welfare

Kansas Agency Delays Implementation Of Welfare Reform Bill

Jun 24, 2015
dcf.ks.org

Enforcement of a law designed to limit where low-income Kansas families can spend their public assistance will take longer than expected, state officials said Monday.

The new law, initially scheduled to take effect July 1, will not be enforced for at least six months.

Theresa Freed, a spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, attributed the delay to “a computer-system fix that needs to be done.”

thinkpanama, flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that allows the state to change controversial limits on the amount of money welfare recipients could withdraw from ATMs.

The bill does not eliminate the restriction. It allows the secretary of the Department for Children and Families to increase or eliminate the $25-per-day limit on ATM withdrawals with a state cash assistance card.

Stephen Koranda

Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a sweeping bill tightening Kansas welfare rules, but the new requirements must comply with nation-wide guidelines.

Sandra Kimmons with the Kansas Department for Children and Families, says many of the provisions in the law were already on the books.

Some new rules, like a $25 limit on ATM cash withdrawals, may catch the eye of federal officials.

However, Kimmons says that requirement doesn't seem to violate federal rules.

Some Kansas lawmakers could be required to submit to drug testing next legislative session as part of a new law. But it appears there would be no legal or financial consequences if they test positive for drug use.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families has announced a new initiative to cut down on and detect illegal use of state welfare benefits. 

DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore says her department has hired additional staff to root-out fraud.

“We now have a director, full-time, devoted to anti-fraud efforts," she said. "There’s a chief investigator, two hotline administrative assistants and 16 fraud special investigators across the state.”

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