Human Resource Administration, HRA, DSS, Food Stamps, SNAP, Cash Assistance, Access HRA website
photo credit: NY Times

Access HRA Mobile app and website, self‐service computers and scanners at HRA centers, and mobile document upload technology are part of a broader effort to improve service for clients

photo credit: NY Times

The city’s Department of Social Services (DSS) and Human Resource Administration (HRA) launched the new Access HRA website and Access HRA Mobile app, aiming to simplify the way New Yorkers can manage their benefits without having to visit HRA, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) center or job center.

“On the Access HRA website you can apply or recertify for SNAP benefits without coming to an HRA center, which means not taking time from work or family,“ said DSS Commissioner Steven Banks. “And you can manage your case and submit documents on the go with the Access HRA app. If you need in‐person help, our centers are still there to help you.”

The newly launched Access HRA website allows New Yorkers to apply or recertify for SNAP and Cash Assistance (CA), submit required documents digitally, recertifying their case and overall manage their benefits. Clients simply can go to the website to create an account and to fill out an application. Approved clients can log in to the site to check their monthly benefit balance, case status, sign up to receive text or email alerts about upcoming appointments and have access to many more features. Clients who already receive SNAP or CA can also access those features by creating an Access HRA account and then linking their case to it.

Once clients have applied and created an account through the website, they may then use the Access HRA Mobile app which includes many of the same case management features, conveniently accessible through their smartphones.

“Smartphones are increasingly a major way we interact with the world, across all income levels,” said HRA administrator Grace Bonilla. “With the Access HRA Mobile app and website, we’re bringing that flexibility, convenience, and ease‐of‐use to benefits low‐income New Yorkers depend on to make ends meet.”

image credit: www1.nyc.gov

The website and mobile app, self‐service computers and scanners at HRA centers, and mobile document upload technology through which HRA has received 1,000,000 document uploads, are part of a broader effort to improve service for clients and to free HRA center staff to focus on the neediest cases. And the trend is supported by the numbers: in a 2015 survey, an estimated 67.6 percent of NYC households receiving SNAP used a smartphone.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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