Monday, August 26, 2013

Drug use help for Needy Families Recipients

Utah has spent more than $30,000 to screen welfare applicants for drug use since a new law went into effect a year ago, but only 12 people have tested positive, state figures show.

The data from August 2012 through July 2013 indicates the state spent almost $6,000 to give 4,730 applicants a written test. After 466 showed a likelihood of drug use, they were given drug tests at a total cost of more than $25,000, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which administers welfare benefits and the tests.

24 percent of applicants who were required to take a drug test didn't and did not continue in the application process.

Who takes the written test?

H.B. 155 Drug Screening for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Recipients

This bill modifies the Employment Support Act by requiring an applicant who otherwise qualifies for cash assistance under Utah's Family Employment Program to complete a written drug screening questionnaire and meet other requirements in order to receive cash assistance under the program.

If we helped 12 people get off drugs and not end up in our prison system and helped them get off assistance, that would be worth the $30,000. It sounds more like we had over 100 who would have been getting cash that had a drug problem that decided they didn't want the help. How much did that save taxpayers?