Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Ms. Lorene C. Weiss, dated August 18, 1976.
Mark I. Weinstein, with him Jeffry L. Gilbert and Harold J. Funt, for appellant.
Robert B. Hoffman, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 345]
This petition for review concerns an adjudication and order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) dated August 18, 1976, finding Ms. Lorene C. Weiss (Petitioner) liable for overpayments made to her by the DPW, and ordering her to make restitution thereof.
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 346]
Petitioner and her four children were receiving public assistance in August of 1975. The category of this assistance grant was Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). In August of 1975, at the request of her caseworker, Petitioner applied for Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits for two of her children. In October 1975, SSI benefits were granted to the children, retroactive to August 1, 1975. On September 29, 1975, Petitioner signed a PA 176-K reimbursement form acknowledging her liability to repay the DPW from any SSI awards received by the two children.
After receiving the initial lump sum SSI checks in October of 1975, Petitioner immediately reported this fact to her caseworker and tendered the checks to her. The caseworker refused the checks and informed Petitioner that the two children could not be removed from the AFDC grant until the County Board received formal notification of the award from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Formal notification from the SSA was not received by the County Board of Assistance until April 8, 1976, at which time petitioner's grant was reduced from $349 to $291 per month. The County Board of Assistance then requested the Petitioner to make restitution for the AFDC benefits paid to the two children during the period they had also been receiving SSI benefits, but the Petitioner refused to comply.*fn1
Section 3814.1 of the Department of Public Welfare Public Assistance Manual (DPW-Pa. Manual) provides that under certain circumstances, recipients of public assistance are not liable for overpayment of benefits. In pertinent part, it states as follows:
[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 347]
Exemptions from Restitution
Restitution is waived on ...