Effective January 2005, the Social Security Protection Act (SSPA) of 2004 provides
a “good cause” exception requiring the Commissioner to not suspend an individual’s
benefit, and/or repay any previously withheld benefit under certain circumstances.
The SSPA also gives the Commissioner the discretionary authority to find good cause
for not suspending an individual’s benefit and/or repay any previously withheld benefit
based on mitigating circumstances if the individual establishes that the offense underlying
the warrant and imposition of the probation or parole (as well as the violation of
probation or parole) was both nonviolent and not drug-related.
SSA will evaluate the reasons why a recipient did not satisfy his/her warrant. This
includes analysis of the incoming warrant information, verification of the warrant
information by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), information provided by
the recipient, and review of the recipient’s Social Security records. This evaluation
will determine whether there is good cause to continue payments. First we look for
mandatory good cause. If that is not found we look for discretionary good cause based
on mitigating circumstances.
NOTE: See SI 00530.015B.2.b for instructions on applying good cause when the beneficiary lacks the mental capacity
to resolve the warrant.