Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Mrs. Stephanie Caddy, No. 34953-TC.
Edward R. Schellhammer, for appellant.
Darius G. C. Moss, Assistant Attorney General, with him Marx S. Leopold, Assistant Attorney General, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Kramer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 318]
This is an appeal from an adjudication and order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which sustained the action of the Cambria County Board of Assistance (CBA) in terminating the medical assistance of Stephanie Caddy (appellant). Our scope of review is limited to determining whether or not the adjudication was in accordance with law and supported by substantial evidence. Krug v. Department of Public Welfare, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 563, 308 A.2d 168 (1973).
Questioned by this appeal, in the light of Federal statutes and regulations, is the method used by the CBA to determine the appellant's income and the propriety of the DPW regulation concerning the computation of income upon which the determination was based.
The adjudication reveals that the original CBA termination was based upon the following facts. The appellant and her teenage daughter receive Social Security
[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 319]
benefits in the amount of $209.40 per month, and the appellant also receives $40.00 a month for room and board from each of three others of her children living in her home. Based on DPW Regulation 9223.132,*fn1 Five Dollars of each $40.00 rent and board payment is considered profit, and the three payments thus increase the appellant's income by $15.00 per month, bringing it to a total income of $2,692.80 per year. The medical assistance exemption for a family of two is $2,500.00, and this amount plus annual medical expenses for the appellant and her daughter ($33.00) totals an exemption of $2,533.00. See DPW Regulation 9223.31. The appellee explains that one-half of the difference between the annual gross income and the total exemption equals $79.90, which is deemed to be the annual income available to meet medical costs, and that, therefore, medical assistance is unnecessary under DPW Regulation 9223.331.
Appellant complains that this computation is improper because it includes the $15.00 "profit" figure from room and board charges which, she contends, is based on an arbitrary regulation inconsistent with Federal directives.
Although participation by the States in a Federal program to provide medical assistance for the "medically needy" is optional, if the State is to remain eligible for Federal funding it must comply with Federal statutes and regulations. See Crammer v. Commonwealth, 449 Pa. 528, 296 A.2d 815 (1972). In Pennsylvania the Legislature has decided to provide medical ...