Translating policy into standard and transparent computer code.
There is a fix for this, though: digitizing benefits eligibility rules at their source and approving them as an official version of the policy. Digitization of benefits policy promises to dramatically reduce implementation burdens, improve transparency and integration of benefits programs, and facilitate real-time modeling of proposed program updates and amendments. This is the place to learn more.
Envisioning a Federal Rules as Code Approach to Public Benefits Eligibility
Digitizing public benefits policy will make the biggest impact for administrators and Americans, but only if it happens at the highest level of government.
Cracking the code: Rulemaking for humans and machines
Rules as Code proposes that governments create an official version of laws and regulations in a machine-consumable form, allowing the rules to be understood and actioned by computer systems in a consistent way.
Exploring Rules Communication: Moving Beyond Static Documents to Standardized Code for U.S. Public Benefits Programs
This brief analyzes the current state of federal and state government communication around benefits eligibility rules and policy and how these documents are being tracked and adapted into code by external organizations. This work includes comparisons between coded examples of policy and potential options for standardizing code based on established and emerging data standards, tools, and frameworks.
18F's Eligibility APIs Initiative
18F is an internal technology and design consultancy as part of the Technology Transformation Service (TTS) in the General Services Administration (GSA) in the U.S. Federal Government. Their teams work with federal agencies to build and buy technology, and can also work with states and local agencies on initiatives receiving federal funding. They seek to build digital services that are trustworthy, designed with the people who use them, deliver good value, and are shipped efficiently and when possible, in the open.
PolicyEngine is a non-profit that seeks to compute the impact of public policy for the world. Through their free, open-source application, they want to make policy information accessible, and help users understand policy effects at the individual and population level. By giving policymakers and residents greater access to policy rules and their effects, PolicyEngine hopes to promote more democratic policymaking processes.
mRelief is a nonprofit software product company which helps people in all 53 states and territories participating in SNAP find out if they are eligible and apply for SNAP. Their mission is to “transform social services for the inherent dignity of all people.” They have helped over 2.7 million individuals, and have unlocked over $1 billion in SNAP benefits.