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GENEVA GOUDELOCK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/19/79)

decided: April 19, 1979.

GENEVA GOUDELOCK, 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 Goudelock, dated December 7, 1977.

COUNSEL

Robert A. Berkowitz, for petitioner.

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

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 116]

Geneva Goudelock has appealed from an order of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare upholding the decision of Allegheny County Board of

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 117]

Assistance (CAO) that she was ineligible for a one-time Emergency Fuel Assistance grant.

Mrs. Goudelock and her adult daughter, Edna Goudelock, who suffers from disabling arthritis, reside together in a five room house owned by Geneva. Edna pays her mother eighty dollars a month for rent and thirty dollars a month for fish and vegetables on her diet. The CAO denied the application on the ground that the applicant and her daughter were a two person family and their combined income exceeded the income eligibility limits. At the fair hearing appeal, the Hearing Examiner accepted Geneva Goudelock's contention that she was actually a one person family and that she provided room and board to her daughter in return for a regular monthly payment. The Hearing Examiner decided, however, that the mother's gross monthly income exceeded the income eligibility limit for a single person family. The appellant now asserts that the Hearing Examiner erred by including the thirty dollar monthly payment from Edna used by appellant to purchase fish and vegetables for the diet prescribed by Edna's physician as part of the appellant's gross monthly income.

One of the basic eligibility requirements of the Emergency Fuel Assistance program was level of income. The regulations adopted specifically for this program, found at 7 Pa. B. 2139-2142, provide:

A. Income eligibility.

For the purpose of this program, all money received by the applicant and his family is considered income. There is no differentiation between the various sources of income. Income is to be figured on a yearly basis. Gross income figure is to be used.

The comments prefacing the regulations state that because of the limited money available, the income eligibility section was ...


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