TN 10 (12-17)

DI 33025.030 Cases Involving Individuals Convicted of a Felony

A. Background - Benefit payments for Individuals Convicted of a Felony

Social Security Ruling (SSR) 83-21 “Title II: Person Convicted of a Felony” provides a full discussion of the substantive requirements of the statutory provision, Public Law (P.L.) 96-473, addressing the payment of Social Security benefits to certain persons convicted of a felony. However, the Social Security Administration issued SSR 83-21 before the enactment of P.L. 98-21, which extended the benefit suspension provision to all Title II beneficiaries. Public Law (P.L.) 96-473 and P.L. 98-21 provide that Title II benefits are not payable to persons convicted of felonies under specific circumstances. See,

The field office (FO) identifies cases affected by this provision when they are able to determine that the individual is charged with a felony, convicted of a felony, or has a prison-related impairment. When the FO identifies one of these cases, the FO will include an SSA-5002 (report of contact) containing information regarding conviction date, duration, if there is a trial pending, etc.

B. Procedure - Identifying cases involving individuals convicted of a felony

1. Evaluating and developing evidence

  1. Be alert to medical evidence that reveals the impairment(s) arose or was aggravated by circumstances related to imprisonment.

  2. Identify cases not previously identified that could be affected by P.L. 96-473 and P.L. 98-21.

    • If necessary, telephone the FO and request development to determine whether a felony was committed, the date of offense, and the status of the criminal case.

    • Request the FO to forward an SSA-5002 to the disability hearing unit (DHU) that contains this information.

    • Process the case as usual when you receive this development. This includes scheduling and holding a hearing if, the individual wants a hearing.

  3. Take the guidance in SSR-83-21 into account when writing the disability hearing officer’s (DHO) decision.

2. Trial pending, possible adverse reopening

  1. Prepare a decision in the customary manner, considering all impairments.

    NOTE: The FO will add a diary to the case and, if the individual is convicted at the trial, the case folder will be returned to the DHU.

  2. Determine whether a felony-related impairment is involved (see DI 33025.030B.1.a, in this section). If the FO returns the case, (see note in DI 33025.030B.2.a in this section).

  3. We provide due process protections in the event of a possible adverse reopening. Suggested language for the notice in this situation is located in DI 33025.055 Suggested Language for the Notice in a Case Where a Reopening and Reversal to a Cessation is Necessary Because a Felony-Related Impairment is Excluded – Exhibit.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0433025030
DI 33025.030 - Cases Involving Individuals Convicted of a Felony - 12/13/2017
Batch run: 12/13/2017
Rev:12/13/2017