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Bill introduced to allow drug testing for unemployment benefits

The EQUIP Act has been introduced to make it a requirement for states to provide anyone receiving unemployment insurance with a substance abuse risk assessment. (MGN)

WASHINGTON (WKRC) – New legislation has been introduced by a Georgia congressman that would give states the opportunity to perform drug tests on unemployment insurance candidates.

According to WCMH-TV, Rep. Earl "Buddy" Carter, R-Ga., introduced the Ensuring Quality in the Unemployment Insurance Program (EQUIP) Act, which would make it mandatory for states to give anyone receiving unemployment benefits insurance a substance abuse risk assessment.

"The Unemployment Insurance program is an important safety net program for Americans across the country," says Carter. "I introduced this legislation because it gives states the ability to ensure the resources of this program are going to those who truly need it while saving taxpayer dollars in the process. Unemployment Insurance recipients should be drug-free and ready to reenter the workforce and my legislation works to make that happen."

Provided by the National Institutes of Health, the test would use a screening instrument to determine if someone is a strong candidate for substance abuse.

Anyone at a high risk would have to present a drug screening before they could receive any sort of benefits.

If an individual tests positive, they would have to fulfill specific requirements before receiving benefits.

The first positive result would give a person no unemployment insurance benefits for 30 days. A second positive result would provide no unemployment benefits for the rest of the year.

Congress overruled a law through the Department of Labor earlier this year forbidding states from drug testing for unemployment benefits.


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