WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Some people will get a one-time payment of $1,000 as their children head back to school.

Families that live in the District and are enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will receive the money. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the announcement at a TANF Employment Program hiring event at the Frederick Douglass Community Center in Ward 8 on Thursday.

The one-time payments are made possible through the federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF), which was established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for families impacted by COVID-19. The District received nearly $15 million in federal money through the fund.

The DC Department of Human Services will issue the payment through each household’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card in August. Approximately 15,000 families receive TANF assistance. 

“We know that that the pace of economic recovery is not the same for all households,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Director of DHS. “We are thrilled to be able to provide one-time payments to families receiving TANF as they prepare for back to school. We are thankful for the critical support of our federal partners at the Administration of Children and Families (ACF).” 

The payments are in addition to the $41 million in food assistance being disbursed through the Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program that Mayor Bowser announced in July. That funding is being used to provide more than 80,000 children access to healthy meals during the summer and this upcoming school year, and eligible families will receive their benefits by late summer/early fall. 

The TANF program allows residents to gain access to supportive services including but not limited to: 

  • TANF Employment and Educational Program – provides coaching towards education, employment, and job placement goals but also coaches parents on goals they have for their children and families. 
  • Child Care Subsidy – allows parents to enroll their children in quality child care, including before and aftercare. 
  • Behavioral, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Support – connects families to the DC Department of Behavioral Health to obtain counseling to cope and manage behavioral, mental, emotional, or substance abuse issues for parents or their children. 
  • Tuition Assistance Program Initiative for TANF – financial assistance to enroll in post-secondary educational programs or professional certificate and/or licensing programs.

For questions about the one-time back to school payments, people can contact the ESA Public Benefits Call Center at (202) 727-5355, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.