Welcome to Benefits Plus Online

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

Written by experienced advocates, reviewed by legal experts, and updated regularly, Benefits Plus Online provides the information professionals need to better assist their clients. Professionals will learn how a program works, how to access the benefit and what steps to take when action is needed. Get all of this plus access to valuable resources, government contacts, and much more. Below are videos to help orient you to Benefits Plus Online.

Explore Benefits Plus Online!

If you are not a subscriber to Benefits Plus Online, you can tour it by clicking on any of the 9 different categories on the right. Each category contains chapters related to that category topic. When you click on a chapter, you will be able to view the chapter's outline, as well as open the “Overview” section.

Want to learn more? Want to participate in a webinar presentation of Benefits Plus Online? Contact the Benefits Plus Learning Center at bplc@cssny.org.

Click here for more information about Benefits Plus Online.

COVID-19 Resources

In an effort to better equip social service providers who are serving the public to effectively navigate COVID-19 resources and changes to the public benefit/housing systems, we have created a COVID-19 category in our Benefits Plus Online resource manual. The information found in the COVID-19 category is available at no cost from the Community Service Society of New York, thus both subscribers and non-subscribers may access this information. However, only Benefits Plus Online subscribers have access to the entire Benefits Plus Online content. For more information contact Rachael Molina at rmolina@cssny.org or 212-614-5338.

Benefits Plus Online Updates

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

The chart below lists 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 "Show updates" in the upper right hand corner of the blue header to reveal the current year's updates, additions, revisions, and corrections, if any, that have been made to that section since publication.

To view updates in prior years, click on a selected year. In addition, experts in the subject area periodically review the individual chapters; this information is found under "Show updates" listed as "Expert Review Date".

Chapter Listing
Chapter Last Updated Change
Tax Credit Programs January 2022

Tax Credits for Low Income Households: Updated EITC for 2021 tax season.

COVID-19: Additional Resources January 2022

COVID-19: Public Health Emergency Declaration: HHS has extended the emergency declaration for another 90 days effective January 14, 2022.

Utility Assistance January 2022

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): Replaced the Emergency Broad Band benefit (EBB) to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Food Access and Programs January 2022

WIC: Changes under COVID-19: Updated a recent extension to the increase in WIC benefits to March 2022.

Social Security Retirement and Survivors Insurance January 2022

Qualifying for Retirement & Survivors Insurance: Updated the amount of earnings to earn a quarter of coverage in 2022, including case example.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) January 2022

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income: Updated the SSI federal benefit amount, SGA, the student exclusions and the Presumed Maximum Value for 2022.

SSA's Disability Determination Process: Updated SSI benefit amounts and SGA amounts for 2022.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) January 2022

Returning to Work: Updated the levels for substantial gainful activity (SGA) and the amount of earnings that trigger a trial work period (TWP) for 2022.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance: Updated the amount of earnings to earn one quarter of coverage with SSA, including case examples.

SSA's Disability Determination Process: Updated the SGA levels for disabled and blind applicants/recipients.

HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) January 2022

Budgeting Income: Updated case examples with 2022 SSI benefit levels.

Medicare - Programs to Assist with Cost Sharing January 2022

Low Income Subsidy (Extra Help): Updated Benchmark Amount.

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage): Updated the amount of premium assistance for Full & Partial Extra Help beneficiaries and for those without Extra Help, including case examples.