What Online Services Does Your State Government Provide for Key Low Income Benefit Programs — Center for Budget Maps the States

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has just revised its Report (html version) collecting detailed information on the services that are provided online by all the states for the key low-income benefit programs:  SNAP (the benefit program previously known as Food Stamps), TANF, Child Care Assistance, Medicaid, and CHIP.  The pdf version is here.

Bottom line, from the Report’s first paragraph:

Virtually all states have made basic program information on the five main state-administered low-income benefit programs — SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps), Medicaid, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and child care assistance — available to the public via the Internet.  Many, however, go much further, providing information such as application forms and data on the number of participants.  A number of states allow individuals to apply for benefits and transact certain related business online.

Separate charts list:

  • Which states allow for online applications for which of the key benefits (very crudely, it seems to me that about 50% of the cells in this chart are checked yes.)
  • Which states provide which of the following online:  Policy Manual, Printable Application, Save & Return to Complete Later, Eligibility Screener/ Calculator, Check Application Status, Renew  Benefits, Update Information, View Benefit Information, and, Program Data.  (Explanations go into more detail with this chart.)

Amazingly, the Center for Budget has even collected the web links for all the states for these programs.  They too are listed in the Report.

Hopefully this chart will be of use for state advocacy networks to check that they are directing folks to all the services that are available.  It will help advocates identify the gaps, and give them arguments to use with their agencies.

Perhaps more importantly, the Report demonstrates the rapid spread of these tools, and highlights the importance of access advocates monitoring them carefully to ensure that they are as access friendly as possible.


About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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