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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.

JURISDICTION

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.

ORGANIZATION

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., Regional Manager
Administrative Regional Office
Tel: (717) 783-3950

David Dudley, 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
Melissa Posavec Site Administrator (Administrative Region)(717) 783-3950
Matt McFaddenRegional Manager (Central - Harrisburg/Reading)(717) 783-3950
Ryan JamesSite Administrator (Recipient Appeals)(717) 783-3950
Lisa NeeperRecipient 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-Tirado, Esq.Administrative Law Judge Supervisor(717) 783-3950
Matthew LavelleFormals Docketing Coordinator(717) 736-8946
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
Jenny WaltersAppeal 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:
Sharon MockAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Michael RuaneAdministrative Law Judge Supervisor(412) 565-5213
Jennifer SpitznogleLegal Assistant 1(814) 871-4433