Clients' Perspectives on a Technology-Based Food Assistance Application System

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The expansion of e-government is reshaping how disadvantaged groups access the social safety net, yet very little is known about clients' experiences with modernized systems. We examine client experiences applying to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in one state that has recently moved to an "online-only" system. Overall, more than half of the 26 applicants stated a preference for the traditional caseworker model, even though some of them identified benefits to the modernized, online system. Based on respondents' experiences, we identified four points where the system proved problematic for applicants: (a) Accessing the call centers; (b) completing an eligibility interview; (c) using the paperless system to submit documentation; and (d) obtaining personal assistance to complete the application materials. Findings are relevant for state administrators of social safety net programs, e-government researchers in the public management and public administration fields, and social stratification researchers interested in how institutional processes influence patterns of inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-673
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

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assistance
food
electronic government
applicant
call center
experience
social stratification
public management
public administration
documentation
Food assistance
interview
Group
Social safety net
Electronic government

Keywords

  • e-government
  • food stamps
  • internet
  • SNAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Cite this

Clients' Perspectives on a Technology-Based Food Assistance Application System. / Heflin, Colleen; London, Andrew S; Mueser, Peter R.

In: American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 43, No. 6, 11.2013, p. 656-673.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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