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Social Insecurity: How the Social Security Administration's "Fugitive Felon Program" Harms Disabled,Retired and Poor Americans Without Aiding Law Enforcement (Urban Justice Center, Mental Health Project)

  • Organization: Urban Justice Center, Mental Health Project
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Wednesday, January 02, 2008
  • Submitted: Wednesday, January 02, 2008
  • Attachment(s): LINK

The report provides a brief history of the Social Security program and the obstacles encountered by people with disabilities in accessing, maintaining, and surviving on Social Security benefits. It goes on to detail the effects of of the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) implementation of the Fugitive Felon Law (also called the Fugitive Felon Program, or FFP), arguing that:
• SSA suspends the benefits of people who are not wanted by the police;
• SSA suspends the benefits of people who are not fleeing felons;
• SSA suspends the benefits of people who are not violating probation or parole;
• SSA's method of identifying people to suspend their benefits - by mindlessly matching
names found in faulty databases - results in incorrect matches that can implicate
victims of identity theft;
• The FFP disproportionately harms people with severe mental illness;
• Suspending the benefits of retired and disabled people who are not wanted by the police
has tremendous financial and human costs and does not help the police catch fugitives;
• The FFP shifts more of the cost of caring for our nation's most vulnerable citizens from
SSA to states and cities.

The authors also make recommendations about affirmative reforms that Congress and SSA should make to resolve the problems detailed in the report.

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