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Legal Information for Public Benefits

Many people need help in order to acquire the public benefits that they may be eligible to recieve.

NLS is aware that many people need help in order to acquire the public benefits that they are qualified to recieve. Through the Pennsylvania Public Benefits Project (PPBP), NLS and its Consortium partners, Laurel Legal Services and Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, seek to improve access to public benefit- related legal work and outreach efforts to the community.

Each program dedicates a full-time attorney to public benefits work. Public benefits include such programs as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, CHIP, DPW administered child care subsidies, Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the Home Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP). In addition to providing legal assistance in such cases, NLS also engages in outreach activities designed to educate the community regarding these issues. Any organization interested in obtaining training on these issues should contact NLS and ask for the Public Benefits Specialist.

Through its close familiarity with many of these programs, NLS has been able to produce brochures to provide aid to people seeking to obtain benefits. The summary of the Department of Human Services (DHS) benefits describes the different types of benefits that are available. You can obtain some tips for applying for these benefits.

There are also in-depth brochures that explain each type of benefit in detail: TANF, LIHEAP, and SNAP. NLS also has information on how to calculate SNAP for households with an elderly or disabled person or without an elderly or disabled person. If you are denied benefits, there is a brochure that explains how to appeal a DHS decision as well as a flyer explaining your right to appeal.

How to Get Help

So that we can better understand the legal issue that you are facing, please take a few minutes to answer the questions in our secure, easy-to-use Legal Issue Triage Tool. Your responses will be used to help connect you with a member of our staff that can provide you with the legal help you’re seeking.

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