Topic

Digital Services

Strong digital services create the channels and systems that applicants and beneficiaries need to easily access benefits online.

Making the online option easy.

Digital modernization is happening across all levels and sectors of government, including benefits administering agencies. To successfully deliver benefits information, initial applications, and case management online, benefits administering agencies must make use of digital services best practices.

Creating strong digital services impacts not only applicants and beneficiaries, but also shapes workflows for staff and agency leaders. On this page, you will find resources to help your team build and maintain a strong digital services practice and culture, including information on agile practices, best practices in digital design, tools to measure user experience, and lessons learned from successful public interest technology approaches.

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MIBridges: Making Online Benefit Websites Work More Effectively

Millions of Michigan residents receive public assistance through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Half of them tried to apply for and access these benefits online. However, the existing application was not mobile-friendly and it required more than 45 minutes to complete. This created delays and frustrating experiences for residents and agency staff.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study

Minnesota: Rolling Out an Integrated Benefits Application in Stages

Minnesota posed a number of unique challenges towards efficient service delivery of public benefits. In addition to a fragmented application process, each of Minnesota's 87 counties maintained their own systems for managing assistance programs. Further issues stemmed from Minnesota's high levels of racial disparities, 11 tribal nations, and disproportionately large refugee population.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study

Providers App: Timely, Localized Updates to Benefits Information

Low-income Americans struggle to monitor their benefits and learn about new benefit programs because each state maintains its own systems for accessing this information. These websites are often convoluted and hard to find.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study

New York City Benefits and Programs: Designing, Translating and Scaling Accessible Content

New York City's platform for accessing and learning about benefit programs, ACCESS NYC, increasingly struggled to adapt to new use cases, technological innovation, and more efficient methods of website maintenance and content sharing. These challenges impeded NYC’s ability to deliver up-to-date accessible benefits information and eligibility screening to residents when they needed it.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study

Retooling Find Local Help Using Human-centered Design

Find Local Help provides a list of free experts who can help users sign up for health insurance. The system asked additional questions before the results screen to give the backend system time to complete the search. Users received a “No Results” notification – instead of loading indicators – during this step.

Ad Hoc
Case Study

Vermont: Piloting A Document Uploader For Benefit Eligibility

To verify their eligibility for public assistance, low-income Vermont residents were forced to either physically visit one of only 12 Economic Services Division Offices or use the mail to submit documents. This delayed the application process and hindered residents' ability to access benefits.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study

City of San José: Machine Learning for Translation

The majority of San José residents speak languages other than English, particularly Spanish and Vietnamese. The City of San José sought to expand access to their 311 service to be more responsive to the needs of these residents.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study
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