Drug Testing and Public Assistance

Source: Randi Hall, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), December 2015

From the abstract:
In the last decade, numerous states have adopted legislation or administrative rules making drug testing a condition of eligibility for cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). As of July 2015, 14 states have adopted such regulations for public assistance eligibility, and at least 18 states have considered legislation to follow suit.1 Very few applicants have tested positive for drug use in states that have implemented these policies. Consequently, operating costs far exceed the fiscal savings from denying benefits. This is consistent with previous research that found only a small share of welfare recipients experience substance abuse disorders.