Benefits portal attracts new partners

Benefits portal attracts new partners

The Labor Department’s GovBenefits.gov portal next week will have 30 additional benefits programs, and more programs will join at a rate of 20 to 40 per month for the rest of the year, program manager George Wollner said yesterday.

Wollner, Labor’s chief of technology measurement and strategic initiatives, said state and local benefits agencies, including Los Angeles County, have inquired about introducing their programs at the portal. Online applications at the portal are “down the road, about a year out,” he predicted at the E-Gov 2002 conference in Washington.

GovBenefits, which lets users check their eligibility for benefits by answering a few questions, began operating in its current form in April with 55 benefits programs at 10 federal agencies. “We get almost 50,000 hits a week now, and 10,000 visitors continue on to the benefits programs’ sites,” Wollner said.

Building GovBenefits required just over $1 million, he said. The portal now provides access to information about $1 trillion worth of federal benefits programs, a figure that will increase by $50 billion when the 30 new programs go up next week.

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