Published: Aug 24, 2011 6:06 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 24, 2011 9:52 PM EDT

Preliminary state figures from the Florida Department of Children and Families reveals 2% of about 1,000 people applying for temporary cash assistance tested positive for drugs.

The law requiring people applying for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) to submit to drug tests went into effect in Florida on July 1st.

Through mid-August, 2 percent of the applicants, or about 20 people, failed the requisite drug test, according to a spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The law mandates that applicants pay for their own drug tests, which run on average about $30 to $35.

Those who test negative for illegal substances will get their money back. Those who test positive are not reimbursed and can not receive temporary cash assistance benefits for an entire year.

When you break down the numbers, they reveal a small relative net savings for the state of about $60,000 for a year's worth of failed applicants.

DCF says about 91,000 Floridians take part in the TANF program. That translates to more than $150 million in benefits doled out each year.

A department spokesman tells WINK News the figures are still very raw, but DCF anticipates the monthly fail rate will remain close to 2 percent.

For more information on the new drug testing requirements, click here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/newsroom/pressreleases.shtml