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​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 State 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 BHA's jurisdiction include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Denial, reduction, suspension, or termination of cash assistance, Medical Assistance, or SNAP benefits.
    • 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 the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 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.

Contact Information & Organization

BHA is comprised of four regional offices: Administrative and Central in Harrisburg, Eastern in Philadelphia and Western in Pittsburgh, as well as 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.

BHA Office Locations 


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


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

Charles Brace, Esq., Regional Manager
Administrative Regional Office
Phone: 717-783-3950

Andrew Maloney, Central Regional Manager 
Harrisburg and Reading Regional Offices 
Phone: 717-783-3950

Karen Merth, Eastern Regional Manager 
Philadelphia Regional Office 
Phone: 215-560-2145

Mike Ruane, Western Regional Manager 
Pittsburgh and Erie Regional Offices 
Phone: 412-565-5213

BHA Regional Offices

Western Region Northeastern Region
Pittsburgh RE 
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 Region Southeastern 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
Melissa Posavec Site Administrator (Administrative Region) (717) 783-3950
Andrew Maloney
Regional Manager (Central - Harrisburg/Reading) (717) 783-3950
Ryan JamesSite Administrator (Recipient Appeals) (717) 783-3950
Randi Cheek
Administrative Law Judge Supervisor
(717) 783-3950
Kathy Crowell
Recipient Scheduling (717) 787-3950
Yvonne Shetzline
Administrative Officer (Personnel) (717) 736-8942
Michael GretskyProgram Administrator (717) 783-3950
Laura WolaverAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor (717) 783-3950
Amy MontgomeryAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor (717) 783-3950
Matthew LavelleFormals Docketing Coordinator (717) 736-8946
Brigid Ramsey
Formals Docketing Coordinator (717) 705-2169
Pamela Palmer
Formals Docketing Coordinator (717) 346-4032
Elizabeth McNally
Administrative Law Judget Supervisor
(717) 783-3950

Reading Key Personnel

Name: Title: Phone Number:
Amy MontgomeryAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor (610) 378-4081
​Laura Wolaver​Administrative Law Judge Supervisor​(610) 378-4081
Sharon StuckLegal Assistant 1
(610) 378-4081
​Randi Cheek
​Administrative Law Judge Supervisor
​(610) 378-4081

Southeastern Region
Philadelphia Key Personnel

Name: Title: Phone Number:
Karen MerthRegional Manager (215) 560-2145
Sharon Eskridge 
Site Administrator (Recipient Appeals) (215) 560-2145
Vivian Vivier-VangasAppeal Perfector (215) 560-2145
Liam Doyle
Administrative Law Judge Supervisor (215) 560-2145
Regina Cooper
Administrative Law Judge Supervisor (215) 560-2145
​Derek Dale
​Administrative Law Judge Supervisor
​(215) 560-2145
Western Region
Pittsburgh Key Personnel
Name: Title: Phone Number:
Mike Ruane
Regional Manager (412) 565-5213
Nicole Frederick
Site Administrator (Recipient Appeals) (412) 565-5213
Susan Holmes
Appeal Perfector (412) 565-5213
Sharon MockAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor (412) 565-5213
Lisa Reno
Administrative Law Judge Supervisor (412) 565-5213
​Lori Shilling
​Administrative Law Judge Supervisor
​(412) 565-5213

Erie Key Personnel

Name: Title: Phone Number:
Sharon MockAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor (412) 565-5213
Lisa Reno
Administrative Law Judge Supervisor (412) 565-5213
Jennifer SpitznogleLegal Assistant 1 (814) 871-4433
​Lori Shilling
​Administrative Law Judge Supervisor
​(412) 565-5213