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Drug Testing by the State: It Could Happen If You Get TANF

JACKSON, Miss.–If you get TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) from the state, under a bill that’s headed to the governor for his signature to become law, you could be tested for drugs and, under some circumstances, denied the cash assistance.

The governor is likely to sign HB 49, which has now been passed by both the Mississippi House and Senate.

The bill would actually provide help to you first, if you have a drug problem.

Here’s how it works: If you get cash assistance and you are an adult, you’ll be required to fill out a questionnaire to determine if you are likely on drugs.

If you meet the criteria, you will be tested before you can receive the cash.

If you test positive, you can still get the cash benefits if you follow an “employment plan” where you get help through a program and you test negative on subsequent drug screenings.

If you don’t follow through and get off drugs, you can be denied the cash assistance and you could be ineligible for future benefits.

The bill is set to take effect July 1.

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