Today’s post comes from a combination of my curiosity and my ignorance of history.

I would guess (with no research into the question), as a matter of course, that a government’s default stance is that a person is ineligible for benefits until proven otherwise. It just makes sense, as sound fiscal policy. (This does not mean that a government should create hurdles to proving eligibility, though.) It also makes sense that someone who isn’t a resident of a given jurisdiction shouldn’t be eligible for that jurisdiction’s benefits.*

Additionally, it seems to me, though if you haven’t noticed yet I am the master of overly-broad-generalizations-based-on-not-much, that there has been a trend recently (where by recently I mean in the time I’ve lived in DC) to expand eligibility.

So I was surprised to come across this policy order from 1969:

Was this standard at the time? Or was it a progressive move by the federally-appointed folks running DC in those days?

I’d love to learn more.


*BIG issue regarding services for homeless people. I’m not talking about those.

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