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No welfare cut for kids if parent tests for drugs

4 years 11 months 2 days ago Monday, August 18 2014 Aug 18, 2014 August 18, 2014 11:45 AM August 18, 2014 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Emily Wagster Pettus

JACKSON, MS - Mississippi children would not lose welfare if a parent's benefits are cut off because of a positive test for illegal drugs. That's according to rules set by the state Department of Human Services.

The state's welfare drug-testing law was supposed to take effect July 1, but that was delayed after advocates for low-income families said the agency originally proposed administrative rules that were harsher than the law itself.

The agency has revised its rules to line up with what legislators passed and the governor signed. The updated rules specify children would not lose coverage by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families if a parent has an unfavorable drug test.

About 4,300 adults and 12,900 children in Mississippi received TANF benefits in May. The average monthly payment was $67.94 for an individual.

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