The Application Process
For TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SCHIP

Issues For Agencies and Applicants,
Including Immigrants and Limited English Speakers

Submitted to:
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

January 2003

This report is available on the Internet at:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/app-process03

How to Obtain a Printed Copy


Contents

Executive Summary

Acknowledgements

Chapters

  1. Introduction
  2. Study Context
  3. Applying for Benefits: What Families must do
  4. Application Forms
  5. Eligibility Determination Policies and Verification Procedures: Special Issues for Immigrants
  6. The Language Dimension of Applying for Assistance:  Strategies to Meet the Needs of Limited English Speakers

Appendices

  1. Study Methodology
  2. Language Spoken at Home, Population Ages 5 and Over
  3. Study Program Descriptions

List of Exhibits


Acknowledgements

This study could not have been completed without the cooperation and assistance of many individuals. Most importantly, our thanks go to all the state and local program staff, staff from community-based and advocacy organizations, and local discussion group participants who contributed to this study. These individuals were tremendously generous with their time and provided us with a wealth of critical information and insights.

The authors wish to thank many current and former staff at the Urban Institute who played an important role in this project. We especially thank Michael Fix and Wendy Zimmerman for their invaluable work in laying the groundwork for this study and providing constructive suggestions throughout the project. Frank Ullman provided much appreciated assistance with completing the site visits and contributing to the final report. We also thank Ian Hill and Corinna Hawkes for sharing valuable information about SCHIP and Medicaid implementation, based on their own work in this area.

Finally, we are indebted to David Nielsen, our ASPE Project Officer, for his commitment to this project and helpful guidance throughout the study.

This report was prepared by Pamela A. Holcomb, Karen Tumlin, Robin Koralek, Randy Capps, and Anita Zuberi of The Urban Institute for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under contract number HHS-100-99-0003, Task Order No. 14. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.


How to Obtain a Printed Copy

To obtain a printed copy of this report, you may print the PDF Version (91 pages) or send the title and your mailing information to:

Human Services Policy, Room 404E
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Av, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Fax:  (202) 690-6562


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Last updated:  07/17/03