Under the Federal Welfare Reform Act (FWRA) of 1996, people with outstanding criminal warrants are banned from receiving Social Security benefits. Because these benefits also provide links to Medical Assistance, people covered by the ban are often also ineligible for primary medical care, drug treatment and behavioral health services. In response to the FWRA, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania has launched its Criminal Records Resolution Program (CRRP) to assist people living with or risk of HIV/AIDS whose outstanding criminal records are keeping them from these much-needed services. Once the issues are resolved, clients are entitled to receive cash benefits, food stamps and health care.
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