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.

  • 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.  We are currently in the process of obtaining approval for additional courses.  View current training schedule below to find out which courses have been approved to date.



About Our Training Courses

Designed for professionals, our courses include basic courses, which provides information on the fundamentals of various 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, survivors of domestic violence, homeless, disconnected youth) and more.

Upon completing our courses, professionals are not only able to help their clients access and maintain benefits and 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.

To Host a Training at Your Agency

Click Here for a complete list of trainings offered by the Benefits Plus Learning Center.  Contact Leslie Boutin at or call 212-614-5444 for details.

The Goals of the Benefits Plus Learning Center

The Benefits Plus Learning Center addresses the ongoing needs of social service professionals who seek up-to-date and accurate information, resources, and government contacts on behalf of their clients dealing with the complexities of public benefit and housing programs. Our goal is to equip social service professionals to:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate the public benefit and federally subsidized housing programs.
  • 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.



"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