Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of In Re: Kandase J. Testa, on behalf of herself and her minor child, Barbara J. Testa, dated March 21, 1977.
James Bukac, for petitioners.
Linda M. Gunn, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 634]
Kandase J. Testa has appealed from an order of a Hearing Examiner of the Department of Public Welfare dismissing her appeal from a determination of the Venango County Board of Assistance that her assistance should be discontinued because the appeal had not been timely filed. We affirm the Hearing Examiner's order.
Mrs. Testa applied for cash assistance for herself and her minor child under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program on December 5, 1973. On December 7, 1973, cash assistance in the amount of seventy-seven dollars ($77.00) per month was authorized. This grant was computed by allowing one hundred twenty dollars ($120.00) for food, clothing and incidentals for two people plus twelve dollars ($12.00) for utilities. From this total of one
[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 635]
hundred thirty-two dollars ($132.00), fifty-five dollars ($55.00) was deducted as income considered to be available to Mrs. Testa from her father. On December 28, 1973, Mrs. Testa went to the county assistance office and reported that she had begun to receive a military allotment of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per month from her husband who was in the Army. In response, the County Board of Assistance informed Mrs. Testa by means of a PA 162-A form dated December 28, 1973 that because her income now exceeded the assistance allowance to which she was entitled, the cash assistance for her and her child would be discontinued as of January 22, 1974. This notice also informed Mrs. Testa of her right to appeal from this determination within thirty days. Mrs. Testa did not appeal.
Upon the discontinuance of cash assistance to Mrs. Testa, medically needy (green card) assistance benefits were authorized on January 22, 1974. Redeterminations of Mrs. Testa's eligibility for this medical assistance were made on January 2, 1975 and December 11, 1975. Mrs. Testa's claims that at the January 2, 1975 redetermination interview, she applied for cash assistance by orally requesting that it be reinstated because, by reason of her divorce from her husband on February 23, 1974, the one hundred dollar ($100.00) monthly allotment was since that date being paid solely as child support. No action was taken by the Venango County Board of Assistance on this alleged application. On November 24, 1976, Mrs. Testa formally applied for cash assistance benefits which were granted on November 26, 1976. On January 18, 1977, Mrs. Testa requested a Department of Public Welfare Fair Hearing seeking retroactive benefits from January 22, 1974 to November 26, 1976. At the Fair Hearing, the Venango County Board of Assistance raised the issue of the timeliness of Mrs. Testa's appeal.
[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 636]
The Hearing Examiner dismissed her appeal as not timely filed and Mrs. Testa has appealed to this Court.
The only issue before this Court is the timeliness of Testa's appeal. DPW-OIM-PA ...