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Coronavirus Pandemic

New web app connecting New Yorkers access benefits amid COVID-19 pandemic

woman using smartphone

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on Monday announced the launch of a new web application designed to connect residents with social services, including unemployment benefits, food assistance, and rent and mortgage relief.

The “Find Services” web app was developed through a public-private partnership with Google.org; the user-friendly social services discovery application will help individuals who are either new to or unfamiliar with the state’s social programs network.

“COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented demand for social services in New York, including families and individuals who have never relied on social programs before,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new web application, the result of a public-private partnership, will provide New Yorkers with a user-friendly, stigma-free resource to get the assistance and relief they need.”

The “Find Services” web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.

The web application’s code has been open-sourced to allow other government entities the opportunity to build on this project to meet the needs of their residents.

During a three-week pilot of the application, more than 100,000 New Yorkers accessed the web application. The State will use analytics data to understand where residents need help getting connected with vital government services and refine the application over time to best serve the needs of New Yorkers.

 

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