Social Security Programs:

Scope of SSA's Authority to Deny Benefits to Fugitive Felons and to Release Information About OASI and DI Beneficiaries Who Are Fugitive Felons

GAO-02-459R: Published: Feb 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2002.

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Robert E. Robertson
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Fugitive felons are ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will, upon request, provide law enforcement agencies with the current addresses and Social Security numbers of fugitive felons who are SSI recipients. The Privacy Act of 1974 generally prohibits federal agencies from disclosing to anyone, including other government agencies, information they have on file on individuals. When the head of a law enforcement agency asks SSA for information on an individual as part of civil or criminal investigations, SSA has the authority under the Privacy Act to disclose this information but is not required to do so. The Social Security Act does not give SSA the authority to determine if individuals are ineligible for Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance benefits because they are fugitive felons.

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