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Bridge to Benefits in Spanish
Puente a los beneficios de Minnesota
The Bridge to Benefits Minnesota website, including the screening tool is now available in Spanish. Please click here to be directed to the Spanish site. This site is made possible through the support of Greater Twin Cities United Way.
2010 Fact Sheet
Bridge to Benefits is a multi-state project by Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota to improve the well-being of low-income families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits.
The project relies on an online screening tool designed to help families and individuals understand if they are eligible for an array of public work support programs and tax credits and find helpful information to guide them through the application process. Work support programs and tax credits were implemented by federal and state governments to help low-income workers meet basic needs. Yet hundreds of thousands of eligible families across the country are not participating in these programs or claiming the tax credits that could provide increased economic stability for their families.
Benefits Calculator Helps Families Understand Value
WIC (Women Infants and Children)
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Working Family Credit (WFC)
There are many reasons why families do not participate in public programs. They don’t know about the programs, don’t understand the eligibility criteria, or assume they don’t qualify. The applications and enrollment processes are often complex and time consuming to complete. Literacy issues, language, transportation and stigma all add to the obstacles families face in enrolling. The result is that all of these programs are underutilized in Minnesota. Click here to see the underutilization rates of programs.
Bridge to Benefits was created to help overcome many of these barriers. It provides a one-stop shop for families and organizations to find information on this array of programs. It includes a screening tool that is anonymous and quick to help determine a family’s potential eligibility for all the programs. It also provides detailed program information, downloadable applications, program contacts, and information on how to apply.
The goals of Minnesota’s Bridge to Benefits project are to:
To learn more about how public programs can impact the economic stability of low-income families, click here.
To learn more about how public programs affect communities, click here.
Anyone can use the Bridge to Benefits website to screen themselves and find out about public work support programs. However, Children’s Defense Fund–Minnesota believes the project is most efficient when used in partnership with community-based organizations. CDF–Minnesota seeks to work with organizations that are willing to use the screening tool on a regular basis to help their clients enroll in public programs. CDF also looks to partner with organizations that will provide one-on-one application assistance for one or more of the programs included in the screening tool.
When using the website, screening partners are able to connect families with application assistance partners through an e-mail referral process. Not all families require one-on-one assistance with enrollment processes but for those who do the e-mail referral and follow up is extremely valuable. To find out more about partnership opportunities, click here.
Bridge to Benefits is a completely free program. Anyone can access the screening tool, download information, and connect with services at partnering organizations at no charge. Help us spread the word about the project and help families find more economic stability through the use of public programs.
Download Brochure: Bridge to Benefits
Download Handout: What is Bridge to Benefits