Since late 2015, North Carolina has been drug testing welfare recipients to determine whether or not they’re deserving of taxpayer benefits, and the media’s refusing to report the first round of results.
In 2013, the state’s legislature passed the Work First bill, which requires welfare recipients and applicants to be screened for drug use by social workers, and if there’s any suspicions, they’re referred for an actual test. The measure was initially vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory, but after it went through the legislature again, his veto was overturned and the law was implemented.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported on the truly astonishing results from the new law after its implementation late last year, and you have to see them to believe them. Several thousand people were put through the pre-screening process, which asks numerous questions of applicants to determine if they should be given a test, and in total, 159 people were referred for testing. That’s where the numbers get interesting.
Of those 159 people, 89 actually took the test and 21 of them failed it, which means that 24 percent of those tested actually failed. So what happened to the other 70? Well, they simply refused to take the test, and therefore had their benefits completely stripped from them.
So looking at the numbers, 57.2 percent of those referred for a test had their benefits either denied or reduced, should they have children in their home.
The News & Observer has more on the program:
Work First is the state welfare program that offers short-term cash benefits, training and support services to families. In about 62 percent of Work First cases, only children get benefits — and no adults fall under the test requirement.
Social workers ask those being screened about drug use in the previous 12 months to determine whether to refer them for testing. People convicted of felony drug offenses in the three years before applying for benefits are also referred.
Benefits for adults are cut off if a test is positive, or a test appointment is missed. Seventy people failed to show up for appointments in the last five months of last year, Black told the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. The totals for 2015 may be off, he said, because some applications filed in December would not have been processed until January.
Drug testing is a common sense measure that ensures taxpayers are making a wise investment in those who truly need help and want to lift themselves out of poverty. Since welfare is not meant as long-term income, but rather a helping hand to get through tough times, it makes sense that anybody receiving it should show they’re not only willing to work, but are deserving of the benevolence offered by taxpayers to get them through a tough time in their lives.
After all, you’re not going to get out of a difficult situation by pissing your benefits away on drugs, so why wouldn’t we ensure you’re not pissing your benefits away on drugs? Seems like the best way to make sure that we’re not supporting perpetual recipients, doesn’t it?
[H/T: Conservative Tribune]