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GENEVA W. SEASE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/11/79)

decided: April 11, 1979.

GENEVA W. SEASE, 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 Geneva W. Sease, dated January 25, 1978.

COUNSEL

William C. Anderson, with him Lila Shapero and Joanne C. Betlam, for appellant.

Linda M. Gunn, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 598]

This is an appeal from a fair hearing decision of the Department of Public Welfare which found that Geneva W. Sease (petitioner) was not eligible for a waiver of restitution of an overpayment of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits which she was receiving for her grandchildren. We affirm.

The facts are basically these. Petitioner is 68 years old and is illiterate. When her daughter died in 1970 she took over the care of the daughter's two children. In doing so she transferred the children's

[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 599]

AFDC payments from her daughter's name to her own. She received AFDC benefits from August 21, 1970 to February 24, 1974. In December of 1972 petitioner began receiving social security benefits for the children. She received a lump sum of $3,723 and payments of $153 per month per child. This money raised her income level to the point where she was no longer eligible for public assistance. However, she continued to receive AFDC benefits until February 24, 1974 when the York County Assistance Office (CAO) redetermined her status and ended her benefits. On October 7, 1977, the CAO presented petitioner with a notice that a claim had been established against her for $3,439.60. Appellant filed for a fair hearing, where the hearing officer found against her and this appeal followed.

Petitioner asserts that there was not substantial evidence for the hearing officer to find that she did not qualify for the following exemption from restitution established in the Department of Public Welfare Public Assistance Manual:

(e) Exemptions from restitution. Restitution will be waived on overpayments that are as follows:

(1) Due solely to administrative error. The overpayment will be due to administrative error only if all of the following conditions exist:

(i) The County Office failed to get, interpret, or apply appropriately the facts about the ...


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