Access to Benefits

Client: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Worked with the foundation and the state to reach agreement on and plan an electronic (Web) portal to make it easier for people to get access to such benefits as tax credits, food stamps and college scholarships. Researched the state of the art across the nation. Made recommendations to the Governor for a partnership with philanthropy and community-based organizations to develop the access-to-benefits portal. An estimated $640 million in benefits go unclaimed each year in Washington because residents don’t know about the benefits, whether they are eligible or how to apply. (2009 – 2010)

Results: Governor Gregoire decided to support the project. Cedar River Group worked with legislators on a bill committing the state to support the broadest possible array of benefits to be available through the Web portal. This legislation passed in the 2010 session. The portal, called Washington Connection, is now operating. View link.