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Drug Testing for Temporary Assistance: It Has Been Signed Into Law

JACKSON, Miss.–If you need temporary cash assistance through the TANF program, you will now be required to go through a more rigorous screening process to find out if you might be on drugs. Gov. Bryant signed the bill into law Monday.

It takes effect July 1.

The law 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 TANF program is a safety net for families in need, and adding this screening process will aid adults who are trapped in a dependency lifestyle so they can better provide for their children,” said Bryant. “This measure will help make a positive difference for families impacted by substance abuse. I thank the House and Senate for their leadership on this issue, particularly Sen. Terry Burton and Rep. Sam Mims.”

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