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Economic Security

The Economic Security Administration (ESA) (formerly known as IMA) determines eligibility for benefits under the following programs:

  • Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
  • Medical Assistance,
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps),
  • Child Care Subsidy, Burial Assistance, Interim Disability Assistance,
  • Parent and Adolescent Support Services (PASS)and
  • Refugee Cash Assistance  

In addition, ESA’s Food Stamp Employment and Training Program (FSET) provides employment and training services to able-bodied adults without dependents who receive food stamps. ESA also performs monitoring, quality control and reporting functions required by federal law and court orders.

The Division of Program Operations delivers services through five Decentralized Service Centers located in low-income neighborhoods throughout the city. Its staff accepts applications and determines or re-certifies the eligibility of low-income DC families and individuals for social service assistance, including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), General Public Assistance for Children (GPA), Interim Disability Assistance (IDA), Medicaid, Alliance, Food Stamps, Refugee Services, and Burial Assistance. The Food Stamp Employment and Training Program, which helps find employment for Food Stamp recipients who do not have dependents, and the Office of Work Opportunities, which helps heads of households applying for TANF seek jobs while their applications are under review, are also part of this division.

The Division of Program Development and Training provides expert guidance regarding federal and local laws and regulations and compliance with court orders. Its staff develops and documents policy to guide the determination of eligibility, and ensure that Income Maintenance staff acquire and maintain the knowledge and skills required to deliver services according to established policies and procedures.

The Division of Monitoring and Quality Assurance monitors ESA’s compliance with federal and local laws and regulations, and court orders addressing the accurate and timely determination of eligibility and administration of benefits. The division coordinates an annual “Food Stamp Payment Accuracy” conference for ESA staff to meet federal requirements for continued training and review of errors in the determination of eligibility for food stamps.

The Division of Information Systems plans, develops, oversees and supports the Automated Client Eligibility Determination System (ACEDS) and the TANF Information System. It serves as liaison with federal and local agencies in managing and reporting data on the administration of customer benefits and documentation of the accuracy and timeliness of benefit determination and issuance.