Release 56: Effective 01/01/10

Generic Program Information -
L.  Fleeing Felon and Violators of Parole, Probation or Post-Prison Supervision


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This policy applies to the SNAP, GA and TANF programs only. It does not apply to TANF-related medical or child care programs.

On August 22, 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 became law. This law made fleeing felons and persons in violation of conditions of parole and probation ineligible for the SNAP and TANF programs.

  1. Who is a parole, probation or post-prison supervision violator?

    A parole, probation or post-prison supervision violator is a person who is violating a condition of federal or state probation or parole, or post-prison supervision under Oregon law. Oregon uses the term “parole” if the crime occurred prior to November 1, 1989, and the term “post-prison supervision” if the crime occurred on or after that date. Local, state or federal corrections agencies or the courts determine if a person is in violation. DHS does not make the determination.

    Whenever a worker receives a report from a local, state or federal corrections agency or the courts that a person is in violation of conditions of parole, probation or post-prison supervision, the client is ineligible for SNAP and TANF benefits and must be disqualified. The disqualification continues until the local, state or federal corrections agency or the courts report that the person has complied and is cooperating with the conditions of their parole, probation or post-prison supervision.

    Note: Sometimes an applicant informs a worker that they are in violation of their parole or probation. When this occurs, their statement is accepted and the client becomes ineligible for benefits.

    F TIMELY CONTINUING BENEFIT DECISION NOTICES (10-DAY) TO REDUCE (GSR1OP2) OR TO END (GSC1OP1) BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE ON NOTICE WRITER.

    Need Group: 461-110-0630
    Fleeing Felon and Violators of Parole, Probation, and Post-Prison Supervision;
    SNAP, GA, GAM, and TANF: 461-135-0560

    The client who is in violation of parole, probation or post-prison supervision is ineligible and is removed from the need group. The client is treated the same way as any client who is ineligible for other nonfinancial eligibility reasons. Other eligible persons in the benefit group will remain eligible for benefits. The parole, probation or post-prison supervision violator’s income and resources are counted the same as individuals disqualified for other reasons.

  2. Who is a Fleeing Felon?

    A fleeing felon is an individual who is avoiding prosecution or custody (jail or prison) for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, that is classified by state law as a felony.

    To be a fleeing felon, the individual must be aware of a warrant for their arrest and have fled or concealed himself or herself to avoid:

    • Appearing in court regarding a crime that is considered a felony; or

    • Going to jail or prison after conviction of a felony.

    The law of the place from which the person is fleeing determines if the crime is considered a felony, or in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the law of New Jersey. For example, a crime may be considered a felony in California but not in Oregon. However, if the person fled from California, they are also ineligible in Oregon.

    The existence of an outstanding felony warrant for a person's arrest does not automatically establish the person is fleeing for purposes of the SNAP or TANF programs in Oregon. A person wanted for a felony may not have fled their home or the local area. They may not have initiated actions to conceal themselves or to avoid arrest. A person may have moved out of an area and not be aware of the arrest warrant. The police may know where the person is but choose to not arrest them at this time. Therefore, workers are to first determine if the client knows they are wanted for a felony and what actions have been taken to resolve the issue to remain eligible for benefits.

    Need Group: 461-110-0630
    Fleeing Felon and Violators of Parole, Probation, and Post-Prison Supervision;
    SNAP, GA, GAM, and TANF: 461-135-0560

    3. Receiving Report for Fleeing Felon

    1. There are several ways for local offices to learn that a person is a fleeing felon.

      Question on Application:

      A question on all applications for SNAP or TANF benefits asks clients if they or anyone they want benefits for, have an outstanding arrest warrant. Whenever the household answers yes, the worker must ask more questions to determine if the person is a fleeing felon for SNAP and TANF purposes. The additional question should include:

      • Where was the arrest warrant issued? (city, county, state)

      • When was the warrant issued?

      • What is the reason for the warrant?

      • Is it for a felony or a misdemeanor?

      • When did the client learn about the warrant?

      • Did the client move here after they learned the arrest warrant was issued?

      • What steps has the client taken to resolve the issue?

      • If they have not taken steps to resolve the issue, why not?

      • Does the client have the mental or physical ability to resolve the issue?

      • If they lack the financial ability to resolve the warrant, has the client asked the district attorney or courts to pay for their return and was this request denied? (Ask for a copy of letter.) Maybe the other state has decided not to extradite.

      If the applicant is disqualified as a fleeing felon, let them know what steps are needed to take substantial effort to resolve the matter for future eligibility.

      Carefully narrate the discussion, all responses and the decision. An applicant is a fleeing felon and ineligible for benefits if the applicant knew about the felony warrant and has taken actions to avoid the police or has done nothing while mentally or physically able to take actions to resolve the issue. Workers are not expected to contact the issuer of the warrant.

      The ineligible applicant is removed from the need group, and is treated the same as an applicant who is ineligible for other nonfinancial eligibility reasons. Other eligible persons in the case will remain eligible for benefits. The fleeing felon's income and resources are counted the same as other disqualified individuals.

      F A BASIC BENEFIT DECISION NOTICE TO DENY (GSG1OF1) IS AVAILABLE ON NOTICE WRITER.

      Not claimed on Application-Information received from other sources

      Workers may learn that a client is a fleeing felon from other sources. These sources may include:

      • Social Security Administration, HUD or Veterans Administration.

      • Law enforcement or local, county or state corrections offices.

      • Staff in SNAP or TANF offices from other states.

      • USDA Office of Inspector General or another federal agency (such as the US Marshals office).

