Biden’s Executive Order Aims to Make Dealing with Government Services Less of a Nightmare

Joe Biden giving the thumbs up

(Photo illustration by Corinne Brown, Katie Couric Media/Getty Images)

Fewer paper forms, more digital downloads. (Finally.)

There are few tasks more time-consuming or frustrating than filing your taxes or applying for a passport. But thanks to a new executive order, accessing these common governmental services is expected to get a whole lot easier. 

President Biden officially signed an order (its official title is a real mouthful: Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government) which aims to improve 36 customer experiences across 17 federal agencies. 

“We’re going to make the government work more effectively for American citizens, so it’s not as confusing and it’s straightforward,” Biden said as he signed the order. 

But just how soon will we see improvements? White House press secretary Jen Psaki says these actions could take several months to take effect. In the meantime, we broke down the main areas that’ll face a significant overhaul — and what it all means for you:


Biden’s order aims to make travel easier, starting with passports. Americans will now be able to securely renew them online, instead of having to print forms and pay with a paper check or money order.

Plus, getting through airport security will be less of a headache, thanks to new security machines and computers with advanced screening that’ll help speed up long lines. “I know it sounds like a simple thing,” Biden said. “I think it’s pretty consequential.”

Filing taxes

An estimated 167 million people call the IRS for help each year, and last year just 3 percent of callers were actually able to speak with an agent. But under these changes, filers will be able to save time by scheduling a customer support call-back. The government will also make new online tools available to help with tax payments, including electronic filing options. 

Paying off federal student loans

You can say goodbye to having to visit multiple sites just to apply for, manage, or repay your loans. The order aims to streamline this process to a single portal, so you can save your time and prevent bureaucratic headaches. It also simplifies the application process for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which offers debt relief to some public workers after 10 years of qualifying monthly payments. 

Applying for retirement benefits

Nearly 4 million Americans become eligible for Social Security each year, and with Biden’s plan, retirees over the age of 65 will have the option of claiming their benefits online and tracking their status throughout the application process. Meanwhile, Medicare recipients will receive personalized online tools so they can save money on prescriptions and have more customer service support. 

Surviving a disaster

As the recent string of tornados across six states showed, natural disasters can happen to anyone at any time. In fact, about 25 million U.S. households and businesses suffer these catastrophes every year. The good news: Survivors will be able to opt for virtual inspections and submit photos of any potential damage online, allowing them to focus on recovery instead of governmental bureaucracy. 

Additional actions

The order also includes increasing access to telehealth services, providing more support to mothers and children, simplifying the application process for small business loans, and reducing barriers for low-income families so they can get the crucial social benefits they need.