Biden’s Executive Order Has Made It Easier to Apply for Social Security, Snap, and Medicare Benefits

The experience of anyone who has worked with government bureaucracy or programs and compared them to private-industry customer service knows that government agencies leave a lot to be desired.

The government, on the other hand, does not have the same incentive to provide high levels of customer service and to be responsive to consumer needs in order to establish a loyal following and stay in business as businesses do.

It has been a source of aggravation for many people for years to deal with government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and SNAP — or even to try to get in touch with the Internal Revenue Service to get their problems answered.

According to a White House news release issued on Monday, December 13, President Joe Biden wants to address these concerns through a new executive order aimed at “transforming federal customer service experience and service delivery to re-establish faith in government.”

Increase the level of customer service provided by federal programs

Americans will be able to do the following as a result of the presidential order:

  • Online applications for Social Security and Medicare benefits are now available.
  • Get your passport renewed online without having to send in any paperwork.
  • Enrolling in federal benefits such as SNAP and WIC is now much simpler.
  • Incomes for public assistance programs can be recertified in fewer steps.
  • Instead of waiting on hold for the IRS to return your call, schedule a callback.

Read More: President Joe Biden Urges Student Loan Debtors to ‘Play a Role’ in Preparing for Payments to Resume on May 1

It is intended to improve 36 customer service experiences across 17 government agencies, according to the order. It is important to provide “services in a more equitable and effective manner, particularly for individuals who have historically been underserved,” according to a White House press statement about the order.

A subsequent news release said that, on an annual basis, more than 69 billion hours of paperwork are completed by members of the American public in order to obtain services and meet requests from executive departments and agencies.

Specifically, the federal government is attempting to “create experiences” that “lower administrative burdens, streamline both public-facing and internal processes to improve efficiency and empower the federal workforce to address problems,” according to a press statement from the White House.

The redesign of the website will result in the creation of a “Digital Federal Front Door.”

As part of the order, the government would revamp the website to serve as a “digital front door” for citizens seeking access to federal benefits, services, and programs, among other things.

Individuals will no longer have to go through antiquated websites in order to obtain important applications; instead, the re-design will place necessary programs at their fingertips, accessible within one to three clicks, taps, or commands.

Several federal departments, including the United States Treasury, the Interior Department, the Agricultural Department, the Labor Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services, will lead efforts to streamline and improve their customer-facing services. The individual secretaries of each department will be in charge of directing the efforts.

Examples include the Secretary of Agriculture looking into ways to expedite enrollment and certification in SNAP and WIC programs, as well as exploring the possibility of online shopping using these programs’ benefits.

Similarly, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will prioritize the development and delivery of personalized online tools and expanded customer support for Medicare, the expansion of telehealth services in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the promotion of coordination between various benefit programs whenever feasible.

It is the overarching purpose of each project is described in the first part of the executive order: “Government must be held accountable for designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is intended to serve.”

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