Web-Based Benefit Access Tools: Mitigating Barriers for Special Needs Populations. III Strategies to Mitigate Barriers to WEB-Based Access

11/01/2012

Some public agencies and private organizations have intentionally developed strategies to mitigate barriers to accessing web-based benefits access tools among vulnerable subgroups of the low-income population. The extent to which they do so may be driven by the initial objectives of the tool. Entities develop and implement web-based tools for two key reasons—to increase client access to benefits and to increase public program efficiency. Entities that develop web-based tools primarily to increase access are more likely to develop strategies that target particularly vulnerable subgroups than those that develop tools primarily to create greater efficiencies in state government.

Strategies to mitigate barriers to access for particularly vulnerable populations differ in design and scope. In this section, we present strategies used in the case study sites. Some address one particular barrier to access, while others address several simultaneously. Thus, some may be useful for one particular subgroup, while others could be useful across multiple subgroups. Although some of the sites from which we collected data have begun to collect outcomes data and anecdotal evidence of the success of the strategy, no experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations have been conducted to shed light on how well any of the strategies presented here work; rather, they represent approaches that public and private entities have tried to reach the most vulnerable low-income individuals and families.

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