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Applying for Medical Assistance (ACCESS)


Who is eligible?

  • children with disabilities (this category includes physical, emotional, behavioral disorders and children who require physical or occupational therapy)
  • low-income families
  • pregnant women


How do I get an application?

Printable applications are available on-line from the Department of Human Services homepage http://www.dhs.pa.gov

If applying for a child with a disability, there are several steps to finding the application. To find it, choose "Citizens" at the top of the page, then "Healthcare/Medical Assistance",  then scroll down and you will see a link for "Application for cash assistance, SNAP and medical assistance".

You can apply on-line at http://www.compass.state.pa.us  Make sure that you include your child's disability (speech, learning needs, behavioral health diagnosis, physical health diagnosis) when they ask if anyone applying has a disability.

You can request an application from Bernadette Dacanay, Home and School Visitor, at 610-627-6197. 

Return completed applications to: Delaware County Assistance Office Headquarters, 701 Crosby St., Suite A, Chester, PA 19013-6099.  phone: 610-447-5500


Will my income be used to determine my child’s eligibility?

NO- If your child has a disability then the parents’ income will not be used to determine eligibility.  The State requires your income just for statistical purposes.

For the other eligibility categories, the parents’ income will be counted.


Does Medical Assistance cost me anything?



Why do I need Medical Assistance for my child who has a disability?

There are services that your child can receive through Medical Assistance that your private insurance will not cover.  Also, the school district can bill Medical Assistance for some services provided in school and receive additional funds to provide new services through special education programming.


What must I send in with the paper application?

In order to receive medical assistance for your child, you will need to send in copies of the following:

  • child’s birth certificate
  • parents’ driver’s license, other State issued ID or voter registration card
  • utility bill with current address (verification of address)
  • child’s social security card
  • parent’s social security card
  • doctor’s report stating the child’s disability (must include severity, diagnosis, length of disability, etc.) *can use a psychiatric evaluation or the ER (evaluation report) for a special education student
  • pay stubs/wage verification for last 30 days

Once you submit the application, you should receive notification of your child’s eligibility within 30 days. If you have any additional questions, please contact Bernadette Dacanay, Home and School Visitor, 610-627-6197.


Additional information also available through the Child Health Watch Helpline at 215-563-5848 x17 or http://www.pccy.org/issues/child-health/insurance/ .  This program is sponsored by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (www.pccy.org ).