108A-26.1. Information sharing of outstanding arrest warrant of applicant for or recipient of program assistance.

(a) A county department of social services shall notify an applicant for program assistance under Part 2 or Part 5 of this Article that release of confidential information from the applicant's records may not be protected if there exists an outstanding warrant for arrest against the applicant. A county department of social services shall notify a recipient under a program of public assistance under Part 2 or Part 5 of this Article at the time of renewal of the recipient's application for such program assistance that release of confidential information from the recipient's records may not be protected if there exists an outstanding warrant for arrest against the recipient.

(b) Notwithstanding G.S. 108A-80, and to the extent otherwise allowed by federal and State law, a county department of social services shall ensure that the criminal history of an applicant, or of a recipient at the time of benefits renewal, is checked in a manner and to the extent necessary to verify whether an applicant for or recipient of program assistance under Part 2 or Part 5 of this Article is (i) fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody, or confinement after conviction under the laws of the place from which the individual flees, for a crime or an attempt to commit a crime, which is a felony under the laws of the place from which the individual flees, or (ii) violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under federal or State law.

A criminal history check utilizing currently accessible databases shall be conducted by the county department of social services, subject to G.S. 114-19.34 and to the extent permitted by allocated county and State resources.

Nothing in this section requires fingerprints to be taken of every applicant for or recipient of a program of public assistance.

Counties are not required to allocate funds to comply with this section but are authorized to make such allocations on a voluntary basis.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the disclosure of any information otherwise protected by State or federal law or regulation.

(d) This section applies to applicants for or recipients of program assistance under Part 2 or Part 5 of this Article only.

(e) The Social Services Commission shall adopt any rules necessary to implement this section, including rules addressing the sharing of confidential information between county departments of social services and law enforcement agencies.

(f) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services shall promote cooperation among State and local agencies to perform the functions described in this section. The Department of Health and Human Services shall cooperate and collaborate with the Office of the State Controller, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Department of Justice, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Public Safety to develop protocols to implement this section.

(g) Annually on April 1, each county department of social services shall report to the Department of Health and Human Services on the number of individuals who are denied benefits under this section during the preceding calendar year.

(h) Annually on May 1, the Department of Health and Human Services shall report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services of the General Assembly on the number of individuals who are denied assistance under this section. The report shall include a breakdown by county. (2013-417, s. 1.)