About 1,148 District employees are receiving welfare payments from the city and it is believed that many quality for the assistance, Alberto Russo, head of the Department of Human Resources, said yesterday.
Russo, speaking at a press conference, said it would take several months to determine how many, if any, of the welfare payments were obtained illegally. He said his first priority would be to determine how many DHR employees are on the rolls and what salaries they earn.
Earlier this week, HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr. disclosed that the Washington area are receiging welfare payments from Russo's department.
Califano said about 400 earn more than $10,000 a year.
Both Russo and Califano's findings were obtained under a relatively new program called "project Match", which matches the city's welfare rolls with federal and city employment rosters. The project was first undertaken by HEW to check welfare fraud. So far, the project has been implemented in 19 other cities.
The raw data disclosed by Russo yesterday involved 43,000 city employees in every department except education. Employment rosters were matched against the welfare rolls for persons obtaining money in July through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.
Russo said it was possible that no one had received a payment fraudlently. He said in families where one parent is absent because of death, divorce, desertion or physical incapacity the other parent can receive supplemental income ranging from about $20 to $340 a month.
In the past, the Department of Human Resources has sought out women on welfare and given them jobs in day care facilities and elsewhere to ease their economic burdens. They have received some welfare assistance in addition to their salaries as part of the supplemental income programs.
Russo said about 4,200 District residents receive supplemental aid under the AFDC program.About 124,000 persons in the District receive assiatance under the AFDC program, he said.
Russo said it was "imposible" to estimate how much the city may be losing through payments to fraudulent recipients. He said criminal proseuctions would be undertaken in cases where it is warranted.
At the press conference yesterday, Russo also announced the opening of three new outpatient programs for drug abusers in Washington. They are:
The Women's Program, 1905 E St. SE, which opens Oct. 1, serving up to 300 residents 18 and older who use a variety of drugs; and
Youth Abstinence Center, at 613 G St. NW, serving up to 150 drug abusers under 19.