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MARLENE BLACKNER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/29/77)

decided: November 29, 1977.

MARLENE BLACKNER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Ms. Marlene Blackner, No. 11 0082342 C.

COUNSEL

James M. Gdula, with him Edward R. Schellhammer, and Frank F. Hill, for petitioner.

John A. Kane, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr. and Rogers, sitting as a panel of two. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 533]

This is an appeal from the order of a hearing examiner of appellee Department of Public Welfare (Department), which upheld the denial by the Cambria County Board of Assistance (Board) of a request by appellant, a recipient of benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, for a special allowance to cover the excess of her work expenses over earnings. We affirm.

Appellant is the mother of three minor children and received the maximum AFDC benefits for a four-person

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 534]

    household of $330.00 monthly during the summer of 1976, although her monthly grant during the school year was $260.20. During that same summer, she was receiving an average monthly gross wage of $179.70 from a part-time job she has held since November 1974. Under the Department's Work Incentive Program (WIN), the first $30.00 of total monthly gross earned income and one-third of the remainder are disregarded in determining the amount by which assistance is to be reduced because of employment. Work-related expenses, such as necessary transportation costs and mandatory payroll deductions, are also deducted. For June, July and August 1976, the Board deducted $79.70 of appellant's average monthly gross wage as a WIN "incentive deduction" and $35.30 as work-related expenses for transportation and payroll deductions. In addition, the Board deducted $134.40 monthly for child care, a work-related expense necessitated by the children's summer vacations from school. Appellant's monthly deductions, which totaled $249.40, thus exceeded her average gross wages by $69.70 and no reduction in assistance was made.

In October 1976, appellant requested that the Board grant her an additional monthly allowance to cover the excess of her work expenses over earnings for the three summer months in which child care was needed. Her reasoning was that her earnings and maximum grant during the summer months are offset by her increased child care expenses for that period to such an extent that she receives a net income of only $10.00 monthly from working and that her combined monthly income during that period is $64.60 less than her monthly income during the school year.*fn1

[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 535]

Appellant's request was denied by the Board. After a Department "Fair Hearing," the hearing examiner concluded that the relevant Department Manual Regulations, 3212 and 3213, "contain no provisions for an allowance to cover the excess of expenses over earnings." This appeal followed.

Appellant contends that her request comes within the scope of Department Manual Regulation 3213.2(B), which provides "recurring allowances" for child care where the care cannot be provided by other family ...


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