Our Impact

​Benefits Data Trust uses private sector strategies to solve a social problem. Committed to continual innovation, we work closely with our partners to repair fractured systems and create a 21st Century benefits access system that is simple, comprehensive and cost-effective. Through our innovative service delivery model we seek to impact lives, the systems in which they need to navigate, and the communities in which they live.

Our Impact Model

Individual Impact: Comprehensive Application Assistance

BDT increases household income for low-income individuals

  • On average, BDT increases household income by 12%, or $2,400 per year for a household with an income of $20,000.

BDT helps seniors remain independent and in their homes

  • The PA Department of Aging & Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services report that enrollment in prescription assistance programs prolongs entrance into assisted living facilities by 2 years. From September 2005 to June 2015, BDT has enrolled over 192,000 Pennsylvania seniors into PACE, the PA state prescription program. This results in a savings of $25 billion in nursing facility costs.

BDT increases access to benefit programs that help low-income individuals afford food, shelter, and medical expenses

  • BDT has an average enrollment rate of 80%, with a high of 95% for some benefit programs.

Systems Impact: Simplified Benefits Access

BDT simplifies access

  • BDT collaborates with states to determine ways to make benefits access simple for low-income individuals and the administering agencies that serve them. BDT uses verified data-driven strategies to streamline cross benefit enrollment, implements telephonic signature functionality, and leverages technology to ensure comprehensive benefits delivery whenever possible.

BDT reduces caseworker time spent on processing applications

  • In April 2014, Mathematica Policy Research reported that with streamlined options, the BDT Model saves government caseworkers 30 minutes per SNAP case. Because BDT submits an average of 28,000 SNAP applications per year, this can result in significant savings for government agencies.

BDT changes policy

  • BDT engages at the state and federal level to create a more person-centered, comprehensive benefits access system.
  • BDT remains committed to linking diverse data sources and engaging in practical research to prove the long-term positive health and social outcomes for individuals and communities when people are able to meet their basic needs.

Social Impact: Cost-effective strategies for improving lives, communities, and the economy

BDT increases economic activity in local communities

  • BDT has helped low-income individuals access over $7 billion in benefits (from September 2005 through February 2018)
  • According to the USDA, every $1 spent in SNAP generates $1.79 in economic activity. In 2017, BDT helped individuals access $27 million in SNAP benefits, equaling an estimated $48 million spent in local communities.
BDT works to ensure that the benefits landscape is comprehensive in its support across sectors, the result of which leads to effective use of limited government and community resources, a comprehensive and seamless infrastructure, and stronger and healthier communities.

Service Delivery
  1. Targeted Identification

    Based on income, individuals are often eligible for multiple public benefits and services. BDT partners with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as public and private sector organizations to target individuals eligible for, but not receiving all of the critical benefits and services for which they are eligible.

  2. Effective Outreach

    BDT uses direct mail and contact center strategies to conduct targeted outreach and effectively communicate with individuals in need.

  3. Comprehensive Application Assistance

    BDT pairs customized technology with highly trained Benefits Outreach Specialists to help responders apply for multiple benefits at one time, over the phone.

  4. Continual Evaluation

    The BDT Model is results-oriented and outcomes driven. On an on-going basis, BDT evaluates project effectiveness and explores how data can be utilized and enhanced in order to achieve optimal outcomes.

  5. Strategic Systems Change

    BDT works closely with local, state and federal government agencies to leverage policy options in order to streamline benefits access for eligible individuals.

  6. Proactive Thought Leadership

    BDT engages in a cross-sector dialogue, conducts outcomes focused research, and shares findings with diverse stakeholders. BDT uses analysis and research to encourage the adoption of proven practices that will lead to a benefits access system that is simple, comprehensive, and cost-effective.


BDT submits an average of 9,700 applications per month


Low-income seniors can increase their income by thousands of dollars each year, with the average being $2,000 annually


​On average, BDT helps to increase the household income of eligible individuals by 12% annually

Simple. Comprehensive. Cost Effective.

BDT seeks to make benefits access more simple, comprehensive, and cost-effective through policy and systems change. BDT will build comprehensive and person-centered programs that connect individuals to all the benefits and services they need, while treating each person with dignity and respect. BDT will partner with government and other diverse partners to implement and institutionalize the policy, process, and technology changes required to simplify the health and human services system. Finally, BDT will conduct research, experiment and disseminate cost-effective solutions that improve long-term outcomes for individuals, communities, and the economy. Read more about our policy and systems change efforts Systems Change.