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Public Benefit Law Links

SNAP (Foodstamps)

Allegheny County and beyond:

Three month limit for SNAP (food stamp) benefits for ABAWDs back in effect as of January 1, 2016, for most areas in SW PA
The three month limit on food stamp benefits for able-bodied adults without dependents had been suspended in Pennsylvania for years due to a high unemployment rate. Now that the rate has come down in most areas of Pennsylvania, ABAWDs will be limited to receiving SNAP benefits for three months in a 36 month period unless they fall into an exemption or comply with certain work requirements. NLS has a flyer which explains the three month limit and the exemptions. More information and assistance with meeting the work requirement via volunteer work can be found on Just Harvest’s website. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also published an article on the effects of the three month limit on Allegheny County residents.

Just Harvest – can help you apply for food stamps and other welfare benefits, find volunteer positions to fulfill work requirements, preserve your benefits, prepare your taxes, and provide Food Bucks to maximize your food stamp benefits at farmers markets.
16 Terminal Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 431-8960

“Good and Cheap” is a cookbook by Leanne Brown, written with SNAP recipients in mind, which provides recipes for creating tasty and nourishing meals on a $4 per day budget. The cookbook can be downloaded for free at, and also will eventually be available in print version. More information about the book is available from the NPR website.

Free Children's Clothing Bank

Free Clothing, Furniture and  Basic Needs Resources


Medical Assistance Transportation Program (Allegheny County) – provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medical Assistance consumers of all ages. Call 1-800-547-6287 to do an application over the phone and get more information.
For other counties, please visit the PA Department of Human Services website.

Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh – offers a number of transportation programs including medical transportation and help with getting to work. Call 412-281-5466 for more information.

TANF Diversion Reminder
For persons who are between jobs and are in a temporary financial crunch, there is a program from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is designed to ease the burden. The program is called TANF Diversion, and it provides short term assistance for people in financial crisis due to a temporary loss of income. It is a one-time payment, and the maximum amount is equal to up to three months of the monthly grant for a specific family size.

Social Security Administration

United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamp Program

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Pennsylvania Online Benefits Application (COMPASS)

County Assistance Offices by County

Pennsylvania Health Law Project – assists in obtaining access to healthcare and helps monitor the quality of care and service given at various health care programs.
2325 E. Carson Street
First Floor, Suite B
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 434-5779
Statewide Toll-free Hotline (800) 274-3528

Call-in Change Center – The Department of Human Services County Assistance Office has a new Call-in Change Center – this call-in center is “a quick and easy way for beneficiaries to report changes in their case or get information” without needing to reach their case worker. This system will allow individuals to: make updates or changes to their cases; check application or case status; hear general information such as how to apply for benefits; and request forms and documents.
Hours: 7:30 AM until 5 PM Monday through Friday. You can also call after hours to hear general information and request certain forms and documents.
Phone: 1-877-395-8930.
Those are “MY COMPASS” account users can also report changes by logging onto:

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