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 bplc@cssny.org.

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 rmolina@cssny.org 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 Listing
Chapter Last Updated Change
COVID-19: Additional Resources July 2021

Tax Credits Under the American Rescue Plan: Added Child Tax Credit Under the American Rescue Plan

Tax Credits Under the American Rescue Plan: Added the Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCC) Under the American Rescue Plan

Cash Benefits July 2021

NYS Excluded Workers Fund: Added New Section.

Cash Assistance: Changes under COVID-19: Updated the extension of certain waivers until September 30, 2021

Emergency Assistance Grants (One Shot Deals): Changes under COVID-19: Added certain applications for a one shot deals are not being processed, instead there may be a requirement to file for ERAP.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) July 2021

Qualifying for WIC: Updated income guidelines.

NYC Shelter System July 2021

Cash Assistance Budgeting in the NYC Shelter System: Updated the earned income disregards, as well as case examples.

Food Access and Programs June 2021

NYS Pandemic EBT: New Benefit under COVID-19: Updated P-EBT for 2020-2021 school year.

Housing Court June 2021

Advocacy And Appeals: Updated information on NYC's Right to Counsel for Tenants Facing Eviction: right to counsel is available in every NYC zip code.

Housing Programs & Services June 2021

Rent Relief: Under COVID-19: Added information on NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which opened on June 1, 2021.

CITYFHEPS: Changes under COVID-19: Added information about NYC HRA’s temporary removal of a housing court case requirement when applying for CITYFHEPS.