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.