The Social Security Administration’s Compliance with the Martinez Fugitive Settlement
Office Affiliation: The Office of Audit
Audit Report Number: A-01-16-50073
In September 2009, a U.S. District Court approved the Martinez v. Astrue nation-wide class action settlement agreement. The Martinez lawsuit challenged SSA’s fugitive felon policy of basing payment suspensions solely on the existence of an outstanding felony arrest warrant rather than developing information to ensure the individual was "fleeing."
SSA processed Martinez settlement relief in four phases. The first phase included beneficiaries whose Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits were suspended after 2006 because of fugitive felon status. The second phase included recipients whose Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments were suspended or denied after 2006 because of fugitive felon status. The third phase included beneficiaries whose OASDI benefits were suspended or denied between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006 because of fugitive felon status. The fourth phase included recipients whose SSI payments were suspended or denied between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2006 because of fugitive felon status.
Our objective is to assess SSA’s full compliance with the Martinez settlement.