OASAM News Release: [04/16/2012]
Contact Name: Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-5051
Release Number: 12-0658-NAT
US Labor Department celebrates 10 years of citizen service through Benefits.gov
Commemorates website’s service, technology innovation and e-government success
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Benefits.gov Program and its track record of success in serving the American public. Benefits.gov, formerly GovBenefits.gov, has increased public access to critical information regarding government benefits and consequently has reduced the cost to taxpayers of the processes required to obtain the same information.
"For the past 10 years, Americans have been able to turn to Benefits.gov as the trusted online source for the information about government benefits and eligibility that they need. The Department of Labor is proud to be part of the Benefits.gov partnership, and I congratulate the website on this important milestone," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
Benefits.gov is the product of a collaborative partnership of 17 federal agencies, and the Labor Department is the managing partner. The website's key feature is the "Benefit Finder," a tool that asks users questions about themselves to determine which government benefit programs out of more than 1,000 they may be eligible to receive. This powerful prescreening technology has been reused for multiple government websites, such as http://www.GovLoans.gov, http://www.benefits.gov/ssa and http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov, all of which are also part of the Benefits.gov Program portfolio.
"Benefits.gov is a shining example of how agencies can both save money by pooling their resources and create a more unified and easy experience for the public," said U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel.
In 2010, Benefits.gov was one of the first "e-government" initiatives to move to a cloud hosting environment, resulting in reduced costs and an increased capacity to serve individuals seeking assistance. Since its inception in 2002, Benefits.gov has received more than 20 awards, including a 2011 Digital Government Achievement Award and acknowledgement as a 2011 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate. More than 50 million unique users have visited Benefits.gov to date.
The public is encouraged to visit and explore Benefits.gov to determine whether they are eligible for government benefits. Visitors can keep up with the latest benefit-related information by subscribing to page updates directly from the site, as well as by following Benefits.gov on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/benefitsGOV or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/benefitsGOV. The site also will be launching a YouTube account soon to provide self-help tutorials.