Redesigning the Welfare System for Greater Inclusivity and Security

May 3, 2023

A new article by a researcher at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health outlines a revolutionary approach for vulnerable populations to more easily receive welfare benefits. Linking one’s individual data using a digital credential would provide better access and support to those most at risk who would no longer need to go through the cumbersome application process of the existing welfare system. The article appears in Milbank Quarterly.

“The current welfare system can be an insurmountable barrier for those who need assistance the most, including people experiencing homelessness and/or living with disabilities and mental illness,” said Peter Muennig, professor of health policy and management at Columbia Public Health. “By implementing a digital credential system, we can significantly reduce the burden of welfare receipt for these marginalized communities, ensuring they receive the help they deserve.”

Muennig argues that digital credentials have been shown to be more secure than traditional systems, reducing the risk of fraud and abuse. The adoption of this technology would guarantee that resources are allocated to those in genuine need, making the welfare system more efficient and equitable.

The article asserts that a digital credential system would simplify the welfare application process, removing barriers to access for those who are most vulnerable. This is because a digital credential is more secure, protecting against fraud and ensuring resources are allocated to those in need. According to Muennig, this innovative approach has the potential to transform the lives of millions, providing critical support to disadvantaged populations.

He urges policymakers to consider these findings and take immediate action to redesign the welfare system.

“Adopting a digital credential will ensure that everyone in need can receive welfare benefits without facing unnecessary hurdles, making our society more inclusive and compassionate,” noted Muennig.

Media Contact

Stephanie Berger