Published February, 2006

Letter to the Social Security Commissioner Regarding Proposed Regulations Governing Nonpayment of Benefits to Fugitive Felons and Probation or Parole Violators, National Senior Citizens Law Center (2006)

This letter provides specific legal and policy arguments against proposed regulations implementing the fugitive felon program, which withholds benefits from those believed to be fleeing prosecution. The NSCLC, a national advocate for issues affecting the well-being of low-income elders and people with disabilities, expresses significant concern over the impact the fugitive felon program has on the vulnerable sectors of the elderly and disabled communities, as well as the African-American community. It argues that the proposed regulations would essentially negate the requirement of intent to flee, contrary to the plain language of underlying statute and court precedent. The letter also argues against the proposed regulations’ elimination of the requirement for a finding by a court or other authorized tribunal; that the criteria for discretionary good cause should be broadened to accommodate situations in which suspension or denial of payments would be unjust; and for clarification of the requirement of advance notice to the beneficiary.