Solving the Public Benefit Puzzle

Chapter Listing


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.

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

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 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
COVID-19: Protocols July 2020

COVID-19: Travel Advisory: Added a new piece on a COVID-19 travel advisory in NYS.

COVID-19: NYS on Pause: Updated and added information about NYS’ reopening phases and ongoing monitoring.

COVID-19: Testing: Updated information about NYC’s antibody testing. Added information about NYS and NYC Contact Tracing Programs.

Housing Programs & Services July 2020

Eviction Moratoriums: Under COVID-19: Added information on the NYS Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which protects tenants that have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 from evictions due to nonpayment of rent.

NYC Housing Court: Changes under COVID-19: Updated information on courts reopening, starting cases, answering petitions, and appearing in court.

Mitchell-Lama: Changes Under COVID-19: Added new section.

Eviction Moratoriums: Under COVID-19: Added link to NYC Department of Investigation’s memo to City Marshals indicating evictions are suspended until NYC Housing Court allows evictions to move forward.

Rent: Under COVID-19: Updated information on rent freezes to rent regulated housing as a result of NYC Rent Guidelines Board June 17th, 2020 vote.

Housing Discrimination: Under COVID-19: Added new section.

NYC Housing Court: Changes under COVID-19: Added new COVID-19 category: Information on changes to Housing Court during COVID-19 pandemic.

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance: Changes under COVID-19 June 2020

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Added information about missed benefit payments.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Added new COVID-19 category: Information on changes to Unemployment Insurance during COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits June 2020

Certifying for Benefits: Added this section to the UI chapter

Food Access and Programs June 2020

SNAP: Changes Under COVID-19: Added new COVID-19 category: Information on changes to SNAP benefits during COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Benefits June 2020

Medicaid: Changes under COVID-19: Added new COVID-19 category: Information on changes to Medicaid during COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers' Resources June 2020

Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Added new COVID-19 category: Added new information on workers' resources and the federal emergency paid sick leave.