Individual Assistance

Reaching Eligible Households

We work with federal and state government agencies and other partners to identify and proactively notify individuals who are eligible for but not currently receiving assistance, or are due to recertify their eligibility.

These outreach strategies, conducted by mail and text, guide eligible people to apply or recertify, helping to ensure families receive the support they need.

Providing Direct Assistance

BDT operates phone-based Benefit Centers in six states — Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina — where trained benefits specialists serve individuals with kindness, to create a person-centered experience.

We screen and apply callers for multiple benefits at once, allowing them to apply for all different programs based on a single set of questions, rather than requiring people to provide the same information and documentation repeatedly through separate applications.

Building Tools for Simplified Access

By developing accessible digital products, like chatbots and online self-screeners, we seek to equip people with tools — available 24/7, not just during business hours — that quickly connect them to assistance through application pathways that work for them. This helps to reduce barriers to access and eliminate confusion around eligibility status for programs like SNAP and Medicaid, as well as the FAFSA.

Individual Assistance Highlights


Benefits Data Trust to Assist State Agencies to Streamline Access to SNAP

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New research shows ways to reduce stigma among older adults of accessing benefits

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Case study of BenePhilly shared by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

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Simplifying benefits access: free online tool aims to provide personalized help

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