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Using The Internet To Facilitate Enrollment In Benefit Programs: Eligibility Screeners And Online Applications

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Over the last decade, internet technology has transformed many aspects of our society, including how people obtain information and conduct personal and professional transactions. It can also offer new ways for working families to learn about and enroll in benefit programs for which they may qualify.

All states have websites that provide information about public benefit programs, including printable application forms for at least some of the major programs. A handful of state websites offer additional features as well, including “screeners” that help families determine the benefit programs for which they may qualify and applications that can be filled out and submitted online. This paper explores the issues that states need to consider in designing these online screening and application features.