      Note: If law enforcement notifies the department that a person is a fleeing felon, they may also ask the local office to delay taking action for a set period of time because it will interfere with their investigation or the apprehension of the felon. Narrate the request and the approximate time frame for the delay.

      Caution: The law regarding fleeing felons is treated differently by different federal and state agencies. Therefore, workers must make a separate determination and not depend on the determination made by other agencies, law enforcement, SSA or another state. Some agencies, such as the SSA, conduct matches with the police looking for arrest warrants. They may not determine if the warrant is for a felony or if the person knows of the felony warrant and is fleeing.

      Actions to take when local offices receive word from someone other than the client:

      • In rare instances, the worker may receive enough information upon receipt of the report to make a fleeing felon determination and disqualify the applicant or the client.

      • If there is not enough information to determine fleeing felon status, the worker shall inform the client of the report within ten days of receipt of the information. Send the client the notice writer notice (GSG1OF1) giving them time to resolve the issue. The client may contact the public defenders office in the location of the felony warrant or a criminal lawyer to obtain guidance on how to proceed with resolving the warrant.

      • Give the client 20 days to make substantial effort to resolve the issue and provide proof that they have taken the recommended steps to resolve the problem.

      • If the client states the arrest warrant is not for a felony or is no longer outstanding, ask them to provide proof or the worker can contact law enforcement (with client consent) to verify before taking any disqualifying actions.

      • If the client does not verify the resolution or the attempt to resolve the issue by the twentieth day, make the disqualification determination. Send a closing or reduction notice to clients and deny applicants.

      F TIMELY CONTINUING BENEFIT DECISION NOTICES (TEN-DAY) TO REDUCE (GSR1OF2) OR TO END BENEFITS (GSC1OF3) ARE AVAILABLE ON NOTICE WRITER.

      Note: For SNAP, take action to determine who is or is not a fleeing felon and make disqualification decisions regardless of the report system.

      An overpayment for cash or SNAP begins after the department learned that the client is ineligible due to this law. The exception to this is if it is determined through the IPV process that the client knew of the arrest warrant and failed to correctly answer the question on the application. Administrative overpayments exist if the department did not take timely action to determine if they are fleeing or apply the disqualification.

      Any person determined ineligible for being a fleeing felon is removed from the need group. Others besides the fleeing felon may still be in the need group. Their income and resources are counted the same as other disqualified individuals.

      F SEE GENERIC PROGRAM INFORMATION L EXAMPLES SECTION FOR FLEEING FELON EXAMPLES 1 - 7.

    2. After the disqualification notice is sent

      Often clients will provide information that shows they have contacted a criminal lawyer or the public defenders office and have begun steps to resolve the issues after the notice of disqualification is mailed.

      Disqualification notice sent but not yet effective:

      If the client contacts the office with needed information to lift the disqualification after the disqualification notice is mailed but before the effective date for both SNAP and TANF, restore the benefits without applying the disqualification.

      Disqualification notice sent on or past the effective date:

      Sometimes clients do not contact the local office to provide the needed information until after the effective date of the action. When this occurs, follow add a person policy for each program.

      For SNAP: Add the person to the need and benefit groups effective the first of the next month following the date the information is received. Do not supplement.

      If the fleeing felon is the only person on the SNAP case, set the filing date as the date the information is received. Issue prorated benefits if otherwise eligible.

      For TANF: Follow "add a person" policy.

      F SEE GENERIC PROGRAM INFORMATION L EXAMPLES SECTION FOR FLEEING FELON EXAMPLE 8.

    Examples of fleeing felon:

    Example 1: There is a felony warrant for a client's arrest. The police know where the client is living and have chosen not to pick them up. Absent other facts, this person is not a fleeing felon.

    Example 2: A client is wanted in another state for a felony conviction. The former state knows where they reside and has not decided if they want to extradite the client. Absent other facts, this person is not a fleeing felon.

    Example 3: A client applied for benefits in Oregon on October 16. She left Washington State on October 15. The worker learns after calling Washington to verify the client was not receiving benefits there, that the client had five felony arrest warrants and was due to be in court on October 16 about the separate charges. She is a fleeing felon and is ineligible for SNAP and TANF.

    Example 4: A client moved to Oregon and later learned there is a felony warrant. He contacted the other state and told them where he is. He offered to return to the other state if they will pay his travel costs, as he cannot afford the trip. The state declined to send him the funds to transport him to that state. This person is not a fleeing felon.

    Example 5: A client learns of the arrest warrant but due to mental health issues is unable to pursue the steps needed to resolve the issue. This person is not a fleeing felon.

    Example 6: A client is informed of the felony warrant and declined to turn herself in. Absent other facts, this person is a fleeing felon.

    Example 7: A client was convicted of a felony and moved away prior to confinement. He is a fleeing felon.

    Example 8: The police report a person is a fleeing felon on October 16. On October 20, the first fleeing felon letter is sent to the client notifying them of the problem and giving them 20 days to resolve the issue. No response is received by November 10. Notice of reduction or closure is sent effective November 30 or December 1.

    • Client contacts the office November 28 with proof of how the client is resolving the issue. Restore benefits effective December 1.

    • Client contacts the office on December 2 and provides the needed information to prove they are taking steps to resolve the issue.

      For SNAP, add the person to the need and benefit groups effective January 1. If the only person in the filing group, set December 2 as the filing date and make a new eligibility determination following an application and interview, etc.

      For TANF, add the person to the need and benefit groups effective January 1.


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