Public Benefits - Self-Help Resolurces

Legal Information

Other Self-Help Problems

Self-Help forms and Online Resources relating to Public Benefits.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

PA Health Law Project Toll-Free Helpline - Call: 1-800-274-3258

The PA Health Law Project provides free legal services and advocacy to Pennsylvanians having trouble accessing publicly funded health care coverage or services. For assistance, call the PHLP Helpline at 1-800-274-3258 or 1-866-236-6310 TTY or e-mail the PHLP at staff@phlp.org. Information from the PHLP is also available online at www.phlp.org.

Application for a Social Security Card

From the Social Security Administration: Use this form to apply for (1) An original Social Security card; (2) A replacement Social Security card; or (3) A change of information on your record. [PDF]

Application for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance Benefits

You can apply for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance benefits online with Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Paper forms can also be printed from the website.

Application for Payment of Medicare Premiums, Coinsurance and Deductibles [PDF]

The PA 600M is a mail-in application for payment of the Medicare Part B premium only. It is used to help elderly individuals or individuals with disabilities who are eligible for Medicare to pay some or all of their Medicare Part B premium. A face-to-face interview is not required when using this application. The application cannot be used to apply for Medicaid (Medical Assistance), cash assistance or food stamps. (PA 600 M (AS) 8/19)

Apply for Unemployment Compensation Benefits - Initial Claim

This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry allows you to file an initial application or reopen their existing claims for UC benefits via the Internet, telephone or video phone for individuals using American Sign Language.

Apply Online For Social Security Disability Benefits

Online Application for Social Security Disability Benefits

Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits

The Social Security Retirement benefit is a monthly check that replaces part of your income when you reduce your hours or stop working altogether. It may not replace all your income so it's best to identify other ways to pay for your monthly expenses as you age.

Benefits Check Up for Seniors

BenefitsCheckUp® connects millions of older adults and people with disabilities with benefits programs that can help pay for health care, medicine, food, utilities, and more.

Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST)

On SSA BEST, you can use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) to find Social Security benefits you may be eligible to receive. It is not an application for benefits and will not send you free money.

Benefits.gov

Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government whose mission is to increase citizen access to benefit information, while reducing the expense and difficulty of interacting with the government. It is a free, online confidential tool that helps you find government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Use the EITC Assistant

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low to moderate-income workers and families get a tax break. Claiming the credit can reduce the tax you owe and may also give you a larger refund.

Filing Bi-Weekly Claims for Unemployment Compensation

After filing an application for UC benefits, you must file claims for weeks when you are totally or partially unemployed in order to receive UC. This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will allow you to file your claims online.

Online Services: Apply For Retirement, Disability or Medicare Benefits and Other Services from the Social Security Administration

From the webpage of the Social Security Administration, you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and more – from anywhere and from any of your devices!

Reopen an Existing Unemployment Compensation Claim

If you established an initial claim for UC benefits within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits and wish to resume filing, you can reopen your claim using the methods listed on this website.

Social Security Benefit Application - Medicare

Online Medicare application from the Social Security Administration.

Downloadable Forms from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Links to downloadable forms from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Federal Court Finder

Find a federal court location by location or court name, including appellate, district, bankruptcy, probation and pretrial office, or federal defender organization. Each District Court has its own local forms which are generally available on the Court website.

Hospital Compare - A quality tool provided by Medicare

This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide.

LIHEAP Benefit Amount Table

This tool from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services allows you to see the amount of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits you are eligible to receive. Select the county where you live and the type of fuel you use to heat your home or a type you to use for additional heat. The benefit table for your county and the type of fuel you use is displayed listing the LIHEAP benefit amount for your yearly income range and household size.

Medicare Drug Plan Finder

The Medicare Drug Plan Finder from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help you find and compare Medicare prescription drug plans in your area.

Medicare Eligibility & Premium Calculator

Use this calculator from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to get an estimate of when you’re eligible for Medicare and your premium amount. This calculator provides information for many but not all situations. If your situation isn’t in this calculator, contact Social Security to see if you’re eligible to enroll.

Medigap Policy Search

This interactive tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helps you Find a Medigap Policy in Your Area.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Workforce Development System

The Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) is an Internet-based system of services for use by customers and potential customers of the PA CareerLink® offices. CWDS provides online access to job openings; information about employers; services and training opportunities for job seekers; and labor market information. All of this is available by enrolling on-line with CWDS.

Social Security Retirement Estimator

The Retirement Estimator produces estimates that are based on your actual Social Security earnings record and has been rated the Federal Government's Best Online Service.

Unemployment Compensation Complaint

If you have had problems reaching representatives from Unemployment Compensation (UC), you can submit a complaint using this site.

Waiver of Benefit Overpayment - PUA, PEUC or FPUC

A waiver is available for non-fraud overpayments of benefits for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

Apply Online For Social Security Disability Benefits

Online Application for Social Security Disability Benefits

Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits

The Social Security Retirement benefit is a monthly check that replaces part of your income when you reduce your hours or stop working altogether. It may not replace all your income so it's best to identify other ways to pay for your monthly expenses as you age.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Downloadable Forms from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Links to downloadable forms from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Hospital Compare - A quality tool provided by Medicare

This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide.

Medicare Drug Plan Finder

The Medicare Drug Plan Finder from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help you find and compare Medicare prescription drug plans in your area.

Medigap Policy Search

This interactive tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helps you Find a Medigap Policy in Your Area.

Online Services: Apply For Retirement, Disability or Medicare Benefits and Other Services from the Social Security Administration

From the webpage of the Social Security Administration, you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and more – from anywhere and from any of your devices!

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

The Department of Human Services has launched of live hotline to assist families with the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. Pennsylvanians who have not received their child’s P-EBT benefits or have an issue with P-EBT can dial 1-877-343-0179, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.

Reopen an Existing Unemployment Compensation Claim

If you established an initial claim for UC benefits within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits and wish to resume filing, you can reopen your claim using the methods listed on this website.

Social Security Benefit Application - Medicare

Online Medicare application from the Social Security Administration.

Survivors Planner: Planning For Your Survivors

Information from the Social Security Administration about help it can provide for your survivors when you die if you have earned enough Social Security credits through your work.

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

The Department of Human Services has launched of live hotline to assist families with the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. Pennsylvanians who have not received their child’s P-EBT benefits or have an issue with P-EBT can dial 1-877-343-0179, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.

Waiver of Benefit Overpayment - PUA, PEUC or FPUC

A waiver is available for non-fraud overpayments of benefits for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

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