Topic

Screening for Eligibility

A Signal Towards a Successful Application

Checking for potential eligibility can be a way to help someone wondering if they should apply for a benefit. Some organizations and governments have started screening for multiple benefit eligibility at one time so people can receive the help they need.

Balancing accuracy with burden.

Case workers and benefits specialists may believe someone might be eligible for a specific benefit program, but it’s only by asking a series of questions that they can uncover if an applicant is likely eligible.

It’s important to balance the burden of questions asked with efficiency. A large number of questions can quickly become as challenging as the complete application. Thankfully, there are tools that can enter information from eligibility screenings directly into applications so applicants can avoid entering the same information multiple times on different forms. Other agencies are focusing on being as inclusive as possible by screening for eligibility based on minimum criteria that signals likely eligibility. 

One of the main improvements that cross-benefit eligibility screening provides is its ability to help people understand where to focus their application efforts. It also introduces the applicant to benefits that they may not be familiar with. Here, explore the potential for making eligibility screening and rules straightforward, along with cross-benefit eligibility, and examples of best practices and products. 

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Learning Towards an API Standard for WIC

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been found to be very effective at improving nutrition for recipients and their children. Despite its effectiveness, only 45.6% of eligible pregnant people participated in 2022; the in-person appointment that starts the WIC application process is a common barrier to enrollment. The largely closed WIC management information systems (MIS) make interoperability, information sharing, and additions of new tools or functionality difficult. An Application Programming Interface (API) standard for WIC that enables existing systems to more easily connect with outside tools could be used to increase program access.

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

The “Income Passport”: Income Verification for Gig Workers in Louisiana and Alabama

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government made gig workers countrywide eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) programs. These benefits helped expand the social safety net during a time of crisis, but states were not equipped to quickly process the volume of applications they received. Overall, this strained state capacity and, especially early in the pandemic, increased avenues for fraud. Many eligible gig workers also struggled to provide the necessary income information, and income verification issues resulted in delayed or denied benefits for gig workers. State workforce agencies needed to find ways to efficiently make sense of and verify income from gig work, which can be generated from multiple sources at multiple times, sometimes even within the same day.

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
Mes Aides

Mes Aides

beta.gouv.fr is a French government incubation program. The incubator was established to help public agencies build digital services that are simple, easy to use, and meet user’s needs.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study
Alluma: One-x-Connection

Alluma: One-x-Connection

Alluma is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people to help. They are reimagining the way technology is used to enable people to have agency to connect to opportunity. For over 20 years, Alluma has been providing digital solutions and consulting services that assist individuals, non-profit organizations, and various state and county agencies with eligibility determination and enrollment into various social benefit programs. They also connect people to local community resources. Through their human-centered, modular solutions, they support cross-benefit eligibility screening and enrollment in 45 counties and two states. Alluma has screened over 10 million individuals for eligibility and submitted more than 67 million program applications. In 2020, Alluma merged with One Degree to expand their ability to connect people to community-based services in addition to public benefits.

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

Benefits Launch

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a nonprofit that works nationally to connect people with public benefits. They use a unique approach that blends direct assistance, policy and practice solutions, data, and technology to provide efficient and dignified access to assistance. Since 2005, they have assisted in more than 800,000 benefits enrollments (including over 90,000 in 2021 alone) and secured over $9 billion in benefits for eligible households. BDT currently provides enrollment assistance in seven states.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study
ACCESS NYC & Benefits Screening API

ACCESS NYC & Benefits Screening API

New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) uses evidence and innovation to reduce poverty and increase equity. The multidisciplinary team funds and scales new approaches, uses methodologies such as service design, digital product development and data integration to improve access to social services, and provides research, including the poverty measure for the city.

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

mRelief

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.

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
Case Study
18F's Eligibility APIs Initiative

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.

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