Welcome to Benefits Plus® Online!

Benefits Plus® Online is the premier comprehensive, searchable resource manual on over 80 different federal, state and local government benefit programs for social service professionals.

Written by experienced advocates, reviewed by legal experts, updated regularly, Benefits Plus Online provides the information professionals need to learn how a program works, how to access the benefit, what steps to take when advocacy is needed, as well as providing valuable resources, government contacts, and more.

EXPLORE BENEFITS PLUS! If you are not a subscriber to Benefits Plus Online, you can tour the manual by clicking on any of the 9 different categories. Each category contains chapters related to that category topic. When you click on a chapter, you will be able to access the “Overview” section.

Benefit News

1. Benefits Plus SNAP Calculator: We have updated and enhanced our popular SNAP Calculator find it here: http://bplc.cssny.org/benefit_tools/snap_calculator.

2. Benefit Tools: The Benefits Plus Housing Resource Guide has been updated and improved for 2017! Go to Benefit Tools and look for Housing Resources.

This guide provides affordable housing resources, resources for those facing eviction, for senior, disabled, homeless and veteran populations, and much more.

3. The Benefits Plus Learning Center is an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers.

The Community Service Society of New York SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0213.

Benefits Plus Updates

Originally published in January 2010 Benefits Plus® is updated regularly throughout the calendar year as changes occur in a program's guidelines or procedures. 

On the chart below are a few of the most recent updates; not all updates are listed below. To view all updates/changes since publication, go to an individual chapter (for example, Cash Assistance ), click on a section (for example, Qualifying for Cash Assistance ). Once there, click on "Current As Of" in the upper right hand corner of the header. A window will open up to reveal the current year's updates, additions, revisions, and corrections, if any, that have been made to that section since publication. If you want to view updates in prior years, click on a selected year to view updates for that year. In addition, experts in the subject area periodically review the individual chapters; this information is found under "Current As Of".

Chapter Last Updated Change
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) October 2017

NYS Nutrition Improvement Project: Updated the standard monthly benefit amounts for NYSNIP.

Budgeting the SNAP Benefit Amount: Updated SUA Levels, standard deduction, and excess shelter costs.

Qualifying for SNAP: Updated the resource limit for elderly/disabled households. Updated gross income guidelines. Updated monthly SNAP allotment.

Description of SNAP: Updated SNAP monthly thrifty food plan amount.

Immigration Statuses/Naturalization September 2017

Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Classifications: Updated information regarding DACA immigrants.