Code The Dream: Increasing Equitable Access through Public Benefits Tools
Code the Dream, supported by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, is developing a North Carolina benefits screener to address the underutilization of over $80 billion in national assistance. Targeting rural and underserved communities, the mobile-friendly platform aims to streamline access to programs like Medicaid and food assistance, with hopes of expanding to housing and childcare. The initiative, set for public release in February 2025, seeks additional support to enhance enrollment in various assistance programs and invites funders focused on economic mobility, health, housing, justice, or technology to join the cause.
Every year more than $80 billion in food, health care, and other assistance goes untapped nationally. This problem is particularly acute in North Carolina where rural, Black, Latinx and immigrant communities are disproportionately under-enrolled. Benefits screeners have been gaining traction as an effective, efficient way to help connect people to public benefits that can help them thrive. The screeners work by easing some of the time, computer literacy and language barriers that can create roadblocks for residents seeking to access public benefits. They also allow families experiencing poverty to enter their information once and quickly identify eligibility across multiple programs.
With funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Code the Dream has started developing a North Carolina benefits screener to maximize access to and enrollment in programs that support the health of low-income individuals and families. The mobile-friendly platform is designed for direct use by individuals with low incomes, as well as community-based organizations on the front line of this work. Initially, the screener will assess for four programs: Medicaid, Affordable Care Act Marketplace subsidies, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and WIC. We hope that additional programs – such as housing, tax credits, and childcare assistance – can also be added to ensure that the screener is as comprehensive as possible. Code the Dream anticipates that a prototype will be available for community testing by the fall of 2024, with release for public use in February 2025.
The project has the potential to amplify enrollment in public benefits programs in NC and facilitate access to billions of dollars in federal assistance. With additional support, Code the Dream can build in assessments for a broad range of assistance programs. If you are a funder focused on economic mobility, health, housing, justice, or technology, we encourage you to join us to learn more.
3/13/2024, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Virtually via Zoom
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM