1105.015.00 Eligibility Unit Determination

1105.015.10.45 Disqualified for Fleeing Felon

IM-115 August 29, 2017; IM-42 July 6, 2016; IM-140 December 30, 2004; IM-118 October 5, 1998

FSD must process all applications within processing time frames (see 1130.005.00 Processing Time Frames) and not pend to establish if an individual is a fleeing felon.

Fleeing felons are ineligible for Food Stamp benefits if they are fleeing to avoid:

  • prosecution, or
  • custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing.

All 4 of the following must be present and verified in order to disqualify an individual as a fleeing felon:

  1. There has to be an outstanding felony warrant and the warrant must conform to codes of Escape, Flight to Avoid or Flight-Escape for an individual; and
  2. The individual has to be aware of, or should reasonably have been able to expect that, a warrant has or would have been issued; and
  3. The individual has to have taken some action to avoid being arrested or jailed; and
  4. A law enforcement agency must be actively seeking to apprehend the individual and interact with FSD:
    • Someone is actively sought if:
      • A Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency informs a State that it intends to enforce an outstanding felony warrant with the intent to apprehend within 20 days of submitting a request for information about the individual to the State; or
      • A Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency presents a felony arrest warrant as provided in 7 CFR 273.11(n)(1)(ii); or
      • A Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency states that it intends to enforce an outstanding felony warrant with the intent to apprehend within 30 days of the date of a request from a State about a specific outstanding felony warrant. NOTE: Law enforcement is not required to act within these timeframes.  These are established by FNS in order to define individuals being actively sought.
    • Response time:
      • If the law enforcement agency indicates that it does intend to enforce the felony warrant within 30 days of the date of FSD’s request for information, FSD will postpone taking any action on the case until the 30-day period has expired. Once the 30-day period has expired, FSD shall verify with the law enforcement agency whether it has attempted to execute the felony warrant. If it has, FSD shall take appropriate action to deny an applicant or terminate a participant who has been determined to be a fleeing felon.
      • If the law enforcement agency has not taken any action within 30 days, FSD shall not consider the individual a fleeing felon, shall document the case file accordingly and take no further action.
      • If the law enforcement agency does not indicate that it intends to enforce the felony warrant within 30 days of the date of FSD’s request for information about the warrant, FSD shall determine that the individual is not a fleeing felon and document the household’s case file accordingly.

FSD staff must take the following steps when someone is identified as a fleeing felon:

  1. Work with law enforcement as appropriate; and
    • FSD will only provide information to legitimate law enforcement officers.  Information about potential fleeing felons must not be released to individuals reporting possible violations by recipients or applicants, such as bounty hunters.
    • FSD cannot take action until law enforcement provides the name of the household member fleeing and/or being actively sought.
      • NOTE: If someone identifies as a fleeing felon, FSD staff must verify there is a warrant with law enforcement for Escape, Flight to Avoid or Flight-Escape.  Consequently, FSD staff must provide law enforcement with the name of this person in order to check the warrant status in this situation.
      • NOTE: See “response time” above for additional guidelines.
  2. Update FAMIS with all actions taken and information gathered; and
    • Update how all information was obtained and verified in EUMEMROL; and
    • Update FAMIS screens (FMMN and FMAM) if applicable:
      • Do not enter any information on the Declaration Detail screen (FMMN) unless the warrant is currently active.
      • Do not enter any information on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen unless a disqualification is required. Use code FFP to enter disqualifications in FMAM.
  3. Enter a disqualification (if applicable); and
    • An EU member that has fled, or is fleeing, to avoid prosecution or custody for a crime that would be classified as a felony is considered an ineligible household member.  Consequently, this person would be disqualified from receiving Food Stamp benefits.
    • Under simplified reporting, if an individual is determined to be a fleeing felon during a certification period, that individual must be disqualified from the program even though it might result in a decrease in benefits.
      • The begin date for the disqualification is the first month the individual can be removed or disqualified following adverse action procedures (if an active case) or the first month of certification (for applications).
    • Refer to the Entering a Sanction or Disqualification user guide for instructions as needed.
  4. If the household fails to provide required information close the Food Stamp case using an Adverse Action Worker Closing (AAWC) action and COO (failed to cooperate) for the reason. Refer to the Worker Initiated Closing user guide for instructions.
  5. Establish a claim (if applicable).
    • Claims are filed against a customer if they were a fleeing felon and should have been disqualified prior to this time yet received Food Stamp benefits.
    • Process a claim following current claim policy (1142.010.00 Claims Process) for any time the EU member was fleeing and received Food Stamp benefits.
      • NOTE: The date of the determination of an individual’s fleeing felon status would be the date from which any claims calculation would be made.
  6. Determine the eligibility and benefit level of any remaining household members, apart from the fleeing felon:
    • The income and resources of the fleeing felon shall continue to count in their entirety, and the entire household’s allowable earned income, standard, medical, dependent care, child support, and excess shelter deductions shall continue to apply to the remaining household members.
    • The ineligible member shall not be included when determining the household’s size for the purposes of:
      • Assigning a benefit level to the household; or
      • Assigning a standard deduction to the household; or
      • Comparing the household’s monthly income with the income eligibility standards; or
      • Comparing the household’s resources with the resource eligibility limits.  The EU’s allotment should not increase as a result of the exclusion of one or more household members.

Once the individual is not meeting the appropriate criteria, s/he may be certified.  A new determination of the fleeing felon status would need to be made each time the individual applies.