Welfare verification requirement gains momentum in Missouri

Missouri lawmakers who want a private firm to scrutinize the state’s welfare rolls say it could save the state millions of dollars by ending benefits for people who aren’t actually eligible for them.

Legislation that cleared House and Senate committees last week would require the Department of Social Services to hire a company by next year to verify recipients’ eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps, child care subsidies and cash welfare payments. The company would flag cases for state employees to investigate.

State Rep. Marsha Haefner said her legislation is meant to weed out fraud and waste, not remove people with real need.

Lawmakers voted on several iterations of similar legislation last year, but it ultimately failed because of gridlock in the Senate. Supporters say their chances appear better this year.

Read more: Columbia Missourian


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