Give Kids a Fighting Chance: Tell The Council To Delay TANF Cuts TODAY!

Last week, we told you about the impending cuts to TANF benefits for families that have received assistance for over 60 months. Today and Monday, help us convince the DC Council to delay these cuts and afford parents the opportunity to take advantage of the improved employment support services offered by the new TANF redesign.

Councilmembers Jim Graham and Michael Brown are working with the Mayor to  ensure that families in crisis are not cut off of TANF before they receive appropriate services.  Please support their plan to use $5.6 million of the $14.7 million currently on the FY13 Contingency List for TANF to delay the October 1st cuts.

The final vote on the FY13 Budget is this coming Tuesday, June 5th. This is our last opportunity before the vote to tell city leaders to give kids a fighting chance.

CLICK HERE for a simple one-click action to email all DC Councilmembers!   

Here’s some more information on how these cuts would affect DC kids:

Who will be affected if the cuts go through?

6,179 families, including more than 12,000 kids, will face a severe reduction in TANF benefits on October 1, 2012 because they have reached the time limit for assistance. (Assistance to a family of 3 will drop to $257/month.) This cut will affect every family who has reached the time limit, even if they are fully compliant with the TANF program requirements, are in school or job training full-time, or facing an extreme hardship (see below).

What about families who haven’t been able to transition to work due to serious disabilities, caring full-time for a child with a disability, or domestic violence?

Under the current law, there are no exceptions for any of these families. Their benefits will be cut too.

What about the new “TANF Redesign” that was supposed to help families get better job training and jobs so they could support themselves without government assistance?

Only 1,830 parents out of 15,000+ (or 12%) had been assessed as part of the TANF Redesign as of February 23,2012 and only 225 parents had been referred for services as of March 9, 2012.  Very few families slated for cuts in October have been referred for services.

What is the impact on kids if these cuts go through and the law isn’t reformed?

Kids will pay the price – Studies show that families who remain on TANF beyond 60 months in their lifetimes have severe barriers to work such as low literacy rates and high rates of mental and physical disabilities.  Studies also show significantly poorer child outcomes when benefits are cut due to time limits. Many families will be unable to pay to get their kids to school, much less pay for other basic needs. DC will end up paying more for costlier services such as emergency shelter and foster care.

About Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless envisions a just and inclusive community for all residents of the District of Columbia, where housing is a human right and where every individual and family has equal access to the resources they need to thrive. Our mission is to use the law to make justice a reality for our neighbors who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Combining community lawyering and advocacy to achieve our clients’ goals, our expert staff and network of volunteer attorneys provide low barrier, comprehensive legal services at intake sites throughout the District of Columbia, helping our clients to access housing, shelter, and life-saving services. Rooted in the experiences of this client work, we effectively blend system reform efforts, policy advocacy, community education and client engagement to advocate for long term improvements in local and federal programs that serve the low- and no-income community.
This entry was posted in Benefits, Clients, DC Budget, DC Policies and Plans, Poverty, Take Action, TANF. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Give Kids a Fighting Chance: Tell The Council To Delay TANF Cuts TODAY!

  1. r.jones says:

    I don’t think that it is right to cut fund because thats how people provide for their children. It isn’t fair to those who really need it, some use it until they get a chance to get on their feet. With cutting benefits that is not helping at all because how will the families do about providing for their families. It was unecessary to cut the funds because that’s just making the low income people really struggle and that isn’t fair. Some people needed tanaf to start them off now a days this isnt helping its just helping the people who need it struggle even more

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