GN 02613: Title II/Title XVI Fugitive Felons and Parole and Probation Violators
TN 3 (11-05)
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 – 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.
1. When benefit payment is prohibited
Unless good cause is found (see GN 02613.025 for establishing good cause) payment is prohibited for any month in which a beneficiary (including juveniles) has an unsatisfied warrant for more than 30 continuous days for:
A crime, or attempted crime, that is a felony or, in jurisdictions that do not classify crimes as felonies, a crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year (regardless of the actual sentence imposed); or
Violation of a condition of Federal or State probation/parole.
NOTE: Effective 4/2005, persons having an outstanding felony warrant are prohibited from serving as a payee. There are no exceptions to this prohibition. Refer to GN 00502.133 to find the instructions for developing for representative payee suitability when the applicant is a fugitive felon.
2. Suspension effective date
Suspend benefits beginning with the month the unsatisfied warrant was issued, but not before 1/2005 or the date of entitlement to RSDI Title II benefits, whichever date is later. The unsatisfied warrant must be in effect for more than 30 continuous days while the beneficiary is entitled to Title II benefits before suspending benefits effective with the warrant issuance date, but not before 1/2005.
NOTE: Count “more than 30 continuous days” as follows: Date of unsatisfied warrant = MM/DD/CCYY or 1/1/2005 or date of entitlement to RSDI Title II benefits (whichever date is later) plus 30 consecutive days = 31 or more days.
Count the day the unsatisfied warrant was issued or 1/1/2005 effective date of the Title II fugitive felon suspension provisions or the date of entitlement to RSDI Title II benefits (whichever date is later) as the first day of the period and add 30 consecutive days to this day to equal 31 or more days. After counting the more than 30 continuous days, suspend benefits retroactive to the date the warrant was issued, the date of entitlement to RSDI benefits or 1/1/2005, whichever date is later).
a. Example 1
Date of entitlement to RSDI benefits was 9/28/2004, date the fugitive felon provisions were effective is 1/1/2005, date of the unsatisfied warrant was 7/11/05 plus 30 consecutive days = 8/10/05 as the 31st day. Therefore, the outstanding warrant would be actionable on 8/10/05. Suspend benefits effective with 7/2005, the date the unsatisfied warrant was issued.
b. Example 2
Date of the unsatisfied warrant 9/2/2004, date of entitlement to RSDI Title II benefits is 7/20/2004, date the fugitive felon provisions first apply for Title II beneficiaries is 1/1/2005.
Count more than 30 continuous days as follows. 1/1/2005 date fugitive felon provisions are effective plus 30 consecutive days = 31 days or more or 1/31/2005 as the 31st day. Suspend benefits retroactive to 1/2005 for fugitive felon suspension beginning 1/31/2005 or later.
c. Example 3
Date of the unsatisfied warrant 1/10/2004, date of entitlement to RSDI Title II benefits is 4/10/05 and the Title II fugitive felon suspension provisions are effective 1/1/2005.
Count more than 30 continuous days as follows: 4/10/05 date of RSDI Title II entitlement plus 30 consecutive days = 31 or more or 5/10/05 as the 31st day. Suspend benefits retroactive to 4/2005 for fugitive felon suspension beginning 5/10/05 or later.
See GN 02613.100 for additional instructions on suspending Title II benefits for fugitive felon or probation or parole violator suspensions.
3. Suspension ending date
The suspension will end and benefits will be reinstated in the month after the month the warrant has been satisfied. In most cases this will be the month after the month the fugitive surrenders to or is apprehended by the proper law enforcement officials.
See GN 02613.500 for additional instructions on reinstating benefits after fugitive felon or probation or parole violator suspension no longer applies.
4. When a warrant is satisfied
Warrants (containing either a single charge or multiple charges) are satisfied in one of three ways:
The subject is arrested; or
The subject surrenders to law enforcement; or
A judge dismisses, discharges, or otherwise discontinues the warrant.
Choose whichever date occurs first as the date the warrant is satisfied.
NOTE: For an arrest to satisfy a warrant, the arrest must either be by law enforcement agency in the same jurisdiction as the warrant issuing agency, or it must be verified that the warrant has been satisfied. For example, if a warrant is outstanding from an agency in California, it may not be satisfied if the individual is arrested on unconnected charges in Indiana.
