Multiple states have implemented drug screening followed by testing of TANF applicants and have proposed similar requirements for other public benefit programs. These stigmatizing proposals and laws are based on stereotypes about people who need public benefits and are an ineffective means of identifying individuals in need of drug treatment. Suspicionless drug testing for public assistance has repeatedly been found unconstitutional.
Thirteen states have adopted policies making drug testing an eligibility condition for TANF. These policies waste money, with operating costs far exceeding money saved from denying benefits, as well as harm families.
Despite having no federal approval, or any evidence that the policy would be helpful, Wisconsin has added regulations requiring screening and drug testing of participants in the SNAP E&T, known in Wisconsin as FoodShare Employment and Training.
Several states have proposed to drug test applicants seeking nutritional assistance under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This stigmatizing proposal is based on stereotypes and would hinder families' ability to access food.
According to a report by the Center for Law and Social Policy, Kansas spent $40,000 over six months in 2014 to screen and test TANF recipients, and in that time 11 people tested positive for illegal drugs.