Solving the Public Benefit Puzzle


Welcome to Benefits Plus

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 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 Rachael Molina at 212-614-5473 or

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
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) November 2017

Qualifying for HEAP: Updated the HEAP income eligibility guidelines for the 2017-2018 season.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) October 2017

Description of the Affordable Care Act: Updated how to claim an exemption from the individual responsibility mandate.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits October 2017

Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance: Updated the amount of maximum wages required to be eligible.

Description of Unemployment Insurance: Updated the maximum amount of weekly UI benefits

Cash Assistance October 2017

Housing Subsidies: Added the Special Exit and Prevention Supplement (SEPS).

Medicare Part D October 2017

Low-Income Subsidy: Updated the Co-Payment amounts and chart for Extra Help Beneficiaries, as well as the catastrophic threshold for 2018.

Enrolling in Medicare Part D: Updated the penalty amount for late enrollment into Part D for 2018.

Description of Medicare Part D: Updated additional Part D premium by income for higher income, the deductible amount for the standard benefit, as well as amounts needed to reach the initial coverage limit, coverage gap and catastrophic threshold levels, including all case examples, for 2018.

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.