Educating the Social Service Professional

The Benefit Plus Learning Center equips social service professionals to effectively navigate the public benefit system through its high quality training opportunities.  Professionals learn the fundamentals of public benefit and federally subsidized housing programs, gain practical knowledge, and hone their advocacy skills, all at an affordable cost.

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About Our Training Courses

Designed for professionals, our courses include basic courses, which provides information on the fundamentals of various public  benefit and housing programs, as well as advanced courses, such as returning to work provisions, complex budgeting, overpayments, dealing with challenges when working with special populations (immigrants, the formerly incarcerated, homeless, disconnected youth) and more.

Upon completing our courses, professionals are not only able to help their clients successfully navigate the public benefit system and federally subsidized housing programs, they can competently assist families and individuals build a safety net – thus promoting opportunities for these households to create a path toward self-sufficiency.  Through our training courses professionals will:

  • Identify and provide solutions to the challenges and barriers clients face in accessing public benefits/housing programs, thus assuring positive outcomes.
  • Create an environment where professionals can network with expert instructors & their colleagues to learn best practices and successful strategies.


Host a Training at Your Agency

Our training courses can be conducted on-site at your agency location.  Click here for a complete list of trainings offered by the Benefits Plus Learning Center.  Contact Leslie Molina at or call 212-614-5444 for details and fees.  A full agenda of these trainings are available upon request.

Approved Provider for Continuing Education for Licensed Social Workers

The Community Service Society of New York SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0213.

Note:   Credit is available for both LMSW and LCSW's.  However, not all our courses have been approved for credit.  View the current training schedule to find out which courses have been approved to date.

Registration Fees

As of January 1, 2016 our standard fees increased to $75 per course.  However, we are offering a 20% discount ($60 per course) for Early Bird registration, as well as for group registration and individuals who sign up for multiple courses .  

NOTE:  Discounts Cannot be Combined. The Benefits Plus Learning Center reserves the right to revoke or restrict discounts for misuse.  If you have questions, contact Rachael Molina at 212-614-5338 or  

Early Bird Registration: Individuals who register at least two weeks prior to the training course date AND pay by the date of the course , will pay the discounted price. Those who register after the deadline or pay after the date of the course will pay the standard fee of $75, unless you are eligible for one of the available discounts below. 

You will be able to access the following discount after the Early Bird registration period: 

  • Group Registration: Agencies who register two or more staff during a quarterly training series (Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring series) for a 20% discount. 
  • Individuals with Multiple Registrations: Individuals who attend more than one training course during a quarterly training series for a 20% discount.

To access the above discounts contact Rachael Molina at 212-614-5338.


"The workshop was great, now I have a better understanding of the topic."

 "This was greatest training I’ve been to.  I love the methodology in which the topic was taught."  

"Definitely attending more sessions."  

"Great facilitator…very interactive with participants." 

"I will refer to the course materials frequently and I so appreciate the ability to call with questions."

 "We could use this training for all our advocates at the office." 


Recognizing the scarcity of training programs and the lack of a current and comprehensive source of information on public benefit programs that were available to professionals, CSS created the Benefits Plus Learning Center in the fall of 1994.   Over the past 20 years thousands of professionals have participated in our training courses and forums, including attorneys, social workers, human service professionals, nurses, paralegals, school guidance counselors, and government workers from Social Security, Medicaid, and other programs -- even the NYC police.  Participants have used the knowledge and skills gained in our training courses to help their clients save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars; remain in their homes; reduce their rent; increase their SNAP benefits; obtain access to health benefits, Cash Assistance, SSI and many other benefits; appeal incorrect agency decisions; as well as effectively addressing their clients’ questions and problems.  

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