States Lift Food Stamp and Welfare Bans for Drug Convictions

Since 1996, 18 states lifted their bans on food stamp eligibility for felony drug convictions, 26 states have issued partial bans for certain types of felony convictions, and only 6 states have full bans for those with any record of a felony drug conviction. The six states with full bans are Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

States also set eligibility policy for federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, also known as TANF or welfare, for those with felony drug conviction records. In 38 states, full bans have not been implemented in order to provide social support to reduce recidivism.  Twelve states have full bans on receiving monthly TANF cash benefits for those with felony drug convictions. The states with full bans are: Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.