HARRISBURG — The Department of Human Services (DHS) has closed all county assistance offices (CAOs) statewide to the public in coordination with Gov. Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19.
In-person business will resume no sooner than April 1. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’s online applications and resources to apply for benefits or submit paperwork as necessary.
“Public assistance programs can be vital during a public health crisis, and our resources are still available to ensure eligible Pennsylvanians are connected to the programs they need,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “Clients should take advantage of online resources like COMPASS and the myCOMPASS PA mobile app as Pennsylvania seeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the commonwealth.”
While the CAOs are closed to the public, eligibility determinations, application processing, and benefit issuance will continue for Pennsylvanians in all counties. Applications for benefits and renewals can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us.
For Medicaid, contact the Pennsylvania Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355 to apply over the phone. Pennsylvanians can also complete semi-annual renewals and check their benefit status through the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Clients who prefer to submit paper documentation can mail documents to their local CAO or leave documents in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available.
Clients in all counties except Philadelphia can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930. Call volumes and wait times are likely to be high, and DHS appreciates the public’s patience with the dedicated commonwealth employees working to assist clients under stressful circumstances.
EBT payments are still scheduled to occur during the closure and activated EBT cards can still be used as usual at ATMs and in stores at point-of-sale machines if the client has a balance. Balance and transaction inquiries, as well as EBT card replacement, can be requested from DHS’s EBT contractor, Conduent, at 888-328-7366.
Managed Care Organizations (MCO) providing Medicaid coverage will be available to address claims and coverage issues with clients, and Medicaid Access cards can still be used at participating medical facilities to obtain care.
LIHEAP Crisis, which assists households who are without or are in danger of being without heat, will still be available to clients via phone. Clients should call the Crisis Hotline at 1-866-452-6152, which will be operating to serve individuals in crisis situations during the office closure.