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 email@example.com.
Click here for more information about Benefits Plus Online.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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".
|Cash Benefits||November 2021||
Emergency Assistance Grants (One Shot Deals): Changes under COVID-19: Updated HRA's requirement to file an ERAP application for a one shot deal for rental assistance. This is no longer required.
NYS Excluded Workers Fund: NYS is no longer accepting applications for the EWF.
Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19: Updated the extension of certain waivers until December 31, 2021.
|Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)||November 2021||
Description of HEAP: Updated HEAP benefit amounts.
Qualifying for HEAP: Updated the HEAP income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-2022 season
|Housing Programs & Services||October 2021||
FHEPS: Changes under COVID-19: Updated date for NYC HRA’s temporary removal of a housing court case requirement when applying for FHEPS to match new end date of NYS eviction moratorium.
CITYFHEPS: Changes under COVID-19: Updated date for NYC HRA’s temporary removal of a housing court case requirement when applying for CITYFHEPS to match new end date of NYS eviction moratorium.
|Utility Assistance||October 2021||
HEAP Under COVID-19: Added HEAP Regular Arrears Supplement (RAS)
|Food Access and Programs||October 2021||
SNAP: Changes Under COVID-19: Updated waiver extension for conducting eligibility interviews via phone, as well as telephone signatures to December 31, 2021.
|Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)||October 2021||
Qualifying for SNAP: Updated gross income guidelines and monthly SNAP allotment.
Budgeting the SNAP Benefit Amount: Updated SUA Levels, standard deduction, and excess shelter costs.
Description of SNAP: Updated SNAP monthly thrifty food plan amount.
|Cash Assistance||September 2021||
Qualifying for Cash Assistance: Added Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) beneficiaries to list of those recognized as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for Safety Net Assistance (SNA) eligibility
|Immigrants' Eligibility for Benefits||September 2021||
Eligibility Chart: Added Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) beneficiaries to list of those recognized as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for Safety Net Assistance (SNA) eligibility
|Health Benefits||September 2021||
Medicare Savings Program (MSP): Added New Section.