Code for America

Code for America is an NGO which writes software that gathers government benefits in one place, enabling people to apply for all the benefits they are entitled to at once.
www.codeforamerica.org

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/opinion/sunday/child-tax-…

**This Is the Difference Between a Family Surviving and a Family Sinking**
**By Bryce Covert, The New York Times, Feb. 18, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET**

**...**
**The organization Code for America has long been focused on how to make it easier for people to get the benefits they’re eligible for. So when Child Tax Credit payments were expanded, it built a simple site for non-filers to claim them. The site only sought information the I.R.S. wasn’t able to get itself, like bank account details, and didn’t require people to track down a bunch of documents. The questions were simplified. It was available in Spanish as well as English. Families were able to fill out the form in 10 to 15 minutes and virtually all of them didn’t need help. More than 115,000 households used the website to claim $438 million in less than three months, about a quarter of whom had never filed taxes before....** [end quote]

People who need government assistance most are the least likely to be able to cut through the red tape to access it. They may not speak English, they may not have ever filed taxes, they may be illiterate, they may not have computers. The article explains how difficult it is to track down and qualify for government assistance programs that are currently separated but could be gathered together.

Assistance to these people has a strong economic impact because all the money will spent immediately. About 10%-15% of the U.S. population is poor.

Efficiency is good. Inefficiency is bad. If the government really intends to help people, the programs should be accessible to those who qualify.

Wendy

12 Likes

Wendy,

Hear hear, I can not agree more.