Issue: 2003 January - February
Have You Seen a Fleeing Felon? Social Security Administration Targets SSI Recipients with Outstanding Warrants
A provision of the 1996 welfare reform law restricted the availability of several categories of public benefits to "fugitive felons." While the provision has had comparatively little impact on recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps, and housing assistance, it has led to loss of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to some 78,000 people; most of them charged with offenses that are minor, remote in time, or both. The Social Security Administration is implementing the provision, and advocates can challenge its application to clients in danger of losing SSI benefits.