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


Application length has been cited as a deterrent to completing applications in previous studies (O'Brien et. al. 2001). The length of integrated applications varies significantly by site. Including all instructions and other written information, the average length of integrated applications across the sites is just over 13 pages, ranging from a low of 6 pages in Seattle up to 18 pages in both Arlington and New York.4 The length of an application is also affected by stylistic choices regarding font sizes and line spacing as well as the length and placement of instructions. Excluding pages that list only instructions, the applications average about 10 ½ pages and range from 5 pages in Seattle to 15 pages in Arlington. When describing the integrated application in Arlington, a worker remarked, "It's a book!" and noted that many applicants — regardless of English proficiency — feel overwhelmedby the sheer length of the application. Even in Seattle, where the integrated application is the shortest among our sites, some staff noted that the length and complexity of the application is difficult for some applicants.

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