Bureau of Hearings and Appeals

The Bureau of Hearings and Appeals (BHA) is the Department of Human Services (DHS) entity charged with conducting Administrative hearings and timely adjudicating appeals filed in accordance with state and federal regulations. BHA's jurisdiction is vast. It covers nearly 280 different areas, including the denial, suspension, termination, or reduction of any DHS-issued benefit (Cash Assistance; Medical Assistance; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps; social services; durable equipment; etc.).

BHA is also responsible for rendering legally sound adjudications for disputes regarding child abuse expunction, day care licensure, medical assistance provider enrollment, medical provider audit findings, injured DHS employees (Act 534 benefits), Department of Aging actions, Office of Inspector General Administrative Disqualification Hearings, and nursing home intervention requests, among numerous other issues.


The Bureau of Hearings and Appeals has the authority delegated by the Secretary of Human Services to hear and adjudicate over 280 jurisdictional issues for the Department of Human Services. The Bureau is also designated to hear and adjudicate issues for the Department of Aging under an interagency agreement. The issues under Bureau of Hearings and Appeals jurisdiction include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Denial, reduction, suspension, or termination of Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps.
  • Denial, reduction, suspension, or termination of direct social services (e.g. day care, legal services, etc.).
  • Denial of PACE prescription benefits by the Department of Aging.
  • Denial, reduction, or termination of Department of Aging Adult Day Care services.
  • Appropriate level of care for nursing home residents.
  • Denial, suspension, or termination of providers from participation in the Medical Assistance Program.
  • Liability of payment for persons who are either receiving in-patient or out-patient care in mental health facilities.
  • Denial, suspension, or termination of licensure for personal care boarding home facilities or day care facilities.
  • Employee injury claims under Act 534.
  • Establishment of family service plans for persons receiving services through the local children and youth agency.
  • Adoption subsidy cases and foster care benefit cases.
  • Disputes regarding the maintenance of the permanent record of founded or indicated child abuse in the central state registry.
  • Nursing rate reimbursement (either the establishment of per diem rates or audit resolution issues).
  • In-patient utilization review.
  • Provisions of Low Income Home Energy Assistance cash payments.
  • Disputes regarding reports of elder abuse to the Department of Aging.

All hearings regarding recipient related appeals are conducted in accordance with the regulations found at Title 55 Pa. Code, Chapter 275 (and 6 Pa. Code, Chapter 3 for Department of Aging appeals). Recipient claims should be filed with the program office. Hearings for non-recipient related appeals are conducted in accordance with Title 1 Pa. Code Chapters 31, 33 and 35, and Medical Provider appeals are conducted under Title 55 Pa. Code Chapter 41.


BHA is comprised of four regional offices: Administrative and Central in Harrisburg, Eastern in Philadelphia and Western in Pittsburgh, and three field offices in Erie, Reading and Plymouth. The Bureau Director, Administrative Regional Manager, Program Administrator, and other key personnel are situated in Harrisburg. Regional Managers head the regional offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

Tracy L. Henry, Esq., Director
Bureau of Hearings and Appeals
Tel: (717) 783-3950

Charles Brace, Esq., Administrative Regional Manager
Tel: (717) 783-3950

Matthew McFadden, Central Regional Manager
Harrisburg and Reading Regional Offices
Tel: (717) 783-3950

Karen Merth, Eastern Regional Manager
Philadelphia Regional Office
Tel: (215) 560- 2145

Louise Spears, Western Regional Manager
Pittsburgh and Erie Regional Offices
Tel: (412) 565-5213

Contact information for BHA Headquarters:

2330 Vartan Way
Second Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9721
Telephone: (717) 783-3950
Fax: (717) 772-2769 or (717) 346-1959 

Bureau of Hearings and Appeals Regional Offices
Western RegionNortheastern Region
Pittsburgh Address:
2 Gateway Center, Suite 1125
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3594
Phone: (412) 565-5213
Fax: (412) 565-5514
Plymouth Address:
Federal Hearings and Appeals
117 W. Main Street
Plymouth, PA 18651
Phone: 1-800-664-7177
or 570-779-5122
Fax: 570-719-0306 
Erie Address:
Rennaissance Center
1001 State Street, Suite 401
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: (814) 871-4433
Fax: (814) 878-5736 

Central RegionSoutheastern Region
Harrisburg Address:
2330 Vartan Way
Second Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9721
Phone: (717) 783-3950
Fax (717) 772-2769
Philadelphia Address:
Philadelphia State Office Building
Commonwealth of PA
Department of Human Services
801 Market Street, Suite 5005
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 560-2145
Fax: (215) 560-2378 
Reading Address:
Reading State Office Building
625 Cherry Street, Room 440
Reading, PA 19602-9985
Phone: (610) 378-4081
Fax: (610) 378-4461 


Administrative and Central Regions
Harrisburg Key Personnel:
Name:Title:Phone Number:
Tracy L. Henry, Esq.Bureau Director(717) 783-3950
VacantDirector's Secretary(717) 783-3950
Charles Brace, Esq.Administrative Regional Manager(717) 783-3950
 Site Administrator (Administrative Region)(717) 787-4519
Matt McFaddenRegional Manager (Central - Harrisburg/Reading)(717) 783-3950
Ryan JamesSite Administrator (Recipient Appeals)(717) 783-3950
Maria CandelariaRecipient Perfector(717) 783-3950
Jim ZanottoRecipient Scheduling(717) 787-3950
Peggy KregerAdministrative Officer (Personnel)(717) 783-1757
Laura WolaverProgram Administrator(717) 783-3950
Karen LewisAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(717) 783-3950
Gueysha Carmona-TiradoAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(717) 783-3950
Tim KauffmanFormals Docketing Coordinator(717) 265-8442
Renee WingfieldFormals Docketing Coordinator(717) 705-4441
Rita SebastianFormals Docketing Coordinator(717) 705-2111
Elizabeth McNallyPerfector - Provider Appeals(717) 783-3950
Reading Key Personnel:
Name:Title:Phone Number:
Karen LewisAdministrative Law Judge Hearing Supervisor(610) 378-4081
Sharon StuckLegal Assistant 1(610) 378-4081
Southeastern Region
Philadelphia Key Personnel:
Name:Title:Phone Number:
Karen MerthRegional Manager(215) 560-2145
Georgiana NewmanSite Administrator (Recipient Appeals)(215) 560-2145
Vivian Vivier-VangasAppeal Perfector(215) 560-2145
Tiffany WallaceAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(215) 560-2145
Mykeal FerrellAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(215) 560-2145
Western Region
Pittsburgh Key Personnel:
Name:Title:Phone Number:
Louise SpearsRegional Manager(412) 565-5213
Beth BuccigrossiSite Administrator (Recipient Appeals)(412) 565-5213
Connie MoneckAppeal Perfector(412) 565-5213
Sharon MockAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Michael RuaneAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Erie Key Personnel:
Name:Title:Phone Number:
VacantAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Michael RuaneAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Jennifer SpitznogleLegal Assistant 1(814) 871-4433