Bredesen Launches FindHelpTN to Provide Centralized Information for State Programs
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 8:29am
Web Site Smoothes Eligibility and Application Process for Assistance Programs
NASHVILLE — Governor Phil Bredesen today unveiled FindHelpTN, a Web-based eligibility screening tool designed to connect Tennesseans with social service programs and resources.
“Anyone who has tried to help someone find or apply for social service programs knows how challenging the process can be,” Governor Bredesen said. “FindHelpTN provides case workers, advocates, clergy or family members and individuals themselves with access to a single source of information to identify programs for which someone may qualify.”
FindHelpTN is a centralized source of information for state and federal assistance programs that includes eligibility screening, application instructions and localized location information for the administering agency.
Created to help community-based service providers connect those in need to the appropriate state programs and services, FindHelpTN takes users through a 10-step questionnaire that covers eligibility criteria ranging from household income and employment status to insured and disability status. In most cases, the survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
When the user completes the process, FindHelpTN generates a printable report that lists programs for which each member of the household may be eligible along with detailed information about how to apply and where to learn more.
“I hope this will be just the first step in consolidating the screening process for programs offered by the state,” Bredesen said. “In tough times, it’s all the more important to help Tennesseans connect with state services.”
Anyone who can access the Internet and a printer, be it at a library, school, church or community organization, can use FindHelpTN, which provides eligibility screening for more than a dozen programs, including:
- Food Stamps
- TANF/Families First
- SSI/Social Security
- Women Infants and Children
“Something like FindHelpTN has been a long time coming,” said Marsha Edwards, president and CEO of the Martha O’Bryan Center where today’s announcement was made. “We see hundreds of families every year and do a great deal of referral to these programs. Having a comprehensive tool to help our families and being able to give them a report to take with them will be a great help for our case workers.”
FindHelpTN does not replace existing application or verification processes for state programs, but rather makes it easier to find available programs and smoothes the referral process. Household information collected by FindHelpTN is not saved or recorded and is used only to create the one-time report.
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