OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
3500 PAN AMERICAN DRIVE
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33133
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MARCH 18, 2008
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City of Miami Announces New FREE Connection to Federal Benefits
-Miami is First City in Florida to Offer Direct Connect Services -
From left to right: Bob Brand, CEO of Solutions for Progress President; Florida Department of Children & Families Secretary
George Sheldon; Mayor Manny Diaz and William Porro, ACCESS Miami Project Manager. Photo: Jorge R. Perez/City of Miami.
(Miami, FL)-- Mayor Manny Diaz and Florida Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon
held a press conference today to call on Miami residents to utilize the new FREE Direct Connect to
Benefit Bank Services to file their income taxes and connect with state and federal benefits at the same
The City of Miami is the first to offer the Direct Connect to the Department of Children and Families’ state
system to expedite the application and qualification for benefits and delivery of services to those who are
eligible through the Benefit Bank.
“This program gives eligible residents access to benefits at a time when they need it most, which will help them
take care of their families and become self-sufficient,” said Mayor Diaz. “It is often hard for people to access
these benefits, and in Florida alone, more than $2 billion each year does not reach our people. The Benefit Bank
will make it possible for residents to access all of these benefits in just one step.”
The Benefit Bank is an internet-based platform designed to help low/moderate income families get the tax
credits, health care, food and other benefits that have been created to help them lift themselves out of poverty.
Programs include Food Stamps, children’s health insurance, Medicaid, federal income tax preparation, and free
application for federal student assistance (FAFSA), and voter registration, among others.
The service is available at the City of Miami’