Integrated Benefits Digital Hub: NextGen Citizen Services and Fraud Prevention

By Joah Iannotta, Ph.D. , Laura Leets, Ph.D.

MITRE developed and tested a customer-centric, integrated benefits digital platform to demonstrate a timely, modern, and secure social service delivery prototype. This new approach provides both user-friendly government services and fraud prevention.

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The American public views government as a service provider, and they expect the same level of customer service as the private sector delivers. Even though federal agencies have been working to improve delivery over the past 20 years, they continue to lag behind 21st century standards, and the disparity has eroded trust in government. 

MITRE addressed the need for a transformation of social service delivery by developing an integrated benefits (IB) digital hub prototype to simplify benefit applications. Specifically, the prototype uses Application Programming Interfaces (API) and microservices to streamline the digital experience, including online digital identity verification, a modern user interface, a digital vault for necessary documents, pre-population of application questions, and digital connections to authoritative documents. 

The prototype addresses key challenges such as cross-agency collaboration, legal constraints, data standards, and legacy technology. It also includes features to reduce identity fraud and application errors, which can help agencies make accurate eligibility determinations. 

The paper concludes with next steps for piloting the IB Digital Hub prototype, modernizing internal business processes and policies, developing a business model for delivering a long-term solution, and publishing guidelines to verify authoritative electronic documents. 

The IB digital hub platform is meant to show the art of the possible for (a) reducing citizens’ administrative burden when applying for benefits, (b) streamlining benefit applications that will make government intake and adjudication of applications more efficient, and (c) improving payment integrity. When the delivery system works more effectively, federal services will earn the trust of citizens by meeting their needs and expectations.