Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–205.19b. Job search and job readiness requirements for TANF applicants.

(a)(1) Using a standard process and mechanism, the Mayor shall make a detailed assessment of the skills, prior work experience, employability, and barriers to employment, including domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse (“assessment”) of each TANF recipient.

(2) As a condition of eligibility, all TANF applicants shall complete the assessment.

(3) Staff responsible for administering the assessment shall receive specific training regarding the administration of the assessment and the follow-up services and programs available to eligible TANF recipients. Training shall include a focus on identifying barriers to employment, such as issues of domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse.

(a-1) As a condition of eligibility, all work-eligible TANF applicants shall complete an employment program orientation.

(b)(1) Following the assessment and a positive eligibility determination, a TANF recipient in a single-parent assistance unit shall be required to sign and comply with an agreement to participate in work activities as a condition of continuing eligibility for TANF benefits when the recipient:

(A) Has a child under 6 years of age and is not engaged in paid employment for at least 20 hours per week (or an average of 80 hours per month); or

(B) Has a child 6 years of age and is not engaged in paid employment for at least 30 hours per week (or an average of 120 hours per month).

(2) The Mayor shall determine the nature and scope of the work activities that shall be required based on the person’s assessment; provided, that the Mayor shall not require the TANF recipient to participate in work activities for more than 35 hours per week.

(3) This subsection shall not apply to a TANF recipient who is exempt pursuant to § 4-205.19g or subject to the school-attendance requirements of § 4-205.65.

(c) Following the assessment, each parent in a 2-parent assistance unit who is not engaged in paid employment for at least 35 hours per week (or an average of 140 hours per month) and who is not required to meet the school attendance requirements of § 4-205.65 shall be required to sign and comply with an agreement to participate in job search or job readiness activities as a condition of eligibility for TANF benefits, unless the TANF recipient is exempt pursuant to § 4-205.19f, or the other parent in the family is engaged in paid employment and the 2 parents together work for at least 35 hours per week (or for at least 55 hours per week, if the family receives federally-funded child care and no adult in the family has a disability, or caring for a child disability). The Mayor shall determine the nature and scope of the activities based on the assessment. In no event shall the Mayor require the TANF recipient to participate in job search or job readiness activities for more hours than would be necessary for the combined number of hours of participation of both parents to equal 35 hours per week (or 55 hours per week, if the family receives federally-funded child care and no adult in the family has a disability, or caring for a child with a disability).

(d) The Mayor shall promulgate rules to:

(1) Screen and identify applicants with a history of domestic violence while maintaining the confidentiality of such persons;

(2) Refer such individuals to counseling and supportive services; and

(3) Waive, pursuant to a determination of good cause, other program requirements in cases where compliance with such requirements would make it more difficult for such individuals to escape domestic violence or unfairly penalize such individuals who are or have been victimized by such violence, or individuals who are at risk of further domestic violence.


(Apr. 6, 1982, D.C. Law 4-101, § 519b; as added Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-241, § 2(w), 46 DCR 905; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 14(a), 53 DCR 6198; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 5171(a), 57 DCR 181; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-366, § 2(a), 58 DCR 981.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 3-205.19b.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-205.19a, § 4-205.19c, § 4-205.19d, § 4-205.19g, and § 4-205.19m.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “has a disability” for “is disabled”, throughout the section.

D.C. Law 18-111 rewrote subsec. (a); and added subsec. (a-1). Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) Application for public assistance shall be accepted from, or on behalf of, any person who believes himself or herself eligible for public assistance. The application shall be made in the manner and form prescribed by the Council, and shall contain such information as the Mayor shall require.”

D.C. Law 18-366 rewrote subsecs. (a) and (b); and, in subsec. (c), substituted “assessment” for “preliminary assessment”, and substituted “the TANF recipient” for “the applicant”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of section, see note to § 3-205.19a.

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5171(a) of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5171(a) of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 2(i) of Public Assistance Temporary Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Law 12-7, August 1, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 4639).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 2(i) of Public Assistance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-130, July 24, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 6501).

For temporary (225 day) addition of section, see § 2(w) of Public Assistance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-130, July 24, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 6501).

Short Title

Short title: Section 5170 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle R of title V of the act may be cited as the “TANF Work Incentives Act of 2009”.