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USDA/FNS RIN: 0584-AE01 Publication ID: Spring 2011 
Title: Clarification of Eligibility of Fleeing Felons 
Abstract: Section 6(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 provides that a fleeing felon is not eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. To be considered a fleeing felon, an individual must be either: (1) Fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction for committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing (or a high misdemeanor in New Jersey); or (2) violating a condition of probation or parole under Federal or State law. The fleeing felon provisions of the FNA were originally enacted by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). The purpose of the provision was to prohibit fugitive felons who were fleeing from prosecution or imprisonment or violating parole from receiving program benefits. The statutory language has been construed differently by States as the current law and regulations do not clearly define the term "fleeing." As a result, implementation of the fleeing felon provisions of the FNA currently varies substantially from State agency to State agency. In order for the disqualification of fleeing felons to be more uniformly applied by State agencies, section 4112 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) amended section 6(k) of the FNA to require the Secretary to amend SNAP regulations to define the terms "fleeing" and "actively seeking." Defining these terms will promote consistency in the treatment of fleeing felons and ensure that individuals are not denied or terminated from SNAP benefits erroneously. To help formulate the definitions of "fleeing" and "actively seeking," the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) plans to consult with law enforcement officials, client advocates, State agencies, and USDA's Office of General Counsel for guidance and expertise. In addition, because the fleeing felon provisions apply to other Federal programs under the PRWORA, FNS plans to consult with the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, which oversees the Temporary Assistance for Need Families Program to ensure the fleeing felon policy is consistent across programs and can be administered effectively (09-015). 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 273.11 
Legal Authority: PL 110-246 
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2011   
Final Action  03/00/2013   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
James F Herbert
Regulatory Review Specialist
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Center Drive,
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone:703 305-2572
Email: james.herbert@fns.usda.gov

 
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