Can the VA stop my benefits because I have an arrest warrant or violated probation/parole?
According to the Veterans Administration (VA), you are a fugitive felon if you are fleeing to avoid prosecution, jail time, or prison after conviction for a felony or an attempted felony OR you are on probation and parole for a felony AND you are violating your probation/parole. In these cases, the VA may stop your benefits. Read about your options if this happens to you. #7704EN
- Read this only if you live in the state of Washington.
- You can find all the fact sheets we link to here at WashingtonLawHelp.org.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
That term is used describe an individual who is either:
- Fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a felony or attempted felony OR
- Violating a condition of felony probation or parole under Federal or State law.
You will be ineligible for ALL veterans’ benefits, including:
- nursing home
- domiciliary and medical care
- all GI bill benefits (education assistance)
- vocational rehab
- the Vets Home Loan Program
Yes. You also may lose these federal benefits:
- Social Security retirement
- Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Food Assistance (food stamps)
Your benefits for these state programs may end:
- Basic Food Assistance
It will also affect your eligibility for housing assistance.
If you have gotten notice that Social Security or DSHS has cut off your benefits, read one of these:
- What If the Social Security Administration Stops My Benefits Because I Am A “Fleeing Felon?”
- What If DSHS Stops My Benefits Because I Am A “Fleeing Felon?”
This is only about veteran’s benefits.
Yes. They are not eligible for:
- Death pension
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
- Civilian Health and Medical Program VA (CHAMPVA)
- Dependent’s educational benefits
- Other benefits, including health care, services, and products
* Dependent children of a surviving spouse with these circumstances may be eligible for benefits.
Yes. This rule applies to juveniles.
If your family has a maximum family benefit amount, removing the child with one these circumstances from dependent benefits will not increase your other children’s benefit payment.
- The VA will not pay your spousal benefits either if they also are fleeing felony prosecution/confinement or in violation of felony probation/parole.
No. The simple fact of an arrest warrant for fleeing felony prosecution/confinement or a violation is enough for the VA to stop your benefits.
No. This could cause you more problems down the line. Try to resolve the outstanding warrant before applying for benefits.
When you apply for public benefits, they will ask if you have any outstanding warrants or violations. If you do not answer honestly, you may face criminal fraud charges and jail time. You may have to pay back any benefits you got.
- If you apply for benefits and have an outstanding warrant or violation, the agency may tell law enforcement your whereabouts to help them arrest you.
You and your family will have been ineligible for any veteran’s benefits effective either
- the date of the warrant OR
- December 27, 2001 (effective date of the “fugitive felon” law)
The VA may ask you to pay back any benefits you got after becoming ineligible. This is an overpayment.
The VA will send you a written Notice of Adverse Decision, telling when and the reason it will stop your benefits. Then you must:
- Act fast.
- Address the underlying warrant or violation.
- Work with an overpayment, if you cannot do #2.
* The Notice of Adverse Decision should outline some of your rights.
The VA gives you 60 days to resolve the warrant or violation OR prove these do not apply to you. If you do not resolve your status after 60 days, they will stop all your benefits and start to transfer your care to a non-VA provider. Most federal and state medical benefits will not pay for your medical bills under these circumstances. You must contact the agency that issued the warrant or violation and resolve the matter with them.
The VA’s Notice of Adverse Decision should say:
- Who issued it.
- When they issued it.
- Why they issued it.
If not, ask the VA for this info. Once you get it, contact the agency that issued the warrant/violation to try to resolve it.