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



Single Stop USA has combined two efforts in New York City to streamline access to benefits: the Benefits Enrollment Network (BEN) and The Food Stamp/Medicaid Paperless Office System (POS).

BEN is an online screening tool that can determine which benefits clients are eligible for in as little as 15 minutes, guide them through the application process, and connect them to other services, including benefits counseling, free tax preparation, legal assistance and financial counseling. Benefit counselors have direct access to the screening tool; clients work with them to be screened for benefits and to get information about how to complete applications for the programs for which they may qualify.

POS is a joint effort between the Human Resources Administration (HRA), the Robin Hood Foundation, Single Stop USA, and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) to increase SNAP and Medicaid enrollment among Single Stop customers. This effort, piloted in 2005 and launched more broadly throughout New York City in September 2008, allows clients to electronically submit a joint SNAP-Medicaid application in Single Stop locations throughout the city with help from Single Stop staff trained to use BEN. The staff complete the documents, gather the documentation, and transmit the applications and documentation to local SNAP centers, which then conduct the interview and determine eligibility. A Microsoft-based eligibility determination platform supports the application data submitted by through this method.

Single Stop USA was originally launched with funding from the Robin Hood Foundation and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2007. With grant funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies, BEN was expanded to other cities (the San Francisco Bay Area; Miami; Newark, NJ; and Las Cruces and Farmington, NM) beginning in 2009.

Key benefit programs

SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, LIHEAP, EITC, Federal housing assistance programs, Federal child care assistance

Other benefit programs

State and local low-income subsidies

Key technological components

Online application that can be sent electronically

Other key components

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

Target population

General low-income population

Geographic reach

Multiple localities

State/s (abbreviation)

Single Stop: NY


Locality (cities or counties)

New York City, NY; San Francisco, CA; Miami, FL; Newark, NJ; Las Cruces and Farmington, NM

Selected sources of information

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