LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s improved MI Bridges – the self-service website where residents can apply for public assistance benefits, manage their cases and explore community resources – recently won national and state awards.
The awards recognize MI Bridges as technology that provides for positive user experiences.
The national honor is the IT Solutions Management 2018 Recognition Award for Excellence in Health and Human Services Technology in the Best Use of Technology for Customers category. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services received the award at the largest and most comprehensive Health and Human Services technology conference in the United States, the American Public Human Service Association Conference.
MI Bridges also received the Excellence in Technology Award for Best Citizen Centric Experience at the recent Michigan Digital Government Summit.
“MI Bridges transforms the way MDHHS supports its customers, who now have easier access to resources that help remove barriers to self-sufficiency,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon. “MI Bridges supports the holistic needs of a client, beyond the need for public benefits. MI Bridges helps us achieve our goal of providing efficient, effective and accountable government services to Michigan and helps improve the long-term relationship customers have with MDHHS.”
In 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder shared his vision for the State of Michigan to embark on a journey to change the way residents are served by state government. To meet this goal, MDHHS in January 2017 began working with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and Deloitte Consulting to build an improved MI Bridges.
The strong collaborative nature among MDHHS staff, customers and community partners allowed for the delivery of a truly integrated digital platform to better connect with Michigan residents as they work toward self-sufficiency.
The goal became a reality in September 2017 when the new MI Bridges was piloted to MDHHS customers in Muskegon County and incrementally rolled out following the pilot, reaching statewide status on April 2, 2018.
Since the release, more than 483,000 Michigan residents have become MI Bridges users, submitting over 390,000 applications in less than half the time required to complete an application previously.
In addition to the operational benefits of an enhanced and integrated system, MI Bridges offers customers the ability to:
- View their MDHHS benefits and correspondence received from MDHHS.
- Share a document with MDHHS by uploading a picture of their document directly to their case using a computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Explore and connect to resources offered by local community organizations throughout Michigan.
- Apply for benefits using a simplified and easy-to-understand application.
- Report changes about their case or renew their benefits.
- View MI Bridges in English, Spanish and Arabic.
MI Bridges also offers enhanced capabilities for community partners. Community agencies can choose to receive online referrals from customers through MI Bridges. In addition to the more than 30,000 Michigan 2-1-1 resources that are integrated into MI Bridges, the system also integrates with the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program and the Great Start to Quality childcare database to provide additional resources and referral options for customers.
MI Bridges can be accessed at www.michigan.gov/mibridges. Michigan residents do not need to have an existing MDHHS case to use the new website. Anyone can log in to find helpful resources and services in their local community. See this video for more information on how the new MI Bridges is removing barriers for MDHHS clients.