Drug Testing and Public Assistance

As of February 2019, 13 states have adopted policies making drug testing an eligibility condition for TANF. These policies are needless on several fronts: Very few applicants have tested positive for drug use in states with these policies; operating costs far exceed the money saved from denying benefits; families are harmed from denied benfits; and drug testing is ineffective in identifying those who have substsance use disorders. In short, drug testing for public assistance is unnncessary and should be rejected so people can access supports to meet their basic needs and those of their families.