Public Benefits

We help clients get and keep public benefits in order to support themselves and their families.

Categories Within Public Benefits

How to get help with Public Benefits

The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Public Benefits:

Intake Procedure:

Applicants may call the telephone intake line, except that applicants whose legal problem is SSI need to apply through Community Legal Services (CLS).  For the intake hours at CLS, see the SSI page of CLS's web site.

Applicants may also apply online (for legal problems other than SSI).

Self-Help Resources

Youth Justice: Young Parents and Welfare Benefits

Explains the benefits programs available to young parents.

Finding the County Assistance Office that serves your address

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has several local offices in Philadelphia, each serving a particular geographic area within the City.  These offices are called County Assistance Offices (CAOs).  You can go to your local CAO office to apply for public benefits from DPW.

Assistance with applying for public benefits, UC, and EITC

If you need help applying for public benefits, unemployment compensation, or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), free help is available from the City of Philadelphia.  You can get one-on-one counseling from BenePhilly over the phone or in person.

The toll-free number for BenePhilly is 844-848-4376.  You can also walk in to one of six BenePhilly Centers.


COMPASS is a web site provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to allow Pennsylvanians to apply for public benefits on-line.


Kathleen Taintor - Paralegal