Solving the Public Benefit Puzzle

Chapter Listing


Welcome to Benefits Plus

Benefits Plus ® 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 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.

Explore Benefits Plus!

If you are not a subscriber to Benefits Plus, 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? Contact the Benefits Plus Learning Center at

Click here for more information about Benefits Plus.

COVID-19 Resources

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 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 subscribers have access to the entire Benefits Plus content. For more information contact Rachael Molina at or 212-614-5338.

Benefits Plus Updates

Originally published in January 2010 Benefits Plus® 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".

Chapter Last Updated Change
Medicaid November 2020

Medicaid Community Based Long Term Care Services (Home Care) : New "look back" and transfer of asset penalties for those applying for CBLTC services beginning April 1, 2021.

Medicaid Managed Care Provisions: Updated information on when partially capitated MLTC plan members may switch their plans.

Cash Benefits November 2020

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19:

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19: Recertification exemptions extended through March 31st, 2021 for Cash Assistance households.

Social Security Retirement, Disability, and SSI Benefits: Changes under COVID-19: Updated information regarding local Social Security local offices closures - limited services are available for in-person visits.

Food Access and Programs November 2020

SNAP: Changes Under COVID-19: Recertification exemptions extended through March 31st, 2021 for SNAP households. Partial eligibility interview waivers for new applications and recertifications (for households subject to recertification) have also been extended through March 31st, 2021.

Health Benefits November 2020

Medicaid: Changes under COVID-19: 12 month renewals for Medicaid recipients have been extended through December 31st, 2020.

Medicare Part D November 2020

Low-Income Subsidy: Updated the benchmark premium amount, deductible amounts, and co-payments for both full and partial extra help, and the catastrophic threshold limits.

Description of Medicare Part D: Updated additional Part D premium by income for higher income, the deductible amount for the standard benefit, as well as amounts needed to reach the initial coverage limit, coverage gap and catastrophic threshold levels, including all case examples.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) November 2020

Qualifying for SNAP: Updated information on eligibility for students attending educational institutions of higher education.