23. What if you have a criminal history?

You are not eligible for TAFDC benefits for yourself if
  • you are violating a condition of probation or parole imposed after September 25, 1996,
  • you are fleeing prosecution for punishment for a felony (or a” high misdemeanor” committed in New Jersey),
  • you were convicted of false statements about residency to get benefits in two or more states, or
  • you were convicted of a drug-related felony for conduct that occurred after August 22, 1996, you were incarcerated for the felony, you were released from prison less than 12 months ago, and you are subject to the time limit (see Questions 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 for exemptions from the time limit) and you were not granted a domestic violence waiver (see Question 43). 106 C.M.R. § 701.110(B), (D)DTA Operations Memos 2013-37 (July26, 2013); 2012-30 (June 20, 2012).
Other criminal history or activities that do not fall within these dates and conditions should not disqualify you from benefits.
If you get a notice from DTA that your TAFDC has been denied or reduced because of one of these situations, contact your local legal services program, Appendix D, immediately. You have a right to appeal the denial or reduction. See Part 8.

Advocacy Reminders

  • You cannot be denied SNAP (food stamps) because of a drug felony conviction.
  • If you are facing drug-related criminal charges, make sure your defense lawyer knows about this rule and how a felony conviction could affect your benefits.
  • The rest of your family should remain eligible for benefits if you are disqualified under these rules. Question 31 explains how your income should be counted in figuring your family’s eligibility.
  • A DTA hearing officer has ruled that a person who left another state to start a new life is not ineligible as a fleeing felon where the person was not trying to avoid punishment or prosecution.