Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of: Ana Morales Soto, Case No. 58447 C.
Eugene F. Zenobi, with him Alan Linder, for appellant.
Darius G. C. Moss, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 533]
This is an appeal from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) affirming an order of the Berks County Board of Assistance (Board) reducing Ana Morales Soto's (Appellant) Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) grant. We affirm.
Appellant and her nine year old grandson, Nelson Soto, constitute an assistance unit. Reuben Soto, who is not the father of Nelson, is Appellant's son, lives in the household but is not included in the assistance unit. Reuben is employed, and has a gross monthly income of $425.00.*fn1
Appellant has been receiving an AFDC $220.00 monthly grant. On authority of Sections 3234.6 and 3234.63 of the Public Assistance Manual, the Board ordered Appellant's cash grant reduced by $50.00 per month to reflect contributions Reuben, as a Legally Responsible Relative (LRR), Pa. Manual Section 3237.11, can make available from his wages.
At the Departmental hearing, Appellant testified that Reuben lived with her, gave her $12 per week when he was working, and that it was she who provided Board with Reuben's wage information. Department affirmed the Board and this appeal followed.
As we have often said, the scope of review of decisions of the Department, relating to payment of cash grants is limited by the Administrative Agency Law, Act of June 4, 1945, P.L. 1388, 71 P.S. § 1710.1 et seq. to a determination
[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 534]
of whether the Department's decision was supported by substantial evidence in accord with the Law, and whether one's constitutional rights were violated, Bowen v. Department of Public Welfare, 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 144, 343 A.2d 690 (1975); Earley v. Department of Public Welfare, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 17, 317 A.2d 677 (1974).
The sole question presented to us is: Did Department in failing to make an independent inquiry to determine the actual amount which the legally responsible relative can afford to contribute act ...