What You Need to Know
- His executive order also requires the IRS to call back taxpayers and Medicare to set up a portal so recipients can find more ways to save money.
- Victims of natural disasters will be able to use centralized online forms and submit damage photos through smartphones.
- The order comes as a number of pandemic assistance programs — from an expanded child tax credit to frozen student loan payments — are set to expire.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday that seeks to reduce bureaucratic hurdles for Americans seeking government benefits such as Social Security, student loan relief and disaster aid.
The order — targeting 36 federal services across multiple agencies and department — also calls for passport renewals to be digitized and for the Internal Revenue Service to call back taxpayers instead of keeping them on hold.
The measure will “ensure that the federal government puts you, the American people, at the front of the line and are first in anything we do,” Biden told reporters before signing it.
Some of the biggest impacts of the executive order will be seen by Americans over 65. In addition to a new online tool designed to make claiming Social Security benefits easier, the government will also develop a portal for Medicare recipients to identify ways to save money on drugs and health care.
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Under the order, the administration plans to allow former service members to access a suite of benefits with a single log-on.
Victims of natural disasters will be able to use centralized online forms and submit damage photos through smartphones, while those receiving food benefits and other programs to assist the poor should have an easier time certifying their income and eligibility.
“Oftentimes there’s a time tax — it takes a long time to fill out a form, or go through a line or access a benefit and our focus is really ensuring that we’re minimizing those frictions,” White House staff secretary Neera Tanden said in a briefing before Biden signed the order.
Other administration efforts under the executive order are expected to make occasional interactions with government less burdensome.
The White House says it will cut down security lines at airports through new screening technologies with advanced features. And the Small Business Administration and Department of Agriculture are examining ways to improve customer service and cut down on trips to submit paperwork.