D.C., just like the federal government, has a five-year time limit for how long families can stay on welfare, now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. But the city has faced difficulties in getting longtime recipients off of assistance. And now the city council will consider a bill that would let some people to stay on assistance beyond five years.
The bill doesn’t change the five-year time limit, but it does give longtime TANF recipients an extra year to prepare for the end of benefits. Also, anyone in a post-secondary education or a D.C. Department of Employment Services job training program would still be able to receive checks for two extra years. The bill includes exemptions for people who face hardships that prevent them from getting a job, based somewhat on Maryland’s TANF rules, according to a statement by Councilman Michael Brown (At-large).
The bill passed the human services committee Wednesday and will now go before the full council.