Promoting Public Benefits Access Through Web-Based Tools and Outreach: A National Scan of Efforts. Volume II: Detailed Summary Tables of Benefits Access Efforts. Earn Benefits



EarnBenefits works in three stages to connect low-wage workers to a range of income-enhancing public and private benefits: (1) marketing and education to inform workers about public benefits; (2) eligibility screening and application assistance provided by EarnBenefits representatives in community organizations via EarnBenefits Online (a web-based tool that streamlines eligibility screening for benefits, application submission, and tracking of applications submitted to local agencies that administer benefits); and (3) benefits management assisting clients with recertification and financial management. Before developing EarnBenefits Online, EarnBenefits used HelpWorks as its web-based screening tool (see page 77).

EarnBenefits is operated by Seedco, a national nonprofit organization that works with local community partners to create economic opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers, low-wage workers, and neighborhood entrepreneurs. The effort was initially launched in New York City in 2003 but has expanded to other cities and states.

Key benefit programs

TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, SSI/DI, LIHEAP, EITC, school meal programs, federal housing assistance programs, federal child care assistance

Other benefit programs

Prescription drug assistance, separate state welfare programs, state low-income tax credits, county- or city-level human services assistance programs, unemployment insurance, home- and community-based services, other federal tax credits

Key technological components

Online screener/benefits calculator; online application that is printed and submitted on paper

Other key components

Outreach conducted by for-profit or nonprofit partners; application assistance

Target population

General low-income population

Geographic reach

Multiple states/localities

State/s (abbreviation)


Locality (cities or counties)

Statewide in CT; statewide in GA; Louisville, KY; Statewide in MA; Baltimore, MD; New York City and Buffalo, NY; Statewide in OK; Memphis, TN

Selected sources of information

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