Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

The "Controlling Unlawful Fugitive Felons" Act

The "Controlling Unlawful Fugitive Felons" Act

In September, the House passed H.R. 2792, the Controlling Unlawful Felons (CUFF) Act, in a vote of 244 to 171, with 18 Representatives not voting. This bill would make anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant for a felony or parole violation ineligible to receive SSI for any month the warrant was active. Those supporting the bill project that it would save the federal government $2 billion over the next 10 years because it would cause approximately 30,000 individuals to lose their SSI benefits.

The problems inherent in this bill, from the perspective of disability advocates, is that (1) a warrant is not proof of guild, (2) SSA already notifies law enforcement agencies when a recipient's name and other information matches those in a national database of warrants, and (3) implementation of this bill could easily result in erroneous suspension of benefits for those who have been misidentified.

A similar policy was applied in the past, resulting in the Federal Court case, Martinez v. Astrue, which halted the policy. In that case, a California resident's SSI benefits were stopped because of a warrant for a much younger person in Miami who had the same name but wholly different physical characteristics.

Our firm will continue to monitor the bill's progress. For more information on qualifying for Social Security disability, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.


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