HSPAI Call on Integrating Eligibility Systems

Key Takeaways

Integrating eligibility systems through digital navigation—Strategies for consideration:

  • Develop a roadmap of how multiple agencies can streamline applications for seamless enrollment of programs.
  • Explore partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including state agencies of labor, commerce, education, justice, human services, libraries, veterans’ affairs, and others. 
  • Examine state policies and procedures to facilitate cross-enrollment, eligibility determinations, program renewals, income verifications, and consistency of rules across safety net programs.
  • Develop a marketing strategy to raise public awareness of digital navigation benefits services.



  • Mary Franklin, Director of Arkansas Division of County Operations.  
  • Boylee Hamilton, ARIES Director Project Manager, Arkansas Department of Human Services 


  • Malia Taum-Deenik, Legislative Coordinator, Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services
  • Katherine Korenaga, Family Resource Center Coordinator, Office of Innovation, in Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services 



  • The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) launched the Arkansas Eligibility System (ARIES) in December 2020, modernizing its eligibility system to streamline application process for beneficiaries and reduce administrative burden for DHS.
  • ARIES platform includes:
    • Health Care, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) program, and Refugee Cash Assistance program.
    • Referrals for Child Care Assistance and Veteran Assistance.
  • Through collaboration with multiple DHS divisions Office of Information Technology, Finance, interface partners, and other state agencies, DHS developed ARIES to:
    • Integrate a client/family-centered approach into eligibility determination processes.
    • Create a  benefits portal accessible through smart devices, in line with consumer preferences and realities
    • Streamline eligibility determination for Medicaid, SNAP, and TEA into one system.
    • Improve efficiency of workload management processes by implementing statewide universal caseload management process.  
  • ARIES operates  specific functionalities to support each end-user:
    • Citizen Portal: Prescreen, apply for benefits, manage their account, renew benefits, report changes, upload verifications, view electronic notices, and schedule appointments.
    • Worker Portal: Application Registration, Enterprise Master Client Index (EMCI), Intake, Data Collection, Case management, reports, and referrals.
    • Community Partners Portal: Serve as Authorized Representative to assist clients with applying for services, renewing benefits, uploading documents, and reporting changes.


  • To streamline access to state employment and social services, Hawai’i developed and piloted a human-centered digital, one-stop, service-delivery hub called Hawai’i Career Acceleration Navigator (HI CAN) – Benefits Referral Integration
    • HI CAN was started for UI and job seekers to connect to skilled-based training and employers. 
    • HI CAN (cloud technology) platform was created in collaboration with the NGA WIN network.
  • Resulted from collaboration between Departments of Budget & Finance, and Labor and Industrial Relations, Office of Enterprise Technology Services, Office of Governor David Y. Ige*, Workforce Development Council
    • HI CAN provides individuals a “warm hand-off” to DHS’ network of wrap-around services, directing individuals to relevant external sites to learn more about financial assistance programs and application processes for SNAP, TANF, & Medicaid
    • Next steps: HI is developing new suite of tools: an Eligibility Predictor and an Application Autofill tool to connect users info to SNAP and TANF applications.

Questions To Consider As Next Steps

  1. How might your state better leverage policies and resources to integrate or enhance the current eligibility, enrollment, and renewal process?
  • As you begin to unwind the Public Health Emergency measures, how can improved integration support this transition-period. Where do you anticipate the most significant challenges, and how can you address this need through digital benefits systems?

Additional Resources On Integrating Eligibility Systems

National Governors Association Resources & Publications