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Court ruling benefits SSD recipients with arrest warrants

Until recently, an outstanding arrest warrant meant that you would be unable to receive SSD or or other Social Security benefits. However, a federal ruling will restore benefits to some individuals. In 2010, a New York Second Court of Appeals ruling required the SSA to stop denying benefits to individuals with outstanding arrest warrants in New York, Connecticut and Vermont. This ruling has now been expanded to include the entire United States.

Not everyone with an arrest warrant is affected by this change, and some will still be unable to receive benefits. However, individuals with certain types of warrants will now be eligible for benefits or will have their previously suspended benefits restored. These types of warrants include:

  • Parole violations
  • Probation violations
  • Juvenile parole violations (absconding while on parole)
  • Juvenile probation violations (absconding while on probation)

The SSA will be required to restore benefits to people who were denied disability or other benefits because of one of these outstanding warrants. Moreover, those individuals who were receiving SSD benefits but who had them suspended because of an arrest warrant will have their benefits restored. The court ordered the SSA to directly contact those whose applications were denied or whose benefits were suspended solely because of an arrest warrant.

Other types of arrest warrants are not covered by this ruling, and the SSA is not required to restore or grant benefits to those with warrants other than those listed in the April 13 order.

Source: U.S. Politis Today, "Court Ruling Restores Benefits to Those with Certain Arrest Warrants," May 9, 2012.

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