West Virginia Public Broadcasting Published

Drug Screening Now Required for W.Va. TANF Applicants


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced it has started drug screening benefits applicants of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

DHHR said in a news release it began screening people who apply for TANF, also known as WV WORKS, early last week.

The screening requirement is part of a three-year pilot program that state lawmakers passed in 2016, but required approval from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.

To be eligible for benefits, applicants must now complete a drug-screening questionnaire to determine if there’s reasonable suspicion of drug use. If there is suspicion, that individual will be required to take a drug test.

Those who test positive will be referred to a substance abuse treatment and counseling program, as well as a job skills program. 

West Virginians enrolled in WV WORKS receive financial and supportive services such as training assistance, occupational skills development, job search support and child care assistance.