The Benefits Plus Learning Center
As the only program of its kind, the Benefits Plus Learning Center was created to address the myriad difficulties NYC residents face when navigating the complicated public benefits/housing system. Staffed by experienced benefit/housing specialists, the Learning Center provides intensive education services on federal, state and NYC's public benefits/housing system to social service professionals who serve vulnerable population groups. Through its online resource manual, Benefits Plus Online, training courses, consultation services, and benefit tools, the Learning Center equips these professionals to help clients apply for and access benefits and housing programs.
Benefits Plus Online
Benefits Plus Online is the premier comprehensive, searchable resource manual on over 80 federal, state, and NYC benefit & housing programs for social workers and social service professionals. Updated periodically throughout the year, it offers timely information on different federal, state and city public benefit and housing programs. It is the “go to” resource manual for professionals serving the low income, immigrants, elderly, disconnected youth and individuals with disabilities in New York City.
- Saves the Professional Time: We research the rules and regulations so the professional doesn’t have to.
- Makes the Work Easier: A one stop tool to help professional connect their clients to benefit and housing programs by addressing eligibility and application barriers.
- Current: Updated regularly, it makes it easy to stay on top of the ever changing government benefit world.
- Helps The Professional Become an Effective Advocate: Incorporates advocacy guidance from nearly 25 years of the Learning Center’s staff experience with government benefit programs.
- Comprehensive: Over 80 different benefit/housing programs and resources all in one place.
- Low Cost: $150 for a single annual subscription, with discounts available for multiple users.
For nearly 25 years the Benefits Plus Learning Center has offered high quality training opportunities to 1,000 professionals from over 250 community based organizations annually across NYC. Experienced trainers equip social service professionals to effectively navigate public benefit and housing programs. By providing practical knowledge, advocacy skills, and government contacts, the Learning Center trains the professional to address the challenges clients face in accessing benefits.
- Hands on Training: Participants interact with instructors, learn best practices, engage in practical exercises.
- Networking Prospects: Opportunities to interact with other social service professionals.
- Basic and Advanced Courses: We cover both the fundamentals, as well as advanced topics.
- Accredited by the NYS Board of Education: Providing continuing education credit to licensed social workers.
The Community Service Society
The Community Service Society (CSS) is a 176 year old institution whose mission is to promote policies and create programs that advance the economic security of low and moderate income New Yorkers. One such effort was the launch of the Benefits Plus Learning Center (BPLC) in September 1994. CSS’s goal was to increase access to public benefits for low-income New Yorkers to help them forge a pathway out of poverty by creating a unique program that educates the professionals that serve these vulnerable populations. Studies show there is a critical need for knowledgeable professionals who can address the barriers low-income families face when accessing public benefits. In response, CSS created BPLC, which provides intensive education and resources for such professionals on government public benefits and housing systems. The Learning Center partners with social service organizations throughout NYC to ensure that professionals on the front lines have the resources they need to serve their clients more effectively.