Feds hope more data access will improve states’ SNAP delivery

The U.S. Agriculture Department is working to help states address card skimming and other persistent problems in the SNAP program.

Amid high heating prices, emergency funding for energy bills dries up

Congress approved one-time funding last year to help low-income families pay to heat and cool their homes. As winter approaches, states and advocates are calling for more money.

Letting low-income Americans buy groceries online in 2020 with SNAP benefits decreased the share of people without enough food

COMMENTARY | Few people with SNAP benefits could use them for online purchases before the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Worse than people can imagine’: Medicaid ‘unwinding’ breeds chaos in states

States have terminated Medicaid coverage for more than 10 million Americans since March, leaving families and individuals scrambling to seek alternative health insurance plans or apply for coverage renewals.

Investing in public benefit navigators is a crucial step toward equity

COMMENTARY | A public-private partnership in Philadelphia is helping residents overcome the barriers to accessing the public benefits and tax credits they’re entitled to.

10 Medicaid holdout states scramble to improve health coverage

But such efforts are more expensive and help fewer people, critics say.

Shutdown averted: States, localities breathe a sigh of relief

Congress voted to fund the government for 45 days. For now, the agreement puts off hard decisions about what to do regarding public assistance programs and the tens of thousands of federally funded state workers that would be impacted.

Why this shutdown could be even more significant for states and localities

Not all states, cities and counties are the same when it comes to shutdowns, but some places will feel it more acutely than others.

Why a government shutdown is complex for state and local governments

It will impact welfare, food stamps, housing and infrastructure, among other things. But planning for a shutdown is difficult for a myriad of reasons.

Funding for WIC food assistance remains uncertain amid budget fight 

As food costs increase, more women than expected have been signing up for the program. Without increased funding, states may have to turn women and their children away. 

Low-income water assistance program set to end

Advocates are pushing to extend the program as poverty rates in the U.S. are on rise, an increase attributed to the end of other expanded pandemic benefits for food, rent and unemployment.

States will soon be required to track post-welfare employment outcomes

The new rule, part of the debt deal struck in June, is a bipartisan effort by Congress to improve welfare assistance and lift recipients out of poverty.

In many schools this fall, free meals for all are back on the menu

States and school districts are moving to provide every kid with a free breakfast and lunch, after a popular pandemic-era program from the federal government expired.

States improperly dropping Medicaid participants due to programming errors

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has given states two weeks to identify problems that have caused eligible participants—mostly children—to be incorrectly disenrolled. Otherwise, states could lose out on Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funding.

For states, the rollout of 988 still faces some challenges

One year in, states are struggling to staff up the suicide prevention lifeline and get the word out about its existence.

How to bake data-based evaluations into relief programs

A new initiative looks to help local leaders alleviate poverty and advance economic mobility using data to invest in evidence-based programs and evaluate innovative ideas.

As states hunt for new voters, Massachusetts adds thousands via Medicaid applications

Any eligible voter in the state who applies for Medicaid is automatically added to the rolls, unless they opt out. Other states are exploring similar systems, which experts say could be more effective in increasing voter rolls.

A Closer Look at ID Verification Across State Benefits Applications

The Digital Benefits Network’s open dataset details the identity proofing requirements of 158 applications for benefits programs.

County’s integrated platform delivers client-focused social services

With HSD Dynamics, Maricopa County can easily share data with APIs, track metrics and automate manual tasks to ensure residents get the services they need.

How Do Benefits Enrollment Sites Stack Up?

Civic tech organization Code for America analyzed state social services websites for customer experience. A few states stood out.

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