5. Dismissal of criminal charges on the warrant
(See GN 02613.025B.1. for additional information on situations where dismissal of criminal charges on the warrant establish mandatory good cause.)
Criminal charges are satisfied by the individual going to trial for his/her criminal charges and the court determining if the individual is guilty or innocent of the criminal charges. Satisfying a warrant does not satisfy the charges outlined in the warrant. For example, SSA received notification that a beneficiary has an unsatisfied felony warrant and SSA suspended his Title II benefits. The police arrest an individual on a felony warrant for robbery. A judge releases the individual with a $10,000 bond and sets a court date in the future. The individual's warrant has been satisfied (fugitive suspension no longer applies), but his charges remain unsatisfied in the judicial system until a trial takes place and a judge or jury decides on guilt or innocence, a plea agreement is arranged, or the charges are dropped by the prosecutor. In this same example, if the individual with the $10,000 bond flees and does not appear at trial, a separate warrant for “Failure to Appear” would be issued for his arrest (fugitive felon suspension applies).
Warrants issued for probation or parole violations are generally complaints issued by the probation or parole office that is in charge of the probationer or parolee while he/she is on probation or parole. The charges on a probation or parole violation warrant can be due to a criminal (e.g., committing another felony crime while on probation or parole) or technical (e.g., a probationer or parolee changes his/her address without notifying his/her probation or parole officer and the officer cannot locate the probationer or parolee because of this change of residence) violation of probation or parole. Some types of charges for probation or parole warrants in which a probation or parole office will sign a complaint for an arrest warrant for a violation of the probation or parole include: parolee or probationer is caught with possession of a deadly weapon; a parolee or probationer is charged with committing a felony or a crime of violence; or a parolee or probationer charged with a misdemeanor assault involving a deadly weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim; or a sexual assault against a victim; a probationer or parolee who refuses to submit to random chemical testing to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol or other intoxicants; refusal to allow a search of his/her person, residence premises under his/her control or vehicle under his/her control; absconding (fleeing) from supervision; or failure to make an initial report to the Community parole or probation officer upon release to parole or probation supervisor. Warrants issued for violations of probation or parole cause the individual to be arrested and held until an investigation of the violation of probation or parole is conducted by the probation or parole officer in charge of the probationer or parolee. If the probation or parole violation charges are severe, the probation or parole office will issue a summons for the probationer or parole to go before the Probation or Parole Board for a revocation hearing to determine if the individual’s probation or parole should be revoked and the individual returned to prison to serve his/her original criminal sentence.
CAUTION: The satisfaction of a warrant is separate and distinct from the satisfaction of the charges outlined in the warrant. The period of time from the date the warrant is issued or 1/1/2005 or the date of entitlement to Title II benefits, whichever date is later, until the date the warrant is satisfied is a period of fugitive felon or probation or parole violator suspension.
6. Law enforcement terminology for satisfying a warrant
When a warrant is satisfied, other terms may be used such as dismissed, quashed, recalled, squashed, etc. These terms mean that the warrant was satisfied and is no longer outstanding. These terms are generally used to indicate the warrant was issued properly and was in force for a specified period of time before being satisfied. Suspension is appropriate for the period of time the warrant was unsatisfied because these terms do not mean that the warrant was not a valid warrant. In rare situations, a warrant may be withdrawn if it was erroneously issued in a case of mistaken identity. In these situations, contact OIG for assistance to resolve identity of the person named in the warrant. (See GN 02613.150C. for processing instructions.) OIG will coordinate with the law enforcement (LE) agency to determine if the beneficiary is the person identified in the warrant and whether the warrant was proper or issued in error.
B. Process – good cause preclusion to suspending Title II benefits for fugitive felon or probation or parole violator outstanding warrants
Good Cause—Title II benefits will not be suspended for fugitive felon or probation or parole violator suspension if the beneficiary or his/her representative payee can provide SSA with good cause reasons for not satisfying his/her outstanding warrant. See GN 02613.025 for further information on good cause.
SSA will consider the following good cause reason types:
Mandatory Good Cause – See GN 02613.025B.1. for the description of these good cause reasons.
Discretionary Good Cause – See GN 02613.025B.2. for the description of these good cause reasons.
If a good cause reason or reasons can be established by the beneficiary for not satisfying his/her outstanding warrant, SSA will not suspend Title II benefits for the fugitive felon or probation or parole violator suspension provisions effective with the date of the warrant.