Coats Introduces Bill to Deny Social Security Benefits to Felons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, today introduced legislation that would prohibit individuals who are the subject of outstanding arrest warrants for a felony or parole violation from receiving Social Security retirement and disability benefits, special World War II benefits and supplemental security income payments. If passed, the legislation is expected to save taxpayers as much as $4.8 billion over 10 years.

“Hoosier taxpayers should not pay for disability and retirement benefits for those running from the law,” said Coats. “It is outrageous that individuals subject to an arrest warrant or violating their parole are receiving these benefits. This situation should be corrected immediately.”

The Coats bill addresses issues raised by three recent court cases, which have in effect expanded the eligibility of fugitive felons for government benefits. The Coats legislation only applies to felony charges or a crime carrying a minimum term of one or more years in prison.

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