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Mo. House Hears Testimony On State Welfare

J.L. Johnson

A Missouri House committee heard testimony Monday on efforts to shift state welfare recipients onto federal disability.

The Department of Social Services has hired Boston-based Public Consulting Group to switch clients from the state-run Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to federal disability payments, which don’t require recipients to have a job and also allows them to qualify for Medicare.  

DSS Deputy Director Brian Kinkade said it was necessary to hire a contractor to do the work.

“These are very complicated rules,” Kinkade said. “The federal process is very complicated, and it takes expertise to know these rules. We just don’t have it in our department.”

DSS officials told the House Committee on Government Oversight that switching clients from state to federal aid could save Missouri $28 million a year.  

GOP House Member Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff criticized the practice, saying the state is moving welfare recipients onto a, quote, “bankrupt federal program.”  The committee took no action on the issue Monday.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter at @MarshallGReport