to pay the institution for the inmate report. See GN 02607.820 for manual incentive payment information.

NOTE: Advance notice of proposed suspension is not required if the beneficiary (or his/her representative payee) reports his/her temporary removal release cancellation to SSA. (See GN 03001.020 for instructions on processing first-party reports.)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202607850DEN
GN DEN02607.850 - Title II Reinstatement Policies for Colorado Insanity Acquittees On Temporary Removal Release - 11/13/2015
Batch run: 11/13/2015
Rev:11/13/2015