May 16, 2012

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Jeremy Drucker
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DHS launches single online application for multiple public assistance programs

ApplyMN for the first time provides single online application for health care, food and other assistance programs

Minnesotans in need of health care, nutrition assistance, child care assistance and emergency assistance can now apply online through ApplyMN, applymn.dhs.mn.gov. This new site allows Minnesotans for the first time to fill out a single application online for a majority of public assistance programs.

“ApplyMN is an easy, secure way for Minnesotans in need to apply for assistance from more than one program,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “This will streamline the application process, increase administrative efficiencies and is an important step in our effort to make government easier to navigate.”

Every month more than 60,700 Minnesotans apply for health care and other human services programs. ApplyMN is expected to improve access to various human services programs for low-income Minnesotans. Applications can continue to be submitted in paper form.

ApplyMN is a “smart application” that asks applicants questions based on the programs they apply for and answers they submit. It is connected to a prescreening tool that applicants can use to check potential eligibility for various programs, as well as a user authentication tool that allows applicants to register and authenticate their identities, save and retrieve partially completed applications and see a list of previously completed applications.

“ApplyMN will be a useful tool for clients to be able to fill out an application on the internet and immediately submit it, and not have to incur the cost of driving to the county office to turn in a paper application or return it by mail,” said Khou Vue, SNAP outreach specialist at Second Harvest Heartland. “It will greatly benefit clients who don’t have a means of transportation and are in dire need of the services.”

The Minnesota Department of Human Services developed the online application, which was piloted December through February, in consultation with partners and advocates. In addition to county and state workers, other organizations that assist applicants are expected to benefit from ApplyMN.

“As a pilot participant, we found this tool helpful in making services more accessible for applicants and the community partners who assist applicants,” said Deborah Huskins, an area director in the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department. “Hennepin County has a keen interest in e-Government and supports ApplyMN as a step in the right direction.”

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