9.1 Public Benefits 101

Presenter: Sheila Forrester

Title: Family and Community Development Specialist

Organization: Capital Area Head Start

Co-Presenter: Bill McLaughlin, Paralegal, North Penn Legal Services

Co-Presenter: Peter Zurflieh, Attorney, Community Justice Project

Workshop Description

Access to public benefits for low-income Head Start families is critical, especially during a period of financial crisis, such as we have experienced with the COVID pandemic. This session will cover the nuts and bolts of eligibility for Medical Assistance (including MA Waivers), SNAP (food stamps), and the TANF cash assistance program, including how to apply. We will also talk about appeal rights and how to exercise them, as well as providing some tips on how to negotiate with the welfare office when benefits are denied or terminated. Since we sometimes see clients who are charged with overpayments, the session will include discussion of how to deal with overpayments of MA, SNAP, TANF, LIHEAP, or subsidized child care.