Twenty Things You Can Do and Learn
On U.S. Government Web Sites
President Clinton is the first president of the Internet Age, and with the
leadership of Vice President Gore has moved the U.S. government on-line.
Government web sites make information and services available at the touch
of a button, helping Americans keep in touch with their government and
making government work better for people.
Get tips on choosing a health plan, a doctor, a course of treatment,
or a long-term care facility from the Department of Health and Human
Service's Healthfinder service (www.healthfinder.gov). Healthfinder also
provides information on the latest health research, different illnesses,
and a host of medical resources designed to help families stay healthy.
Teachers, parents, and students can access lessons and educational
materials on any topic at the Department of Education's new Gateway to
Educational Materials (www.thegateway.org). The Gateway makes finding
materials on the Internet easy by connecting users to over 140 web sites.
Start your own business with help from the Small Business
Administration (www.sba.gov), which offers everything from loans to outreach
initiatives for women and minority-owned businesses. The site also provides
e-mail counseling and mentoring, online educational courses, and a database
of federal, state and private contracts available to small firms.
Protect yourself and your children from environmental hazards by
finding out about drinking water quality, toxic and air releases, and
hazardous waste in your neighborhood by signing on to the Environmental
Protection Agency's (www.epa.gov) Enviromapper site. You can also find out
about water discharge permits and Superfund sites.
Find your dream job through America's Job Bank (www.ajb.dni.us), on
the Department of Labor's web page. America's Job Bank features on-line
resumes posted by more than 1.3 million job seekers, and job listings by
nearly 1.4 million employers.
Is it possible that you or someone you know may be owed pension
benefits without knowing it? The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
(www.pbgc.gov) reunites people with missing pensions, and features an online
Pension Search Directory that allows you to find benefits that may be owed
Learn how to get health insurance for your children through the
Children's Health Insurance Program (www.insurekidsnow.gov). CHIP's web
page offers state-specific information on who is eligible and how to enroll
to make sure children grow up healthy.
Begin planning for retirement by computing your estimated Social
Security benefits online at the Social Security Administration
(www.ssa.gov). SSA's home page also provides information on obtaining a
Social Security number as well as information for employers on reporting
Agencies from across the Federal government joined forces to provide
Federal Resources for Academic Excellence (www.ed.gov/free), which makes
hundreds of education resources available on the web for teachers,
students, or parents. Subjects range from an architectural tour of the
National Gallery of Art's East Building to a mutual fund cost calculator
from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Buy your first home with help from the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (www.hud.gov). HUD's web page provides a comprehensive
homebuyer's kit, complete with searchable databases of HUD homes for sale,
condominiums and developments approved for FHA financing, and HUD approved
Eliminate hassle and find needed forms on the web: finance a college
education with financial aid forms available from the Department of
Education (www.ed.gov); find tax forms (and have your tax questions
answered) from the Treasury Department (www.treas.gov); or online housing
discrimination forms from the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Learn food safety and handling tips, proper cooking temperature for
food, and how to test to see if your kitchen is safe from foodborne illness
from the Department of Agriculture (www.foodsafety.gov).
Find a fuel-efficient car with help from the Department of Energy
Kids, parents and coaches can get tips from the U.S. Women's Soccer
Team (and other experts) on good reasons not to smoke -- like, not being
able to run down the soccer field -- on the Smoke-Free Kids web site
Curious about online trading? Learn how to invest wisely and avoid
fraud on the Internet from the Securities and Exchange Commission
Plan your trip abroad, download a passport application, get travel
tips, and find out where it's unsafe to travel from the State Department
(www.state.gov). The State Department also provides country-specific Y2K
Find help after a natural disaster from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (www.fema.gov). FEMA's web site provides information on
where to find temporary shelters, crisis counseling, or legal counseling.
FEMA also provides help in applying for assistance for help in rebuilding
Find the Veterans' Medical Center nearest you, and find out what
benefits you may qualify for, with help from the Department of Veterans'
Learn about your Medicare benefits, get information about nursing
homes in your area, or report suspected Medicare fraud through the Health
Care Financing Administration's (www.hcfa.gov/medicare) web page. HCFA
also provides an on-line version of the Medicare & You 2000 handbook.
Learn how you can pay back student loans and volunteer in your
community through the Corporation for National Service (www.cns.gov).