Delivery of Benefits in an Emergency: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina
Tom Stanton's report focuses on the delivery of emergency financial benefits, such as pensions, Social Security, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, as well as payments relating to the disaster such as emergency food stamps, unemployment insurance, and emergency cash assistance.
Stanton identifies some relief efforts that were remarkably successful. Using its existing electronic benefits transfer (EBT) infrastructure, the Food and Nutrition Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked with state governments and private EBT vendors to deliver $907 million in emergency food stamp benefits to 2.3 million households. The American Red Cross provided emergency financial assistance to over 4 million survivors, amounting to some $1.5 billion by April 2006.
Stanton's report reveals that promising practices and positive models exist, describes the elements of an effective electronic benefits delivery system, and provides numerous promising practices and positive models already in use that can effectively ensure program integrity.Missions and Programs