Medical Assistance

PLA helps clients who have legal problems with Medical Assistance (also known as Medicaid), Medicare, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other forms of health insurance.

We help clients who have legal problems receiving benefits from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, including the Long Term Care Grant Program and others.

How to get help with Medical Assistance

The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Medical Assistance:

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

Medical Assistance Estate Recovery

This video explains the basics of Medical Assistance ("Medicaid") Estate Recovery and answers frequently asked questions about the program.

Affordable Care Act Subsidy Calculator
If you are not eligible for Medical Assistance, you may be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act Subsidy Calculator will calculate how much it would cost for you to get health insurance from one of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges (or "marketplaces").
Healthy PA - Pennsylvania's Medicaid Expansion

Pennsylvania's expansion of Medicaid, known as "Healthy PA," was approved in August 2014.  If you were previously not eligible for either Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for Healthy PA.  Enrollment begins on December 1, 2014 for benefits that will become available on January 1, 2015.  If you currently receive Medicaid, your benefits might change because of Healthy PA.  See the Healthy PA web site for more information.

To apply, visit or call (866) 550-4355.

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.

Medicare information from CLS

The Medicare page on the web site of Community Legal Services has helpful information about the Medicare program.


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