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 more.

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.

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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
Unemployment Insurance Benefits February 2020

Description of Unemployment Insurance: Updated the minimum UI benefit amount in 2020.

Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance: Updated earnings requirement to qualify for benefits in 2020.

Cash Assistance February 2020

Applying for Cash Assistance: Updated as of January 15, 2020, finger imaging has been eliminated

Housing Subsidies: Updated FHEPS case example to reflect 2020 SSI benefit level.

Medicaid January 2020

Qualifying for Non-MAGI Medicaid: Updated non-MAGI income and resource guidelines.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) January 2020

Program Requirements: Updated the NYS minimum wage, beginning December 31, 2019, and case example.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) January 2020

Description of the Affordable Care Act: Updated information in text based on changes from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in 2018.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) January 2020

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance: Updated amount of earnings to earn a quarter of coverage in 2020 and updated the earnings amount for substantial gainful activity (SGA) for the disabled and blind, including case examples.

Social Security Retirement and Survivors Insurance January 2020

Qualifying for Retirement & Survivors Insurance: Updated the amount of earnings to earn a quarter of coverage in 2020, including case example.

Medicare January 2020

Qualifying for Medicare: Updated the cost for the Part A premium for 2020 when an individual is not eligible for cost-free Medicare Part A.

Description of Medicare: Updated the cost of the Part B monthly premium, Parts A & B co-payments and deductible amounts for 2020, including all charts and case examples. Also updated the maximum limits for physical and occupational therapy.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) January 2020

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income: Updated the SSI federal and NY State Supplement benefit rates, SGA, the student exclusions and the Presumed Maximum Value for 2020.

Description of Supplemental Security Income: Updated the SSI and State Supplement benefit rates for 2020.