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 click of a mouse, helping Americans keep in touch with their
government and making government work better for people. There are now
over 20,000 government web sites -- here are just a few of the more
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 the information on the latest health research, different
illnesses, and a host of medical resources designed to help families
stay healthy. It served over 4.5 million visitors in 1999.
Teachers, parents, and students can access lessons and educational
materials on any topic on to 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
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.
Need a government statistic? FedStats (www.fedstats.gov) provides
the public a single point of entry to 40 Federal statistical programs.
Since its inception in May 1997, FedStats has logged over 3.5 million
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 to you.
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 strong and 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 lenders.
With Access America for Students (www.students.gov) -- students can
gain information on how to obtain financial aid, pay their student loans, and get career
information. This website is part of an initiative announced by Vice
President Gore called "Access America."
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
and the Environmental Protection Agency (www.fueleconomy.gov/feg).
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
Travelers can now check for weather-related delays using the
Federal Aviation Administration's web site (www.fly.faa.gov). The web
site has received almost one million visitors since its launch on April
2000, with the number of visitors doubling every week.
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 your home
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) 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).