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ROBERT ERNST v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/26/78)

decided: September 26, 1978.

ROBERT ERNST, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of In Re: Robert Ernst, dated March 25, 1977.

COUNSEL

Donald Driscoll, for petitioner.

Jean E. Graybill, with her Linda Gunn, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 644]

Robert Ernst appeals here from an order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which affirmed

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 645]

    the decision of the Columbia County Board of Assistance (Board) denying him welfare benefits and determining that he would remain ineligible for a period of thirty days after the date of his application.

On January 6, 1977 the appellant telephoned his supervisor at the Linette Candy Company (Linette), where he had worked for approximately three weeks, to inform him that he would be late for work that day. The employer then told him not to bother to come in because he was fired. In response to his inquiry as to the reason for his termination, the appellant was told that he had missed too much time because he had been absent from work approximately one day each week. On January 19, 1977 he applied to the Board for general assistance benefits and informed the county worker that although he had been fired for missing too much time, his absences were due to illness. He had no verification, however, of his alleged illness. He was informed that the DPW Regulation § 3182*fn1 made him ineligible for assistance because of the manner in which his employment was terminated. He was further advised that he would remain ineligible for a period of thirty days from the date of his application for benefits pursuant to Section 432.3 of the Public Welfare Code.*fn2 Thirty days later, on February 19, 1977, the appellant failed to keep an appointment at the office where he was scheduled to reapply for benefits, but he did make a reapplication on March 2, 1977, at which time benefits were granted.

On January 27, 1977 and again on February 25, 1977 the appellant registered with the Bureau of Employment Security seeking employment. On January 27, 1977, he also filed an appeal from the January 19,

[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 6461977]

denial of assistance and a fair hearing was held on March 3, 1977 by a hearing officer of the DPW who sustained the denial. This order was later affirmed by final administrative action of the Hearing and Appeals Unit of the DPW and this appeal followed.

The appellant argues that Regulation § 3182, upon which the DPW based the decision here appealed, is neither consistent with nor properly implements Section 432.3 of the Public Welfare Code. At the time of the appellant's ...


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