By Bob Katzen
Governor Baker signed into law a measure that would allow individuals to simultaneously apply online, on a state-sponsored website, for various state-funded benefits including MassHealth, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), childcare subsidies, housing subsidies, fuel assistance and other needs-based health care, nutrition and shelter benefits.
Supporters say that people who need state assistance usually need it from several different programs. They noted this presents a problem because it is difficult for people without cars and childcare to go to all the different places to apply. They said a one-stop common application would help streamline the system and avoid a lot of bureaucratic red tape.
Baker said he strongly support the measure “as it aligns with an important initiative that is currently underway in this administration.” “The agencies and secretariats included in the proposed [measure] are currently engaged in collaborative efforts to establish a common application mechanism nearly identical to the portal envisioned by this section,” said Baker.