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The Benefits Tech Advocacy Hub is a community of battle-tested advocates who fight algorithm-based and technology-enabled cuts to public benefits and foster collective efforts to promote public benefits systems that meet people’s basic needs.

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Two adults and a child sit in a government office. A government employee sits facing them at a desk with a computer.
Two adults and a child sit in a government office. A government employee sits facing them at a desk with a computer.

What do you need to do?

No matter the situation, there is something you can do. You may only see that people’s benefits are getting cut, but there are also proactive approaches to systematically prevent these harms from happening in the first place.

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Stop Active Benefits Cuts icon Stop Active Benefits Cuts

Challenge benefits cuts that are caused by broken or inadequate technology.

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Prevent New Problems icon Prevent New Problems

Get familiar with the benefits tech lifecycle and learn how you can engage at different stages to stop the potential harms of benefits tech.

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Sharpen Technical Knowledge icon Sharpen Technical Knowledge

Learn more about technology used to administer benefits programs and how it can contribute to benefits cuts.

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Fight Austerity Policies icon Fight Austerity Policies

Expand your advocacy to collectively tackle the underlying social and political issues that fuel resource scarcity and lead to unequal access to benefits.

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Advocates, people using benefits programs, and other community members often only find out about new benefits technology once people start getting denied benefits. But, technology does not appear out of nowhere. It has a long lifecycle with several steps that are mostly hidden from public view. Orient yourself to the lifecycle so that you can advocate earlier in the tech development process and prevent benefits cuts from ever happening.

Learn more about the Lifecycle Framework
An isometric depiction of the lifecycle phases of benefits tech: devising, contracting, building, and operating.

It is possible to successfully challenge state public benefits systems or assessment tools and get people’s benefits back, especially when you have the right tools. Below are a few examples where advocates really moved the needle on widespread issues — though there is always more proactive work to be done. Click to read the full case study.

Legal Aid of Arkansas nullifies HCBS assessment algorithm after discovering its errors through a lawsuit

Advocates analyzed the complex algorithm and showed the court how it didn’t include many important factors and was providing too little care to people across the state.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and others delay harsh new HCBS eligibility algorithm

Advocates audited the untested proposed algorithm and used the alarming projections of massive cuts to force the state to revise and eventually pause its implementation.

New York Legal Assistance Group halts wrongful termination of SSI benefits caused by software glitch

Advocates examined the system and pressured SSA to fix the glitch faster by pointing out where critical changes could easily be made in the software.

Disability Rights Wisconsin works with state to fix erroneous HCBS waiver terminations

Advocates identified a trend in waiver eligibility terminations and worked with the state to correct how the program interpreted people’s conditions.