PLA helps clients get and keep benefits from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), including:

How to get help with Welfare

The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Welfare:

Intake Procedure:

Applicants may come to walk-in intake or 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

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 Public Welfare to allow Pennsylvanians to apply for public benefits on-line.

Domestic Violence and Welfare Support Requirements

Individuals and families who receive cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program are required to apply for child or spousal support unless excused "for good cause."  This brochure explains how TANF recipients may be excused from this requirement if filing for support could lead to violence.


David Hill - Attorney

David Hill is the Supervising Attorney of the Public Benefits Unit.

Kathleen Taintor - Paralegal