Following the lead of President Donald J.Trump, one state has taken matters into its own hands and is drug testing individuals applying for state benefits. While many states fear a legal backlash, this one is standing up and saying no more.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has announced the implementation of drug screening for applicants of West Virginia’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, also known as WV WORKS, began October 23, 2017. The screening requirement is part of a three-year pilot program that was passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2016, but required approval by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.
To be eligible for TANF, applicants must now complete a drug screening questionnaire to determine reasonable suspicion of drug use. Applicants suspected of illegal drug use will be sent for drug testing and those who test positive for drug use will be referred to a substance abuse treatment and counseling program and a job skills program.
Applicants who test negative for drug use require no further action.
West Virginians enrolled in WV WORKS receive financial and supportive services such as training assistance, occupational skills development, job search support and child care assistance.