Starting Semester: Fall 2024
Assigned: No
Location: Atlanta

Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS)

Client Profile

The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) delivers a wide range of human services designed to promote self-sufficiency, safety, and well-being for all Georgians. The Office of Family Independence is part of the Division of Family and Children Services, and OFI Eligibility Support Specialists determine eligibility for the federal benefit programs of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medical Assistance (Medicaid, PeachCare for Kids (R)) in the state's integrated eligibility system, operated by DHS. All OFI works to support and strengthen Georgia families.

Project Description

The Gateway System is Georgia’s Eligibility system for Medicaid (MAO), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Childcare (CAPS), and WIC. DHS is seeking to streamline their application and registration processes. The agency is also seeking to expand the use of technology to assist customers and staff with the application and registration process. The agency is also seeking ways to reduce systemic and staff errors relating to the registration of submitted applications.

For this need within the Office of Independence we are focused on applications submitted for MAO, SNAP, and TANF programs. Applications for these programs are submitted by customers in a variety of ways. Applications are often submitted by customers via the customer portal in Gateway. Customers who use the customer portal option can log on https://gateway.ga.gov and select “Apply for Benefits.” Gateway is available Monday-Friday 5 a.m. to midnight, excluding weekends and holidays. Customers also have the option to submit applications in person, mail, fax, and phone. It is to be noted that the agency receives applications routed from other agency partners (Federally Facilitated Marketplace, Department of Community Health, hospitals, providers, etc.).

Applications submitted to the agency pose different challenges depending on the method submitted, however some challenges are shared despite the submission route. The agency would like to review the application process for all routes and determine possible technology components that could be incorporated into these processes. Analyzing application routes, could possibly reduce or eliminate errors and/or barriers associated with incorrect client ID matching, manual data entries, system tagging, incorrect screening and customer service.

If an application is submitted via customer portal, in person, telephonically, via fax or mail, the application must be registered to ensure applicants receive a determination. All applications that are submitted to the agency require a manual review of the customer reported information and registration is not fully automated. In addition, for applications not submitted via customer portal, the actual application itself must be added to Gateway.

Current drawback to our application submission and registration:

The volume of applications submitted to the agency require a smooth and prompt registration process. Staff report that they struggle recognizing correct client identities when registering applications and that the process requires multiple system searches. In addition, the system at times allows applications to be submitted, when the applicant did not need to apply for a program.

The agency also finds that the relationship between the document imaging system and Gateway is confusing for staff and there is potential for automation in this area. There is also noted barriers related to registering faxed applications and the process used for ensuring the faxed application is entered into Gateway as well. Lastly, staff and customers both report that the application process itself is lengthy and time consuming. There is noted potential for more streamlining in this area.

Through technology advancements, process improvement and data population, the agency would like to ensure all application routes are streamlined and effective. Once submitted, the agency would also like to focus on the timeliness of screening, registration, and document imaging.


Workflow processes, optimization, constraint programming, routing, machine learning