Assessing the Impact of On-Line Application on Florida’s Food Stamp Caseload

Colleen M. Heflin, University of Missouri at Columbia
Peter R. Mueser, University of Missouri at Columbia

In 2005, Florida implemented an Internet-based service delivery system for eligibility determination in public assistance programs. Given the growing importance of the Internet as a service delivery tool for governmental agencies, we conduct an evaluative case study of the effects of the introduction of Florida’s on-line application tool on the Food Stamp caseload. In particular, we consider the impact on the flows onto and off of the program and, ultimately, on the size and composition of the caseload. To answer these questions, we use administrative data from the Florida Department of Children and Families from 2000 to 2008 to understand the broad trends in caseload characteristics and dynamics. While on-line application systems may increase access for some populations such as employed individuals, if they are accompanied by a decrease in services at state-run service centers, they may decrease access for other populations.

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Presented in Session 60: Case Studies in Applied Demography