Medical Insurance &
Public Benefits

Public Benefits for Children with Mental Health/Behavioral Health Disability

The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) provides a variety of mental health services by contracting with community-based agencies.  OBH also provides help in the areas of drug and alcohol services, justice-related services and publicly-funded health care information.

The Bureau of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is one of the three bureaus that comprise the OBH.  Services through this bureau are contracted through a network of providers and may include:

  • Screening and evaluation
  • Family training and counseling
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Audiology and vision services
  • Social work

Additionally, through the Student Assistance Program (SAP), the Bureau of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services provides every school in Allegheny County with on-site assessment and consultations with teachers, principals, guidance counselors and parents.

When an individual enrolls in a Medical Assistance HMO, he or she is automatically enrolled in a Behavioral Health HMO (called a BH-MCO, or Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization).  Coordination of care for the enrollee is required between the Physical Health HMO and the Behavioral Health HMO.

The Behavioral Health HMO oversees behavioral health care (mental health and drug and alcohol services) for individuals with autism, serious emotional disturbances, mental illness, or addictive diseases.  Only one Behavioral Health HMO is designated for these services within each county. In Allegheny County, it is Community Care Behavioral Health - 1-800-553-7499

The Behavioral Health HMO in Allegheny County (Community Care Behavioral Health) covers hospitalization, psychiatric reviews, counseling and case management. In addition, for children under age 21, it covers:

  • Wraparound services
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • "Host Home” Therapy
  • Therapeutic Summer Activity Programs
  • Family-based therapy (enrolled families are eligible for limited Family Support Service funds for additional services such as respite care).

How to Apply

To apply for services, call the Office of Behavioral Health at 412-350-4457 or 412-350-4456. If you child is eligible for services, you will be asked to choose a Service Coordination Organization (SCO) for your child. Service Coordination Organizations are local agencies that have a contract with the county Office of Behavioral Health to provide coordination of services for clients.

The SCO will appoint a Service Coordinator for your child. The Service Coordinator :

  • Creates and individual plan for your child, which is updated annually.
  • Explains the availability of funding for services not covered by medical insurance or other sources

Service Coordination Units in Allegheny County:

Resource Contact Information

Allegheny East Mental Health Mental Retardation Services, Inc.
Family Services of Western PA
Chartiers MH/MR Center
Mon-Yough Community Services, Inc
Mercy Behavioral Health
Staunton Clinic
Turtle Creek Valley MH/MR, Inc.
Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic (WPIC)