Mandatory Drug Testing For Welfare & Unemployment Pay; What It Means For You.
Throughout America, many states either have bills currently moving through state legislatures or have passed in senate a new reform that ties welfare benefits to mandatory drug testing. Some states are going a step further, requiring drug tests for unemployment recipients as well.
The arguments invoked by legislators looking to integrate mandatory drug testing for unemployment and/or welfare is to prevent taxpayer money from being used to purchase illegal drugs. The argument assumes that welfare recipients purchase and consume illegal substances at a higher percentage than the general population.
Whether the assumptions are true or not, as states take on the battle of mandatory drug testing, here’s what it could mean for you if you currently receive welfare or unemployment pay and would like to continue doing so should the measures pass in your state.
Measures will vary slightly in each state, but generally speaking if implemented, applicants would need to fill out a short survey on their drug use, if any and provide a urine sample on location. If an applicant’s drug test comes back as clean, they can receive their payments as usual, so long as their children stay actively enrolled in school (if applicable) and participate in a work-training program. Applicants who test positive for drugs would be provided several resources, none of which would be funded by the state department, such as substance abuse programs and 12-step groups to get clean so they can reapply. Those who can provide evidence of treatment can get six months of welfare benefits and then be reinstated. They would permanently lose benefits if they fail the test. Depending on your state, applicants may need to pay for their own drug tests which can range from $25-$50 and then be reimbursed if their test comes back negative.
Florida instated drug-testing laws back in 2010 causing temporary assistance approvals to drop from 8,495 in September 2010 to 4,586 in September 2011, before a judge stopped the program on constitutional grounds. Despite the testing ending in Florida many states have found the results to be promising for their own states, and are moving forward. We’ll just have to wait and see what the results are this time around.
If you are concerned about losing your benefits through failing a drug test, should the measure become instated in your local area, there’s help for passing a drug test, even if you’re not necessarily clean. The most beneficial in this case would be the 1-hour detox, which can help your results show that you’re clean for six hours and starts working in 60 minutes. There are other options out there as well, ranging from shampoos for hair tests, and help for blood and saliva tests.