September 5, 2014—The LIHEAP Clearinghouse has issued a new report titled "Online Application for LIHEAP." The report examines how applying for social services online is becoming more common and convenient.
Online application is much more than just posting an application online that people can download and fill out. Instead, it means that a person can fill out the application online and may be able to electronically submit documentation and track the status of the application as it makes its way through the approval process.
Through its research, the Clearinghouse found that 45 states provide online application for at least one social service program, whether that is LIHEAP, Medicaid, SNAP, or other programs. Some states offer online application for more than one program through the same online system. The report provides an overview of online application systems, including the ones used for LIHEAP in Nebraska, New Mexico and West Virginia
The report also discusses the advantages and challenges that online application presents for both agencies and clients. It provides tips on what issues should be considered when designing an online application system and emphasizes the importance of continued evaluation of such systems.
Source: LIHEAP Clearinghouse