Helping People Discover Benefits With the New BEARS Locator

August 30, 2022   Posted by: Laura Godfrey, Claire Loxsom, and The BEARS Team

A daughter helps her older father use the computer to search for survivor benefits.

Back in March, we shared about the work we were doing to develop BEARS, the Benefits Eligibility Awareness Resource Service. USAGov’s new online locator tool helps people find government benefits and services geared to major life events. It officially launched in early August, and we wanted to give you an update.

The first life event covered by BEARS is the death of a loved one. Following the loss of a family member, a person can use the locator to find the benefits they might be eligible for, such as survivor payments, military funerals, and housing help. After answering some simple questions, they will get a custom list of potential federal benefits from a variety of agencies, and learn the steps to apply. 

Try the benefits locator in English on and in Spanish on USAGov en Español

What’s next for BEARS?

Now that BEARS is available to the public, we’re collecting data to learn how users interact with it and make any necessary adjustments. Using the data, the team will:

  • Track traffic to BEARS to see how and how often people are using it
  • Validate and iterate on the content and design through survey feedback and user testing exercises
  • Apply those learnings and add more benefits and life events in both English and Spanish
  • Work with agency partners that manage and administer federal benefits to make sure we present the best information for each program

We're looking forward to sharing what we learn from BEARS users as they help us find even better ways to deliver government information and services through and USAGov en Español. 

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