Breakfast and Lunch Program Denials in Pennsylvania

School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program denial letters may be sent to some applicants, and they will keep their children from receiving free school meals. A National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program denial letter is typically the result of either an incomplete application or ineligibility when it comes to the required household size and income guidelines set by the federal government. However, the recipient of an NSLP or SBP denial notification has a way to appeal the denial decision. To learn how to appeal a NSLP denial in Pennsylvania, continue reading the sections below.

Pennsylvania National School Lunch Application Denial Notices

Whether it is an NSLP denial or a School Breakfast application denial, all rejected applicants in Pennsylvania will receive a written Notice of Application Denial or Notice of Adverse Action in the mail. Both of these Pennsylvania free school meal denial forms will be delivered either via mail or email to the adult who originally completed the form in Pennsylvania. Any appeal made will pertain to the NSLP, SBP and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). In this way, the NSLP denial appeal process is similar to the initial sign-up process. Residents should also note that an NSLP and SLP denial notice will only be sent to rejected new applicants, whereas an Action notice will only be sent to those current participants whose free school meal benefits have been reduced or terminated. Recipients of a PA School Breakfast application denial will be entitled to this written notice and should consider that online notifications, apart from email, are not considered written and neither is an automated phone call. Should an applicant receive a notice over the phone, he or she can expect to receive a written notification through the mail as well.

A new applicant's written notification of denial will inform him or her about how to appeal a SBP denial or other program rejection by informing him or her of the process for filing. Similarly, a current recipient of benefits who gets an Adverse Action notice will be informed as to the Pennsylvania SBP denial appeal process and process for other programs within the notice. In addition to this information, current recipients will also be informed of their advance notice period, which will last a certain number of days before meal benefits are withdrawn. To learn more about the National School Lunch Program denial notice, you can download our comprehensive guide today.

Pennsylvania NSLP Denial Appeal Process & Reduced/Terminated Benefits Appeal Process

New applicants who have received a PA National School Lunch program denial or other type of denial can appeal the decision, along with current recipients who have seen a change or termination in benefits. In order to appeal a school meal denial in Pennsylvania, there are two major steps: to request an informal conference with the PA Department of Education and then to request formal hearing with an unbiased official.

  1. Request a conference with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    Applicants may start the denied NSLP appeal process in PA by first requesting an informal conference with the Department of Education. This conference will allow appellants to voice their concerns to try to reverse the rejection decision. If this school breakfast program denial conference does not help, then an appellant may request a formal hearing.

  2. Request a formal hearing with an impartial official

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    A formal hearing within the NSLP or SBP denial appeal process in Pennsylvania will differ from the initial conference in that it will be subject to significant federal regulations and will be presided over by an unbiased official with the Department of Education. This person will be familiar with the eligibility requirements of the school meal program and will have had no stake in determining the appellant's initial rejection. Additionally, this hearing will allow for the appellant to provide evidence and argue for his or her meal benefits. Moreover, this portion of the process for appealing an SBP denial in PA will allow both parties to confront and cross-examine witnesses and will provide a written record of the case lasting up to three years. A final decision regarding an NSLP denial appeal will be made effective within 10 days and will work in conjunction with any of the current meal benefits that the appellant has maintained during the process. In this way, the decision whether for or against a reduction or termination will not remove benefits until after the advance notice period has ended.

For more specific information about how to appeal a NSLP denial in Pennsylvania, you can download our complimentary guide today.

Meal Benefits During the NSLP or SBP Denial Appeal Process In Pennsylvania

During the appeal process for NSLP or SBP application denials in Pennsylvania, families that are current recipients of meal benefits in Pennsylvania who have had either reduced or terminated benefits, who have promptly appealed the decision, will have their benefits stay intact. This will last through to the end of the process and will stay at the same level the benefits were at before the reduction or termination was made. However, PA SBP denial appeal filers should note that this appeal must be made within the advance notice period after receiving the initial notice. If the household has made the appeal after this period, then meal benefits will be reduced or terminated as notified indicated within the notice.

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What Is the Division of Family and Children Services in Pennsylvania?

The state of Pennsylvania provides services for families and children who are most in need. The division provides resources for free and reduced lunch, food stamps and temporary cash assistance for needy families. To find out if you are eligible for these services, download our comprehensive guide to review the eligibility requirements for each program.


How Can I Apply for Assistance Through the Division of Family and Children Services?

In order to be considered for the benefit programs offered by the Division of Family and Children Services, you must submit an application via an approved method. Additionally, many of the services provided by the division have eligibility requirements that you must meet to obtain benefits. Learn all about the application processes for these programs by downloading our guide.