Introduction to Benefits Plus

Tutorial Contents:


Welcome Page

When you first come to our home page, you will be on our Welcome Page and you will be able to access the following features:

  • Tutorials - online instructions on how to effectively access Benefits Plus
  • Take A Tour  - access to the Overview section of each chapter. 
  • Free Trial Run  - a free 30 day subscription. 
  • Benefit Tools - free advocacy tools to anyone who comes to our web-page.
  • Additional Features - other features, such as Contact Us, Site Map, Training & Publications, are also available.
  • Subscribe - click here to subscribe 
  • Log In - enter your username and password to gain access. 

Take a Tour

Take a Tour will allow you access to the Overview section of each chapter in Benefits Plus; just click on the chapter you want to view.  The overview gives you a history of the program, who has administrative oversight, as well as a brief description of the program, who qualifies and how to apply.  While you will not have access to the entire chapter, you will be able to view the chapter's table of contents.  

You can take a tour as often as you want. 

Free Trial Run

You can sign up once for a free trial run and gain access to the entire contents of Benefits Plus for 30 days.  At the end of 30 days you will have the option of subscribing.  You will need to provide your e-mail address, which will become your username for when you log-in, and also create a password.  

After using a free trial run , and you decide to subscribe, you can do so by "updating your subscription".   To update your subscription, log-in and click on the My Account tab found on the upper right hand side of the web-page.  It will open up, you can click on Update Subscription and follow the instructions.   If your trial run has ended, and you want to subscribe, you must still log in and follow the above instructions. 

Benefit Tools

Benefit Tools are available for free to all visitors to Benefits Plus website.  These tools assist advocates with valuable resources.  Included are:

  • Benefit Applications - links to the applications of various government benefit and housing programs.
  • SNAP Calculator -  the Benefits Plus calculator that estimates the amount of food stamps, if any, a household may be eligible for.
  • Consumer Benefit Brochures - easy to read brochures on various government benefits and housing programs.  Advocates can print these and give to their clients. 
  • Documentation Guide - a listing of various documents needed when applying for Cash Assistance, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance.
  • Federal Poverty Levels - the annual federal poverty guidelines published by the U.S. government.
  • Financial Eligibility Charts - income and/or asset guidelines for various government benefit and housing programs.
  • Government Resource Manuals - links to the government resource guides of the various benefit and housing programs. 

Subscribing to Benefits Plus

The only way to subscribe to Benefits Plus is on this website.  Click on the Subscribe tab located on the upper right hand side of the web-page.  This page operates similar to a "shopping cart" feature located on other e-commerce websites. 

You can purchase Benefits Plus with a credit card, check or money order.  If you pay by credit card, you will have immediate access.  If you are paying by check or money order, you will receive an invoice via e-mail, which you can submit to your company so they can process the check.  Once we receive your payment we will activate your account and we will notify you via e-mail that your account is active.   If your company will purchase a subscription with a purchase order, you should indicate you are paying by check.  You will receive an invoice via e-mail, which you can use to process the purchase order.   

Go to the Subscribing to Benefits Plus tutorial for a complete description of the subscription process.

Logging into Benefits Plus

Once you have subscribed, you must log in with your username and password.  Your username is your e-mail address.  Once you have logged in, it will open up to a second welcome page, where you will continue to have access to the above features.  You will also be able access the Update Chart, which will list all the pages  that have been updated since the manual was first published; see the tutorial, Updating Benefits Plus, for more information.  You will also see the Table of Contents.   This is where you will be able to access all the different chapters in this manual; see the tutorial, Navigating Benefits Plus, for more information. 

 

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