As part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to improve customer experience and service delivery for the American people, today the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced nine Life Experience projects that will help streamline service delivery at some of the most critical moments in people’s lives. Too often, Americans are forced to navigate a tangled web of Government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services that they depend on—whether recovering from a disaster, navigating retirement, or having a child. The Life Experience projects announced today will help streamline service delivery for the American people during these moments, including Having a child and early childhood for low-income families; Facing a financial shock; Recovering from a disaster; Navigating transition to civilian life; and Approaching retirement.
Today’s announcement builds on the Executive Order President Biden signed directing Government leaders to better account for the experiences of the public, particularly at moments they need Government to work most. Last year, Federal Government leaders worked with the President’s Management Council (PMC) to select priority areas of service delivery to focus on. After identifying these five Life Experiences, the Administration engaged in extensive research to learn how people interact with government during those moments, and designed nine projects to address major challenges. This involved learning from and speaking directly to a diverse sample of members of the public and subject matter experts. The collective work across the five experiences included connecting with 36 government agencies and talking to more than 500 people across 34 states and territories. These Life Experience portfolios are at the center of a new model for how the Federal Government should better design and deliver services to Americans when it matters most.
The nine Life Experience projects include:
Recovering from a disaster. An increasing number of Americans face natural disasters each year, yet they often lack the support necessary to fully recover. When a natural disaster hits, survivors face the painful task of putting the pieces of their lives back together. They must care for basic needs and keep businesses going while enduring stress and trauma. On top of this, people often manage multiple bureaucratic processes with competing guidance. Further, natural disasters and other emergencies reinforce preexisting social and economic disparities. (Read more)
- Project: Building a trauma-informed care approach. The project will develop standardized guidelines to improve communications and interactions between agencies and disaster survivors. The design work will involve prototyping and testing new templates and methods sensitive to and accommodating people likely to have experienced trauma, to promote trauma-informed approaches.
- Project: Calculating a more holistic burden estimate. The project will define and create an end-to-end view of the effort required of disaster survivors and small business owners to apply for, maintain, and receive Federal disaster assistance benefits. The burden estimate provides a baseline measure to calculate the impact of improvement efforts. The project will also support government-wide efforts by piloting a burden baseline methodology/calculator, allowing agencies to use data to pinpoint high-burden areas to fix and improve.
Having a child and early childhood for low-income families. Many eligible low-income families have challenges accessing the government programs and resources that exist to help them thrive after a baby is born. Too often, the difficulty of knowing what programs exist and navigating complicated application processes prevents existing critical benefits (such as health care, food, housing, and affordable child care) from reaching the families who need them most. (Read more)
- Project: Piloting a benefits bundle approach for families navigating supports. This approach aims to connect low-income families welcoming a new baby to a bundle of supportive services (such as Medicaid, WIC, TANF) through convenient, personalized case management appropriately tailored to specific communities.
- Project: Piloting a newborn supply kit at the time of birth. The Newborn Supply Kit is envisioned to be a one-time, universal service delivered in collaboration with community organizations that provides low-income families with basic physical supplies and resources about Federal programs crucial to the first few weeks after birth.
- Project: Piloting text message notifications for critical updates. The project will pilot a Federal notification service that will enable Federal benefits programs to use text messages (SMS) to send reminders and guidance to subscribers at crucial points throughout the benefits enrollment and renewal process.
Facing a financial shock. Because of sometimes complex and burdensome application systems, millions of American families miss out on help getting food, health insurance, and other supports to establish economic stability for themselves and their children when facing a financial shock like an unexpected medical bill or loss of income. (Read more)
- Project: Improve Federal data services for benefits delivery. The project seeks to improve access to benefits for people facing financial shock by improving underlying data services and systems. Applicants and state staff must often manually verify an applicant’s income to determine eligibility for benefits, a burdensome and time-consuming process. By improving verification services and the quality of data coverage, the Government can better leverage existing systems to streamline the customer experience of accessing available services while maintaining complete verification requirements.
- Project: Supporting states to streamline access to benefits. The project will establish a team to help States adopt leading practices and innovate in Federal benefits delivery towards the goal of allowing families to apply for a suite of benefits in 20 minutes and receive eligibility determinations within a day.
Navigating transition to civilian life. Approximately 200,000 Service members leave the military each year and must reorient their lives, including employment, relationships, finances, and housing. Existing research shows that navigating the military transition can be burdensome and confusing for Veterans, their families, and their supporters. (Read more)
- Project: Prototyping integrated transition planning support for Service members. The project aims to prototype a new digital solution that provides customized and integrated information for Service members on service transition elements (e.g., education/skills, employment/career, family/community, finance, health, and housing), which is individualized based on potential career pathways, service tenure, and service separation date.
Approaching retirement. Millions of Americans depend on Federal programs like Social Security and Medicare in retirement. Regardless of income, education level, and race, navigating retirement decisions and Medicare enrollment processes can be time-consuming, confusing, and complex for new enrollees. (Read more)
- Project: Increasing access to decision-making support for older adults. The project will include a community stakeholder-centered design process to build and test an information and outreach model to help people make informed retirement and healthcare decisions through connections to trusted community-based resources.
In his first year in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing a whole-of-government effort to design and deliver an equitable, effective, and accountable Government that delivers results for all Americans. Since December 2021, more than 17 Federal agencies have taken actions to deliver customer experiences that are more simple, seamless, and secure, including releasing a VA Health and Benefits mobile app with over 1 million downloads, creating and expanding self-service options for taxpayers, launching a redesign of SSA.gov, and more. The nine Life Experience projects announced today are building on that foundation and ongoing commitment to deliver benefits, services, and programs to Americans when it matters most, while rebuilding Americans’ trust in their government.
For more details on each of the Life Experiences Discovery phase findings and Design phase pilot projects, please visit https://www.performance.gov/cx/projects/.
For more details and updates on every agency commitment to improve specific services in Section 4 of the Executive Order, please visit https://www.performance.gov/cx/executive-order/.