Bill Helps Prevent Criminals from Receiving Supplemental Security Income or Disability Benefits

The law states that anyone who is fleeing to avoid prosecution of a felony is ineligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income; however, loopholes in the law that were uncovered by several recent court cases have allowed some who are fleeing prosecution to continue receiving benefits.

To help address the issue, an Indiana senator has proposed a bill that would change the language of the law in order to prevent many individuals with warrants for their arrest from receiving federal assistance.

The Social Security Act, as it stands today, states that federal benefits cannot be paid to anyone fleeing a felony arrest or conviction. Furthermore, anyone who violates the conditions of their parole or probation for a felony conviction is ineligible for Social Security programs.

Several recent cases have allowed individuals fitting these circumstances to continue receiving payments though. That’s why the bill introduced by Sen. Dan Coats would change the wording of the law to close these loopholes.

According to The Journal Gazette, the bill proposed by Sen. Coats would prevent anyone who is “the subject of an arrest warrant for the purpose of prosecution” to be prohibited from receiving benefits. The only stipulation to the rule is that the arrest warrant or violation must be for a felony.

Coats estimates that, if approved, his bill could save taxpayers as much as $4.8 billion over the course of the next decade.

Protecting the rights and benefits of the disabled is important to our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, and we know that Social Security regulations can be complex. Our legal staff is curious to see if Sen. Coats bill will be adopted or rejected and what effect it may have on those who receive disability payments.

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