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Texas to Implement Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients

texas2A new Texas bill that is set to take effect by September 2009 will require applicants for food stamps to submit themselves to drug testing before being granted eligibility.

The bill, which is set to be entitled “An Act Relating to the Eligibility and Drug Testing of Certain Persons Seeking Food Stamp Benefits”, has four sections. Section 1 discusses the terms in which drug testing will be used as a prerequisite to food stamp eligibility.

Prospective applicants convicted of certain offenses as described in Section 1, Subsection (b) of the bill for a five-year period before applying for food stamp privileges must submit to drug testing. If the test gives a positive reading for controlled substances and prescription drugs that the applicant does not have a prescription for, the applicant is deemed ineligible for food stamp privileges.

The ineligibility will last for a period of one year, after which the applicant may then reapply. He or she will then be required to submit to additional monthly drug tests. Monthly drug tests will also be required of eligible applicants while they are enjoying the benefits of the food stamp program.

If a person is determined as ineligible, he or she is informed about the results of the testing and the proposed denial of the application for food stamp benefits. A second drug test or any other appropriate method deemed reasonable will then be administered to confirm the initial findings. The applicant will also be given the opportunity to be heard publicly regarding the drug test results before a final denial is imposed.

The Food Stamp Program in Texas is managed by the Texas Health and Human Resources Commission to ensure that even low-income families and individuals within the jurisdiction of the state are able to buy food for nourishment. Food stamp benefits usually last for a 6-month period, but can be given for as little as a month or as long as three years.

The benefits are enjoyed through the Lone Star Card, which is used like a credit card to pay for food purchases. The monthly food allowance awarded to the family or individual is stored in the card’s account.

Tags: controlled substances, Drug, drug test, Drug Testing, drugs, food stamp, health, lone star card, texas
January 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm
28 comments »
  • January 25, 2009 at 5:58 amLia

    I think this is a very good idea. Food stamps are very helpful right now especially to jobless Americans, but there are probably still some out there who misuse whatever money they have for drugs, and their food stamps money is all they got (as opposed to food stamps supposedly only for “supplementing” one’s food budget).

  • September 7, 2009 at 6:32 pmkathy

    What is next, drug test the world, don’t give fat people foodstamps etc. These people that are a small percentage would not justify the cost of implementing a fair procedure. And who would be targeted, what is a fair procedure to the client who needs to feed their family, or a homeless person living in a shelter that is an alcoholic and drug addict. If you have ever applied for assistance, you are at the mercy of the caseworker, some help you and some make it a terrible experience of beauracracy and contradictions of policys. These people who abuse drugs are products of society. The drugs are imported into the states and the legal drug dealer or pharmacists and doctors give out the prescriptions. These clients should be forced to go to counseling and rehab not take their food supply away.

  • December 3, 2009 at 7:15 pmDyan

    I find this condemnation, what about people who moleste children, commit rape, kidnap, assault? You are condemning someone for drugs, singling out a particular group of people. No one should be denied the right to sustain life. Don’t these people pay taxes on the money they earn? You are talking about FOOD. Kathy is correct.

  • January 1, 2010 at 10:19 amHeather

    Oh, how misled you are. A small percentage? My mom was a single mother who worked for minimum wage and received assistance for several years. I lived all too close to the abusers of food stamps. Maybe 10% DIDN’T abuse free/low income housing and food stamps. Had plenty of money to buy drugs and drive a new car though. Knew people who fed their dogs steak every day because they were appalled at the fact that they couldn’t buy dog food with their food stamps. Like I said, I did know the 10% who did need them and didn’t abuse them, but they were indeed rare. The problem though is the system. If they go to work and make minimum wage they have to struggle and barely have enough left to eat tuna and peanut butter. If they don’t work they can collect more in food stamps than they can even make working, and eat steak everyday if they so choose. Our society shouldn’t be set up in such a fashion that it’s easier to not work and keep having babies than to work and support yourself.

    There is also the misconception that it’s “FREE” or it’s just taking from the government (they just don’t understand that the government only has our – the workers – money, it doesn’t have any of it’s own) or that they are “owed” it somehow. NO! The people who ARE working and struggling themselves don’t owe anyone a “free” ride. Last week and I passed a cart full to the brim of meat. Had to be 50-60 pounds. Good stuff too, not 75/20. They were obviously immigrants who didn’t speak English, and probably illegal. But, let me say also, that there are 10 dirty white women (with 3 or more nasty children) to that 1 immigrant family with the same cart, so I’m not picking on immigrants. I completely understand why they want to come here. My point here is that the working poor can’t buy that much meat in a year (or 5), let alone a month. I am Caucasian by the way, have worked continuously since I was 15 and it’s probably been 3 years since I’ve had a steak.

    That being said, there are also people who work that take advantage of the system. I have known workers and non workers who don’t have a problem buying drugs. I have worked with several people that had a couple of kids and used all their money for pills, weed, crack… you name it, and get more in food stamps and assisted living than I make in a month.

