TN 1 (01-05)
SI 00530.001 How Does an Individual’s Fugitive Status Affect SSI Benefits?
Act – Sec. 1611(e)(4) Regulations – Secs. 416.202, 416.708, 416.1339
NOTE: On April 1, 2009, SSA changed its policy of not paying fleeing felons. Follow the instructions below only for felony warrants with offense codes 4901, 4902, or 4999. Follow the Martinez settlement instructions in GN 02613.860 through GN 02613.885 for all other felony warrant codes.
On May 9, 2011, SSA changed its policy and no longer suspends or denies benefits or payments based solely on a probation or parole violation warrant (i.e., warrants with offense codes 5011, 5012, 8101, 8102, or 9999 or “Blank” and an offense charge symbol of “probation or parole violation”). Follow the Clark Court Order instructions in GN 02615.100 – GN 02615.190 for all probation or parole violation warrants.
We will make additional changes to this section, as necessary, in the future.
Beginning August 1996, the Social Security Act was amended to preclude eligibility for SSI benefits for certain fugitives and probation and parole violators. These procedures applied only to SSI payments. An individual was able to receive Title II benefits while having SSI payments suspended because of these provisions of the law.
Beginning January 2005, the Social Security Protection Act (SSPA) extends the fugitive felon nonpayment provision to Title II recipients. Any individual receiving Title XVI and Title II concurrently will now have both payments suspended because of the provision of the new law. (See GN 02613.050B.2 for developing the suspension of Title XVI/Title II concurrent cases.)
Beginning January 2005, the SSPA also provides a good cause exception giving the Commissioner the authority to continue paying Titles II/XVI benefits in certain situations. (See SI 00530.015 for developing “good cause”.)
Unless specifically noted, the term "‘fugitive” also applies to parole/probation violators for purposes of this subchapter.
B. Policy – ineligibility criteria
An individual is ineligible to receive SSI benefits for any month during which he or she
Has an unsatisfied warrant for his or her arrest for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, that is a felony or, in jurisdictions that do not define crimes as felonies, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year regardless of the actual sentence imposed under the laws of the place from which the warrant is issued.
Has an unsatisfied warrant for avoiding custody or confinement after conviction for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, which is a felony or, in jurisdictions that do not define crimes as felonies, is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year regardless of the actual sentence imposed under the laws of the place from which the person flees; or
Is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law.
IMPORTANT: When an individual has an unsatisfied warrant for avoiding prosecution, custody, or confinement for a crime, these procedures apply only if the crime is classified as a felony. When an individual has an unsatisfied warrant for avoiding prosecution, custody, or confinement for an attempt to commit a crime, the crime attempted must be classified as a felony, but the criminal act of attempting to commit the crime does not have to be a felony. When an individual is violating a condition of his or her probation or parole, the originating crime may be either a felony or a misdemeanor.
For individuals residing in Connecticut, New York, or Vermont on or after 12/06/05, see SI 00530.800 for instructions on determining fugitive felon status.