Johnson is about to join one of the roughly 17,000 families in the District who are in the city's welfare program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. But for many recipients, the assistance is hardly temporary -- nearly one-third have been receiving checks for at least five years, the point at which federal funding for the program cuts off and D.C. taxpayers begin footing the bill.
The D.C. Council considered ending funding for longtime recipients but partially restored it because many of their needs hadn't yet been assessed. DHS leaders have spent the last year revamping welfare to make recipients more accountable, and officials hope to have everyone reassessed by October.
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