(Star News Online) Some North Carolina legislators agreed Tuesday to require county social service workers to perform criminal background checks on people seeking welfare and food stamps, but the legislation provides no money to pay for the reviews.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted to make the checks mandatory in all county Department of Social Services offices for people applying for the benefits or for renewing their application to keep receiving them. The DSS office also would have to tell law enforcement agencies if an applicant is a fugitive or is wanted on an outstanding warrant.
DSS offices can now perform the formal background checks if they wish, or they can simply ask the participant if he or she is in trouble with the law. Federal law prohibits people who are subject to arrest warrants for violating probation or parole or for a felony charge from receiving public assistance benefits.
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