Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Samar Khurshid* (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

With New York City still in the clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing shift to a more digital world, the city’s Human Resources Administration is continuing its efforts to expand online access to services for low-income New Yorkers.

The shift is meant to improve delivery of services and, more importantly, provide people with flexibility and convenience in accessing benefits, “which means not taking time from work or family,” said Steven Banks, former commissioner of the Department of Social Services-Human Resources Administration (DSS-HRA), when the latest iteration of the online portal was launched by the de Blasio administration in 2017.

DSS-HRA administers critical benefits for millions of New Yorkers, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially known as food stamps, direct cash assistance, emergency grants for rental or utility needs, and other benefits. The agency provides benefits to more than 3 million people every year.

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