Last month, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14058, “Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery To Rebuild Trust in Government.” The order directs government agencies to put the American people at the center of their work and to identify, address, and resolve current issues in the interactions between their departments and the American people. By updating old business models, streamlining processes, and utilizing new technologies, services provided by and through the United States Government will deliver a dramatically improved customer experience and an increase in the quality and efficiency of the interaction. These services include retiring, filing taxes, financing post-secondary education, managing Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, reducing poverty barriers, financing businesses, support for women, children, and infants, and managing health and work absences.
Individuals navigating an absence may interact with the federal government at several key points of their journey and this executive order is expected to provide improvements in many of these interactions. Changes can be expected when:
Updating personal information
- Any person who moves or needs to update their mailing address for any reason will be able to do so directly through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Upon doing so, the individual will have the opportunity to select additional federal or state agencies to receive the updated information directly from the USPS, without needing to take any additional action.
- Legal name changes will no longer require wet signatures or original documents. This will eliminate the need to complete the change in person at a local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office.
Retiring and filing for Social Security benefits
- A new online and mobile-accessible application process will be created to allow for ease in filing for and claiming Social Security benefits.
- The new application process will help applicants identify and apply for additional benefits they may be eligible for at both the state and federal levels. This can include SSA providing all necessary information and filing additional applications on behalf of the applicant.
- Applicants filing for benefits will have the opportunity to upload any information needed for their SSA application, such as medical evidence, questionnaires, or other correspondence, directly to their file in lieu of mailing, faxing, or bringing documents directly to their local field office.
- The order removes the need for a wet signature on Social Security-related forms, providing ease of access and use of electronic signature formats.
Managing health benefits
- A new online Medicare portal will be created to help beneficiaries easily identify cost saving options on health care and prescription drug coverage.
- The creation of an in-network pharmacy finder tool will help Medicare beneficiaries locate low-cost prescription medications.
- A single digital platform will be created on VA.gov which will house all needed benefit applications, verifications, and health care information in lieu of navigating multiple websites. In instances where additional websites will be required, VA beneficiaries will have access through a secure single sign-on process.
- An increase of vital health services through telehealth options to support rural individuals, persons with disabilities, and others who may benefit from remote health services.
While the Biden Administration has requested the work on these improvements to begin immediately, we do not expect to see significant traction within the next few months given the magnitude of many of these enhancements. The executive order is quite large in scope, including 36 customer service experience improvement commitments across 17 federal agencies. The United States Government has also designated 35 high impact service providers who provide critical services at high volumes. Certain agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, have been asked to report out on their findings, and we look forward to the release of this information. This order can be viewed as an aggressive agenda by some, but for millions of Americans navigating challenging interactions with the federal government each day, these changes are essential to creating a sustainable service model. We will be watching the impacts of this closely and remain prepared to support our customers as the government implements these much-needed process changes and improvements.