Chapter Listing

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

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 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 Last Updated Change
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) November 2022

Description of HEAP: Updated HEAP benefit amounts.

HEAP Clean and Tune Benefit: Updated the maximum benefit amount.

Qualifying for HEAP: Updated the HEAP income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-2022 season

Immigration Statuses/Naturalization November 2022

Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Classifications: Updated information on DACA.

Cash Benefits October 2022

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19: Updated state waivers to November 30, 2022

HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) October 2022

Budgeting Income: Updated earned income deductions, as well as who is eligible for the deduction.

COVID-19: Additional Resources October 2022

COVID-19: Public Health Emergency Declaration: Updated the public health emergency declaration for another 90 days effective October 13, 2022, setting the expiration date to January 11, 2023.

Cash Assistance October 2022

Qualifying for Cash Assistance: Updated income eligibility tests and earned income deductions, as well as who is eligible for the deductions.

Qualifying for Cash Assistance: Updated resource limits for applicant and recipient households

Housing Subsidies: Updated FHEPS Maximum Rental Amounts, in effect October 3, 2022.

Description of Cash Assistance: Added a more comprehensive description on the Standard of Need (SON).

College Preparation & Resources October 2022

Financial Aid: Added the DREAM Act for Individuals without documentation.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) October 2022

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

Qualifying for SNAP: Updated gross income guidelines and monthly SNAP allotment.