What constitutes “fleeing” in a fugitive felon cessation cases?

I previously wrote about how Social Security can stop benefits if a person is a fleeing or fugitive felon.

The courts have been wrestling with the question of whether an outstanding arrest warrant (not a conviction, just the arrest warrant) is enough to make a person a “fleeing felon.”

NSCLC Website writes about a court’s rejection of Social Security claiming a person was “fleeing” in order to stop their benefits.  

Another court, this time in Tennessee, has rejected the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) position that it can suspend Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by relying on the existence of an outstanding arrest warrant alone to conclude that a person falls within the statutory prohibition on payment of benefits to a person who is “fleeing to avoid prosecution” for a felony. Caldwell v. Astrue, 2008 WL 2713714 (E.D. Tenn. July 10, 2008). The court relied on the SSI regulation, 20 CFR 416.1339(b)(1), which “requires a court finding that the person is fleeing,” as well as on Sixth Circuit caselaw interpreting the similar language in the federal criminal law provision for tolling the statute of limitations when someone is “fleeing justice.”  18 U.S.C. 3290. Mr. Caldwell said he left California after being questioned by police, not because he was fleeing to avoid prosecution, but rather out of fear for his safety because of threats made by the individuals involved in the criminal matter.

Keep in mind that this case is just in the 6th District and is not “the law of the land.” 

Via Yet Another Court Rejects SSA’s ‘Fleeing’ Rule.

Note: there is a lot of litigation concerning what constitutes a “fleeing felon.” Check with a lawyer if you, or someone you love, has had the benefit stopped by Social Security because they are a, “fleeing felon.”

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • Bob

    !n 1984, I was working for construction crew that went to Florida for a quick job–while there we got into a fight–(pushing and shoving) with some of the local construction people.
    After being threatened for several weeks, we walked off the job. Apparently a week after we left Florida, somebody filed a criminal complaint against us.
    Now, in 2007 I was disabled and started collecting SSDI-come April of 2009, I get a letter from Social Security saying they are cutting off my benefits because there is a warrant issued July 2, 1984.
    I have worked for several railroads, and an aircargo company since–all did background checks via the C.B.I. and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security–no warrant ever showed up.
    Even the apartment manager where I live did a C.B.I. background on me–nothing.
    O.K., I called Tampa. Asked about it. According to the person I talked with–they simply don't want me. (Yes, They know where I live–they have my address). They don't want to pursue the warrant or extradite. They told me considering the age of the warrant, my age, my medical condition, etc. they don't want me.
    How do I settle this to convince Social Security to keep paying my disablity?

  • Bob

    !n 1984, I was working for construction crew that went to Florida for a quick job–while there we got into a fight–(pushing and shoving) with some of the local construction people.
    After being threatened for several weeks, we walked off the job. Apparently a week after we left Florida, somebody filed a criminal complaint against us.
    Now, in 2007 I was disabled and started collecting SSDI-come April of 2009, I get a letter from Social Security saying they are cutting off my benefits because there is a warrant issued July 2, 1984.
    I have worked for several railroads, and an aircargo company since–all did background checks via the C.B.I. and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security–no warrant ever showed up.
    Even the apartment manager where I live did a C.B.I. background on me–nothing.
    O.K., I called Tampa. Asked about it. According to the person I talked with–they simply don't want me. (Yes, They know where I live–they have my address). They don't want to pursue the warrant or extradite. They told me considering the age of the warrant, my age, my medical condition, etc. they don't want me.
    How do I settle this to convince Social Security to keep paying my disablity?

  • john scherer

    i am on ssi i had been removed from ssi for a 20 year old warrant, they will not extrodite no conviction no jail time hanging over my hear (the one year punishment) i owe 2800 dollars in fines. it is not jailable.
    i had got my ssi back from a legal aid attorney but welfare foodstamps refuses to give them back the attorney just quit right in the middle and said well u got your money back so what!
    now under ssi law i dont meet one of the 5 criteria to be considered a fleeing felon and i cant get my foodstamps but they had gave me back medical but now i am back 2 years later in hawaii again and no foodstamps and no medical for the same thing…

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