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Promoting Public Benefits Access Through Web-Based Tools and Outreach

Publication Date

By: Jacqueline Kauff, Emily Sama-Miller, Gretchen Rowe, Cicely Thomas, and Libby Makowsky Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Submitted to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

Contract Number: HHSP23320095642WC/HHSP23337018T Mathematica Reference Number: 06858.008

This report summarizes findings from a national scan of web-based benefits access tools and eight in-depth case studies done for the Helping Vulnerable Populations Access Public Benefits through Web-based Tools and Outreach project.  The report identifies the design, technology, and financial considerations in implementing such models and addresses how they can be sustained, expanded, and replicated.


This report was prepared by Jacqueline Kauff, Emily Sama-Miller, Gretchen Rowe, Cicely Thomas, and Libby Makowsky of Mathematica Policy Research, under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Administration for Children and Families and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships within HHS contributed funding and invaluable input throughout the life of the study. In addition, a technical working group consisting of representatives from various federal agencies reviewed and provided useful feedback on draft study products.

Many individuals within ASPE and Mathematica assisted in conducting the study and producing this report. At ASPE, Alana Landey monitored each project task and provided useful suggestions for improving the study and the final report. She was also responsible for all business aspects of the study. Linda Mellgren reviewed draft products and provided useful comments. At Mathematica, Michelle Derr led data collection efforts in two of the eight case study sites, and Stacy Pancratz helped to collect data in two other sites. Allison Logie provided expertise on the technologies supporting the benefit access tools. Cheryl Camillo provided a thorough review of each study product. Alfreda Holmes prepared the manuscripts for all study products, and Betty Teller provided editorial assistance.

Finally, this report would not have been possible without the cooperation and support we received from administrators and other staff at public and private entities in the case study sites. Policy, program, and IT personnel at government agencies, software developers, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations graciously shared their time, experiences, and expertise during telephone and in-person discussions and reviewed portions of this report for accuracy.

The authors would like to thank all of these organizations and individuals for their important contributions to the study and to this report. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not represent the opinions or policy of any agency of the federal government.