The court, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 862, may deny the eligibility for certain Federal benefits of any individual convicted of distribution or possession of a controlled substance.
1. "Federal benefit" is defined in 21 U.S.C. § 862(d) to mean "any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States" but "does not include any retirement, welfare, Social Security, health, disability, veterans benefit, public housing, or other similar benefit, or any other benefit for which payments or services are required for eligibility."
Background: Subsections (a) and (b) of 21 U.S.C. § 862 provide that an individual convicted of a state or federal drug trafficking or possession offense may be denied certain federal benefits. Except for an individual convicted of a third or subsequent drug distribution offense, the period of benefit ineligibility, within the applicable maximum term set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 862(a)(1) (for distribution offenses) and (b)(1)(for possession offenses), is at the discretion of the court. In the case of an individual convicted of a third or subsequent drug distribution offense, denial of benefits is mandatory and permanent under 21 U.S.C. § 862(a)(1)(C) (unless suspended by the court under 21 U.S.C. § 862(c)).
Subsection (b)(2) of 21 U.S.C. § 862 provides that the period of benefit ineligibility that may be imposed in the case of a drug possession offense "shall be waived in the case of a person who, if there is a reasonable body of evidence to substantiate such declaration, declares himself to be an addict and submits himself to a long-term treatment program for addiction, or is deemed to be rehabilitated pursuant to rules established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services."
Subsection (c) of 21 U.S.C. § 862 provides that the period of benefit ineligibility shall be suspended "if the individual (A) completes a supervised drug rehabilitation program after becoming ineligible under this section; (B) has otherwise been rehabilitated; or (C) has made a good faith effort to gain admission to a supervised drug rehabilitation program, but is unable to do so because of inaccessibility or unavailability of such a program, or the inability of the individual to pay for such a program."
Subsection (e) of 21 U.S.C. § 862 provides that a period of benefit ineligibility "shall not apply to any individual who cooperates or testifies with the Government in the prosecution of a Federal or State offense or who is in a Government witness protection program."