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.
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