    There are serious flaws in the system and I’m not naive enough to believe I know the answers. But what I do know is that there SHOULD be drug testing to get on and to stay on any government assistance. I also believe in the option for rehab that coincides with a strike system. I also believe that instead of repeatedly handing out assistance, we should help help them succeed (and I don’t mean McDonald’s or Walmart, no one can live on minimum wage unless they are in high school or have a free place to live). A cure instead of treating the symptoms, what a novel idea! What scares me is that our government may not want to fix it. A government that aspires to control us would not, they would rather we were all dependent on them.

    While we are on the subject… women getting child support (I am also a woman) should be drug tested if the payer of the child support wishes. I have known too many women who blow all the child support on partying and drugs with and then when the husband picks them up for his weekend (if he even gets to see them, which also needs to be addressed) he has to go (with the $120 a week he has left out of his check to live on) and buy coats and school supplies and clothes and food for them to take home because the mom is, to say the least, a sorry excuse for one.

  • January 25, 2010 at 12:57 amthomas

    Maybe the idiots who are lying about sending receipients letters need to be drug tested

  • January 25, 2010 at 1:01 amthomas

    Who died and made you the Lord God! When was the last time you read a book, like the Bible?

  • January 25, 2010 at 1:05 amthomas

    Heather,
    Please read Proverbs I beleive chap. 7 verse 28 says “even a fool is counted as a wiseman when they HOLD THEIR TONGUE!” Great advice for you, sweetness!

  • March 22, 2010 at 10:43 pmBenjamin

    I TOTALLY agree with Heather. I am a cashier at Wal-Mart, being paid minimum wage. I see people every single day coming through my checkout lane that obviously have nothing wrong with them and who are completely capable of working a job and earning their own living. But NO. They choose the easy route of sitting in their section 8 housing, popping out as many kids as they possibly can and then running to the government to whine about how they can’t afford them. Well NO SHIT, you can’t even support yourself, much less a child! How about closing your fucking legs or learning how to use a condom? Just the other day, I had a female customer who had three carts packed full of food, ($600 worth), and she stated that she had 6 children and I could also tell that she was very pregnant with a 7th. And of course, she pulled out her EBT card to pay for it. Amongst her purchases were steak, crab legs, lobster tails… you name it. It’s quite ironic… I have to ring up this shit that I can never afford, for people who are too lazy to work and then pay for it with MY TAX DOLLARS!!! Goddamnit, am I not the only person who sees a problem in our system???

    I get so sick of it because I work my ass off and still come out broke and unable to buy myself enough groceries every month. Sure, I could probably apply for food stamps. But I have dignity and respect myself. I believe being able to provide yourself and your family with food is the absolute fundamental objective in life and if you are unable to do that, you are a FAILURE.

    I say the drug-testing for food stamps and unemployment should be manditory in ALL states. Far too often, I see people pay for their groceries with EBT and then pull out a literal WAD of cash, (And we all know what that comes from), to pay for their non-food items. If they have that much cash, they can fucking afford to pay for their damn groceries. DEADBEATS, get a fucking job and work like the rest of us productive citizens. You are not any more special than us just because you don’t know how to use birth control and don’t like to work. Please stop thinking you are.

    And P.S., I am NOT racist… I see just as much white trash using food stamps as I do blacks and hispanics.

  • May 21, 2010 at 9:18 pmConnie Mireles

    It’s simple if you test positive for drugs your out of the system. Your buying drugs not food for your family….tough love but, people have been milking the system for too long. I see the abuse of the system everyday.

  • August 1, 2010 at 8:13 pmlee

    I feel yall pain about being atax payer and working for small wages. i am a ex con ex drug user that has gotten his life wright and need some help so i will not end back in prison for trying to eat. i understand how hard it is out here but try surving in a world where you have to provide in a enviroment that still has us incarsarated for charges 7 years ago. i hate to see some one going to jail for just trying to eat i see women and men who get food stamps and sell them at half price but no one is trying to take their stamps. but you tell me i’m not eligiable because of my chemical dependacy. years ago and can’t get a job due to my history on the other side of the law. it’s my fault for the bad behavior in the past but now i need some help to better myself and the goverment says screw me.

  • September 14, 2010 at 10:36 pmDrug free home

    Drug tests will also be required of eligible applicants while they are enjoying the benefits of the food stamp program.

    Get your own free tool & resource for drug free home
    Drug free home- “Parent/Teen Drug free home contract”
    Parent & Teen Drug-Free Home Agreement

  • November 30, 2010 at 1:44 amtax paying citizen

    finally the hard working people get a break… it sickens me when i see women with kids that they cant even support!this is the NEXT LAW that should pass- you can only have children depending on your income.

  • January 10, 2011 at 10:55 amJoe Blow

    This is laughable. The state does not have the money, people or resources to implement this stupid moronic program. It’s just more bullshit talk from government terrorists. They are selling “wolf tickets”, also known as bluffing.

