TN 104 (05-24)

GN 02602.010 Nonpayment of Title II benefits when convicted and penalized for crimes against the United States


42 U.S.C. 402(u) / Sec. 202(u)

20 U.S.C. 404.465 /CFR §404.465

A. Policy

Any federal court (the court) may impose a penalty excluding earnings for determining entitlement and benefits against an individual convicted of a crime(s) against the United States (U.S.). This penalty for a conviction of a crime against the U.S. is in addition to the ones established under applicable U.S. laws. The instructions in this subsection only apply when the U.S. Attorney General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) notifies us the court imposed such a penalty in addition to a conviction under one of the above statutes.

NOTE: Crimes against the U.S. include espionage, sabotage, treason, sedition, subversive activities, or communication of classified information to a foreign government, see 18 U.S.C. §§ 792-99, 2151-56, 2381-90 and 50 U.S.C. § 783.

1. Effective date of penalty

The penalty is effective with the month of the conviction.

2. Entitlement to Title II benefits

This penalty affects the entitlement and benefit amount of the convicted person. It does not affect the benefit amount of any currently entitled or future auxiliary on the account.

For example, a spouse continues to have benefit rights based on the convicted individual's entire earnings record, pre-penalty.

  • Lump sum death payment

    This penalty does not affect the convicted person's entitlement to a lump sum death payment (LSDP) payment based on another person's earnings record (ER); nor does it affect an auxiliary's entitlement to a LSDP payment based on the convicted person's credited earnings before or after the conviction.

  • Health insurance benefit (HIB) eligibility

    For information on how the conviction of a crime against the U.S. affects eligibility for HI benefits, refer to HI 00801.086.

  • Supplemental medical insurance benefit (SMIB) enrollment

    For information on eligibility for SMI benefits, refer to HI 00805.005

B. Procedure

The U.S. Attorney General must notify the Commissioner of Social Security about an individual who has received this additional penalty for a conviction for a crime(s) against the U.S. before SSA will apply the penalty to a beneficiary's record.

1. Notification

Central Office should receive the notification for these types of penalty cases. However, if the Field Office (FO) or Processing Center (PC) receives notification or a copy of the judgment directly from DOJ:

  • Scan the documents into the Evidence Portal (EP). For more information on EP, see MS 09701.001.

  • Email case information to the Office of Income Security Programs (OISP), at ^OISP OSSIPIP Controls to confirm the applicability of this policy before taking any action. Type “Convicted for crimes against the U.S.” in the subject line of the email.

  • OISP will confirm with the Office of General Counsel, as needed, whether the penalty applies to the beneficiary’s record.

2. Applying the penalty

When determining or re-determining entitlement for an individual convicted of one of these crimes, do not include:

  • Wages paid in or before the calendar year in which the conviction occurred; and

  • Net earnings (NE) for self-employment (SE) derived in or before the taxable year in which the conviction occurred.

3. Presidential pardon

If the President pardons the individual for the offense, remove the penalty effective with the month after the month of the pardon. Recalculate entitlement of benefits, and determine the amount of benefits to pay as if there had been no conviction.

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GN 02602.010 - Nonpayment of Title II benefits when convicted and penalized for crimes against the United States - 05/15/2024
Batch run: 05/15/2024