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



OregonHelps! is an online prescreener for multiple benefits. Available to the public, it links to information about each program it screens for. It was developed and initially implemented in 2002 in Oregon by Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Oregon Food Bank, the state of Oregon, and the Community Action Directors of Oregon in consultation with EcoNorthwest. As part of its Work Advancement and Support Center Demonstration, MDRC worked with EcoNorthwest to modify OregonHelps! to better meet the needs of the demonstration. The result, the Work Advancement Calculator, added the capability to quantify the changes in income that would result from specific advancement moves, taking into consideration the loss of work supports and the increase in taxes.  

Oregon then franchised Oregon Helps! to NJ (where it is known as NJHelps), AZ (where it is known as ArizonaSelfHelp), Los Angeles County (where it is known as LACountyHelps), and the United Way of Greater Kansas City which serves Kansas and Missouri (where it is known as Kansas City Helps). The benefit programs to which the site promotes access are tailored to each state. And, in each state, the site links either to printable or online applications either for single programs or multiple programs.

Key benefit programs

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

Other benefit programs

General Assistance, prescription drug assistance, state low-income tax credits, County- or city-level human services assistance programs, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare Savings Program, long-term care, home- and community-based services, state child care subsidy, Head Start

Key technological components

Online screener/benefits calculator

Other key components

None known

Target population

General low-income population

Geographic reach

Multiple states/localities

State/s (abbreviation)


Locality (cities or counties)

Statewide in AZ; Kansas City, KS and MO; Statewide in NJ; Statewide in OR

Selected sources of information

Screener Provides links to online applications after screening:

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