NLSA is aware that many people need help in order to acquire the public benefits that they deserve. Through the Pennsylvania Public Benefits Project (PPBP) NLSA and its Consortium partners, Laurel Legal Services and Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, seek to improve welfare 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), food stamps, 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 on such cases, NLSA also engages in outreach activities designed to educate the community regarding these issues. Any organization interested in obtaining training on these issues should contact NLSA and ask for the Public Benefits Specialist.
Through its close familiarity with many of these programs, NLSA has been able to produce brochures to provide aid to people seeking to obtain benefits. The summary of 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 Food Stamps. NLSA also has information on how to calculate food stamps 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.