Benefit Tools

  • The Benefit Plus Learning Center's popular "Benefit Tools" is the solution for the advocate looking for quick links to many useful resources on public benefits.  Click on any of the links below to go to a particular benefit tool. 





    Benefit Applications

    Benefit ApplicationsCertain programs have their applications available online.  You can go directly to these websites and download the applications, which can be used when applying for the public benefits.   We have included links to instructions, when available, as well.

    Benefit Screening Guide

    An eligibility screening chart of over 80 different benefit programs, providing a brief description and qualifying factors for each benefit, and includes its government website. 

    The benefits are alphabetically listed.  To find a specific program, open the document, and click on "control f".  A search button will pop up and you can type the program you are searching for.  You can also print the document. 

    Benefits Plus E-Newsletter

    Our monthly Benefits Plus E-Newsletter features updates and news about public benefit and housing programs along with information for our Benefits Plus subscribers.  All Benefits Plus subscribers receive our E-Newsletter automatically via email.

    If you are not a subscriber and would like to receive our E-Newsletter, click here to sign up to become a member and check off the box for the E-Newsletter.  If you are already a member, be sure to log into your account, by clicking here, and select Get Monthly Benefit Plus E-Newsletter.

    Benefits Plus SNAP Calculator

    A tool which allows you to determine whether a household is income eligible for SNAP and the potential amount of SNAP benefits a household may be eligible for.

    SNAP Calculator is not a compatible with Internet Explorer. Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome are suggested.

    Find the new 2017 Benefits Plus SNAP Calculator here

    Documentation Guides

    A listing of primary and secondary documents needed to apply for Cash Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid and Social Security programs.  

    Federal Poverty Levels

    The federal poverty threshold is established each year by the U.S. government.   Many public benefit programs use the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as an income threshold for determining income eligibility.  The most commonly used percentages are listed in this chart.

    Financial Eligibility Charts

    These charts provide the income guidelines for several benefit programs in NYS.  Please note these charts are for individuals who have knowledge of the programs and understand that there are additional requirements other than income for these programs.

    Government Resource Manuals

    Some government agencies publish the rules, regulations and procedures for accessing public benefit programs in official resource documents and/or manuals.  These documents and manuals are often available online.   You can go directly to these websites and download these documents.  The information you find may be used to rebut an agency’s decision when advocating for your client at the local center or when filing a formal appeal.    

    Housing Resources

    Image for Housing ResourcesLinks to valuable websites for apartment and housing resources, including apartment lotteries and listings, resources for special population groups, eviction prevention, tenants’ rights and more.

    Resources for Immigrants

    Various resources for immigrants.

    Web-Based Calculators and Online Tools

    A listing of various eligibility calculators and other useful online tools.

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Benefits Plus - Solving the Public Benefit Puzzle – Community Service Society of NY