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Mo. House Committee Hears Testimony On State Welfare Contract

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

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

The Department of Social Services (DSS) 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 says 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.  State Representative Todd Richardson (R, Poplar Bluff) criticized the practice, saying the state is moving welfare recipients onto a “bankrupt federal program.”  The committee took no action on the issue Monday.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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