Nebraska Appleseed has used the tag line “Core Values, Common Ground, Equal Justice” for a long time. We look to these central principles in a variety of ways about a variety of issues.
Last Thursday, our own Becky Gould testified regarding ACCESS Nebraska – our state’s on-line application system for public benefits programs. And, in many ways, the Nebraska Appleseed point of view was – in simple terms – about equal justice and equal access to public programs.
The on-line system has its good points. It does have some improvements for efficiency and it does provide access for working people that have difficulty getting to HHS offices during open hours. However, we have some concerns, voiced Thursday, about the plan. As the new on-line system rolls out, in-person HHS offices are closing, and Community Based Organizations will be offering ACCESS Nebraska application opportunities. We are concerned that access for people with disabilities, the elderly, and others that might not be able to access the community based organizations that are to house the application systems. We also have concerns about how quickly people will be able to get essential benefits they need – like Food Stamps and health care. It’s our point of view that this must be carefully and thoughtfully done to protect the rights of people who need vital assistance with food, child care, health care, or other supports.
At the end of the day, we want to protect fair rights to access public benefits programs. It just sits right with our “Core Values, Common Ground, Equal Justice” point of view. To learn more, read Becky’s testimony.
We’ll keep you posted on our continued work on this issue.