BENEFITS PLUS ® ONLINE

Solving the Public Benefit Puzzle

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Welcome to Benefits Plus

Benefits Plus ® 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 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.




Explore Benefits Plus!

If you are not a subscriber to Benefits Plus, 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? Contact the Benefits Plus Learning Center at bplc@cssny.org.

Click here for more information about Benefits Plus.

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 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 subscribers have access to the entire Benefits Plus content. For more information contact Rachael Molina at rmolina@cssny.org or 212-614-5338.


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.

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
Emergency Assistance to Families (EAF) April 2021

Qualifying for Emergency Assistance to Families: Updated Emergency Assistance to Families income eligibility guidelines.

Emergency Safety Net Assistance (ESNA) April 2021

Qualifying for Emergency Safety Net Assistance: Updated Emergency Safety Net Assistance income eligibility guidelines.

Food Access and Programs April 2021

SNAP: Changes Under COVID-19: Updated eligibility criteria for the Emergency Allotments (EA) for SNAP Recipients

SNAP: Changes Under COVID-19: Updated waiver extension for conducting eligibility interviews via phone, as well as telephone signatures to June 30, 2021.

Medicaid April 2021

Medicaid Managed Care Provisions: Updated information on the transition from NYS of Health Marketplace to the local Medicaid office when individuals become entitled to Medicare.

Qualifying for MAGI Medicaid: Updated the MAGI income guidelines.

Cash Benefits March 2021

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19: Updated waiver extension for conducting eligibility interviews via phone, as well as telephone signatures to June 30, 2021.

Housing Programs & Services March 2021

FHEPS: Changes under COVID-19: Updated to include state’s elimination of the “lawsuit requirement” when applying for FHEPS.

Mortgage & Foreclosure Relief: Under COVID-19: Updated information on the federal foreclosure moratorium and mortgage relief.

Eviction Moratoriums: Under COVID-19: Added advocacy tip with user-friendly online tool to complete and submit the NYS hardship declaration form.

NYCHA: Changes under COVID-19: Updated NYCHA’s autorenewals of preliminary waitlist applications through June 30, 2021.

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance: Changes under COVID-19 March 2021

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: Updated information of the availability of additional weeks for PEUC to September 6, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: Updated information regarding the extension of the supplemental $300 through September 6, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Updated PUA benefit information based on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, including taxation of benefits, what to do when the claimants Benefit Year End (BYE) comes up.

Immigrants' Eligibility for Benefits March 2021

Public Charge: Updated information on public charge as of March 9, 2021, with the revocation of the Trump Administration's revisions on public charge, and the former public charge procedures reinstated.