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Online platform to facilitate families’ access to assistance programs


Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz

By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @pete_r_correa

Special to The STAR


Island Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz, along with Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Services Director Enrique Völckers Nin and the head of the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration (ADSEF by its Spanish acronym), Alberto Fradera Vázquez, announced on Thursday a new online services platform to provide greater access and control for eligible families to apply for assistance programs.


González Magaz said the new online services platform ADSEF Digital is available, where services were expanded and processes are optimized in the agency in favor of the applicant “as part of the public policy of Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi, where the use of technology is at the service of citizens to achieve greater agility, around-the-clock access and provide a convenient service for families in Puerto Rico.”


“We contribute to reinforcing health and safety measures in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic for the benefit and protection of all the families we serve by expanding remote services,” she said.


The new ADSEF Digital platform is available on the Puerto Rico Government Services Portal, pr.gov, under the ADSEF Digital icon.


This platform provides families and individuals direct access to the Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN by its Spanish acronym), and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Low Income Home Energy Assistance programs administered by ADSEF under the Family Department.


Now, individuals will be able to make, in addition to program applications, exchanges, closures and recertifications, and receive services that were previously only received by going to a local office. However, González Magaz clarified that local offices remain open to the general public, including residents who do not have access to the internet.


By registering in ADSEF Digital, participants can report changes such as: mailing address, closure due to voluntary retirement, closure due to travel outside of Puerto Rico, and revisions of their personal contact information, such as phone number and email address. Citizens can also obtain certifications and print the forms required by the various programs.


Meanwhile, Völckers Nin said the new online platform demonstrates the island government’s efforts to push for digital transformation in order to offer all citizens more responsive and accessible services.


“We continue to proactively implement the public policy of interoperability and we will be working hand in hand with the Department of the Family to continue being more accessible in offering services to citizens,” he said.


For his part, the ADSEF administrator said the platform integrates in one place a variety of essential services to families in need and allows for coordinating appointments with the TurnosPR system to complete processes required by the programs with a social assistance technician via telephone.


He said the platform was developed when the Family Department noted that participants were losing benefits due to not being notified of required annual reevaluations.


“It also enables a variety of services, without the intervention of the technician, allowing the participant to complete procedures at any time, from the comfort of his or her home,” Fradera Vázquez said.


He also announced that, as of Nov. 1, the process for reviewing the cases of families enrolled in PAN will begin.


“This process enjoyed a waiver due to the emergency caused by the pandemic that ends on September 30, for which participants will receive communications via mail from ADSEF to schedule their appointments online and process the recertification to the program, ensuring their monthly benefits,” Fradera Vázquez said.

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