Drug Testing for Public Assistance Applicants/recipients?

Question by Anna E: Drug testing for public assistance applicants/recipients?
I live in Missouri and just heard on the news that a bill apparently is being presented to the Governor that (if signed) will allow drug testing of persons applying for/receiving public assistance. Someone commenting mentioned that they were concerned that the children of these people would suffer and go hungry. I doubt that Food Stamps would be effected because that is a completely Federally funded program.
I am just wanting others opinions on this. While I am not against it, I can see it opening up a whole nother can of worms. If mom or dad test positive for narcotics, meth, marijuana etc, is this going to be construed as child abuse or neglect and is an already overloaded system going to be bombarded with additional cases to investigate?
I was a caseworker for 30 years so if this law is passed it has drastic ramifications for the social service system.

Best answer:

Answer by Bill
People who have never used drugs or needed assistance think it’s a wonderful idea.

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2 Responses to Drug Testing for Public Assistance Applicants/recipients?

  • Edward says:

    I don’t think that will fly. I’m sure someones civil rights are being violated here, and if this bill is signed it’s sure to be tested in the US Court of Appeals.If anything, this might lead to “mom and dad” being ruled unfit to be parents and their children will suffer the consequences. Since you’re a former case worker, you’ve probably seen this in the course of your job. While no one wants to have drug addicts for parents, you don’t pick your parents. I don’t think this will cause any additional cases to the system, these people would have applied for public assistance anyway.This will only add an additional step to the screening process, and some kind of decision needs to be made when drug testing results come back positive. Do you force these people to get help before assistance becomes available? It’s a very sticky situation.

    EDIT: I see the Missouri Senate passed this bill 113-34…If you fail a drug test, your benefits are taken away for three years, however benefits are reinstated if you receive treatment and don’t fail a drug test again. I am very surprised this passed, it will only be a matter of time before it’s challenged

  • LordGodGoose says:

    Edward is right, IF this were to pass then what would happen next? Weekly drug tests for Social Security recipients? Would Grandma have to pass a “pee-test” each month she wanted to continue using Medicaid or Medicare?

    This Bill is a publicity stunt…..if whoever presented it REALLY cared about the Budget they’d be calling for Military Spending to be cut (maybe by 10%?), resulting in a large enough savings to actually achieve something…

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