  • February 19, 2011 at 10:09 amkim

    I totally support the idea of drug testing in order to obtain government assistants. I have seen many people abuse the system over the last several years, including people I personally know. How can one not afford to feed their family yet always have extra money for cigarettes, alcohol and weed? The money they get is not free, that money comes from the tax payers money, MY money. And the stuff they buy, steak, shrimp, lobster,chips, coke and many others. I like all that stuff, but I can rarely afford it. I’m not trying to talk bad about people on the system, because I do know there are people who really need it and are honest about it. Then there are others. I actually knew a couple that wanted to have another baby so their food stamps could increase. Why would somebody bring a child into the world knowing they will need government assistants? Most of the people who are against the idea of drug testing are probably on the system themselves. To all you who are on the system, do it honestly, you are the ones who make the honest people look bad. My tax dollars shouldn’t pay for your nasty habit.

  • March 31, 2011 at 10:27 amLisa

    I do not beleive that any persons with children should be denied food, and I do not beleive that a single wotking parent with one child should recieve twice as much than a family of four. They should just crack down on food stamp fraud, since that swems to be the bigger issue by not making it so easy to cheat the system by selling their food stamps for whatever reason not always for drug use like some of you know it all.s think, not even 30% of applicants are drug users. Get your facts strait before you point fingers at less privileged people, that is just stereotypical.

  • June 30, 2011 at 7:43 pmShantel

    I am a single mother that has one child that I support..I have a job and YES I recieve food stamps!!I understand the rage that some feel about the misuse of foodstamps,and I agree there should be drug testing for deadbeat parents…There should also be educational programs provided for the parents..Lets not focus on just eliminating fraud lets focus on educating the lost on how to become better parents and other ways for them to become productive citizens..I hold caseworkers, doctors, and the government accountable for lack of communication..If they took the time to stop rewarding for larger households and assist mothers that are trying to help themselves. We could all have a better America…if you have more than two kids you can hold them on your taxes for money..If you have no job you pay no money for housing and pay 50% if you have income. So if your working trying to make it so you can get on your feet you recieve less help than when you just show no interest in a better future for yourself…

  • August 17, 2011 at 10:55 amScott

    I am a hardworking citizen, that doen’t have a problem with people getting foodstamps to feed there family. The problem I do have is with the fraud ” husband making more money than the law allow” and wife getting $1000+ in foodstamps. At the end of the day you never know when the shoe could be on your foot, so don’t be quick to judge!

  • August 19, 2011 at 9:56 amSpook

    Too bad it was NEVER implemented.

  • September 2, 2011 at 12:17 amTamara

    I am a single mother of 3 children and receive foodstamps. The father of my first child got himself locked up for 15-20 years when our son was 6
    Months old. I do not even know the father of my second child, seeing how I was raped,and have no support for him. And the third child’s father pays me a whooping $276 a month for child support; who left me because the “family life” was holding him back from playing band shows, and couldn’t handle the responsibility he so willingly created with me over the past 5 years. I work full time, and have always worked while receiving my benefits. If I had any one to help watch my kids I would work 2 jobs, but that is not an option for me. To all the people here talking down on those who receive these benefits…. Take a walk in my shoes just for a week. I believe it is a good idea to drug test, and then maybe all these ignorant people can shut their mouths on things and situations they know nothing of. I am livid about some of the comments here; only allowed to have child based on income? Come on people. What’s next? Killing babies that r girls so they can not reproduce like china.

  • June 3, 2012 at 9:22 amLovethyneighbor?

    I find it extremely interesting how there are many who abuse welfare recipients in such a predictable, discriminatory manner. Because you “know someone” or “know OF someone” who abuses the system (which is obvious that the majority who says such thing are liars or sheep — so which one are you?), then all people are not entitled to your precious tax money, you self-righteous pigs. Have you considered that our tax dollars are barely enough for someone to live on Ramen noodles, milk and bread? And that there are children involved? Would you like to switch places with them and see how long your family can survive while looking for alternative job, after being laid-off or let go due to business hardships, downsizing, etc.. So, you work minimum wage, good for you, you ugly bitter wankers. It’s just too bad that the government has to force some of you ingrateful twats to actually help society because you’re too selfish to consider that there are other reasons why people need financial assistance.

  • June 26, 2013 at 9:53 pmMichael Meeks

    Apparently Texas doesn't know what "Implement" means……..why make a bill if it will not be enforced? oh…wait…I forgot…….there's no money in it for the State like a D.W.I. is……..

  • June 26, 2013 at 9:53 pmMichael Meeks

    Apparently Texas doesn't know what "Implement" means……..why make a bill if it will not be enforced? oh…wait…I forgot…….there's no money in it for the State like a D.W.I. is……..

  • June 27, 2013 at 5:41 amAnonymous

    this is a shame on the state complete waste of time and a scam to get money for the state. did they drug test the big bankers they bailed out? F no they did not go to hell.

  • June 27, 2013 at 5:41 amAnonymous

    this is a shame on the state complete waste of time and a scam to get money for the state. did they drug test the big bankers they bailed out? F no they did not go to hell.


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