Labor revamps GovBenefits portal

GovBenefits.gov

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GovBenefits.gov has a new look and added features, such as a page in Spanish and access to more programs, the Labor Department and the Office of Management and Budget announced March 5.

The portal offers citizens information about benefits and helps determine their eligibility. It also is one of 24 e-government initiatives outlined in the President's Management Agenda. The Labor Department is a managing partner in the initiative, eligibility assistance online, with several other agencies.

"Theses enhancements to GovBenefits.gov are a direct response to citizen feedback we have received about the site," Labor chief information officer Patrick Pizzella said in a statement.

The new version has the following added features:

* Home page enhancements, such as a new logo and a "Last Updated" feature indicating when new information has been added.

* A partner room, with instructions on how to become a partner of GovBenefits and presentations about the project available to download.

* A page in Spanish that contains an overview of the site. Plans are under way to include a translation tool to make the entire site accessible to Spanish-speaking users.

* A press room, with general information, press releases and biographies of the management team.

In the first nine months after its launch in April 2002, GovBenefits received more than 3 million hits. The site now offers links to 234 benefits programs, representing $1.3 trillion in annual benefits. A few examples are tax counseling for the elderly from the Treasury Department, adjustable rate mortgages from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Welfare to Work program from Labor.

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