21 U.S.C. § 862a - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 21. Food and Drugs § 862a. Denial of assistance and benefits for certain drug-related convictions

(a) In general

An individual convicted (under Federal or State law) of any offense which is classified as a felony by the law of the jurisdiction involved and which has as an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance (as defined in section 802(6) of this title) shall not be eligible for--

(1)  assistance under any State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq. ], or

(2)  benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program (as defined in section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2012 )) or any State program carried out under that Act.

(b) Effects on assistance and benefits for others

(1) Program of temporary assistance for needy families

The amount of assistance otherwise required to be provided under a State program funded under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq. ] to the family members of an individual to whom subsection (a) of this section applies shall be reduced by the amount which would have otherwise been made available to the individual under such part.

(2) Benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008

The amount of benefits otherwise required to be provided to a household under the supplemental nutrition assistance program (as defined in section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2012 )), or any State program carried out under that Act, shall be determined by considering the individual to whom subsection (a) of this section applies not to be a member of such household, except that the income and resources of the individual shall be considered to be income and resources of the household.

(c) Enforcement

A State that has not exercised its authority under subsection (d)(1)(A) of this section shall require each individual applying for assistance or benefits referred to in subsection (a) of this section, during the application process, to state, in writing, whether the individual, or any member of the household of the individual, has been convicted of a crime described in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Limitations

(1) State elections

(A) Opt out

A State may, by specific reference in a law enacted after August 22, 1996, exempt any or all individuals domiciled in the State from the application of subsection (a) of this section.

(B) Limit period of prohibition

A State may, by law enacted after August 22, 1996, limit the period for which subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any or all individuals domiciled in the State.

(2) Inapplicability to a conviction if the conviction is for conduct occurring on or before August 22, 1996

Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a conviction if the conviction is for conduct occurring on or before August 22, 1996.

(e) “State” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “State” has the meaning given it--

(1)  in section 419(5) of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 619(5) ], when referring to assistance provided under a State program funded under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq. ], and

(2)  in section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2012 ), when referring to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (as defined in that section) or any State program carried out under that Act.

(f) Rule of interpretation

Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the following Federal benefits:

(1)  Emergency medical services under Title XIX of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 1396 et seq. ].

(2)  Short-term, noncash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(3)(A)  Public health assistance for immunizations.

(B)  Public health assistance for testing and treatment of communicable diseases if the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that it is necessary to prevent the spread of such disease.

(4)  Prenatal care.

(5)  Job training programs.

(6)  Drug treatment programs.


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