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ANN M. EMERICK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/14/79)

decided: November 14, 1979.

ANN M. EMERICK, 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 Ann M. Emerick, dated June 16, 1978.

COUNSEL

Kevin B. Curley, for petitioner.

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

Judges Mencer, DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 286]

Ann M. Emerick (Petitioner) brings this appeal from an order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) affirming a decision of the Chester County Board of Assistance (Board) which terminated payments to Petitioner. Petitioner challenges the termination arguing that it violates her right to equal protection under the United States*fn1 and Pennsylvania*fn2 Constitutions and that it violates the Social Security Act.*fn3 for the reasons which follow, we affirm.

Since August, 1974, Petitioner had been receiving general assistance (GA) payments which, at the time of the proposed termination, totaled $173.00 per month. She lived with her husband who, because of a disabling stroke, received $289.00 per month in Social Security Disability (OASDI) benefits. Petitioner

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 287]

    is the representative payee of her husband's OASDI benefits. In early 1978, Petitioner's eligibility was redetermined and, based upon that redetermination, the Board proposed to discontinue her GA benefits because the income considered available to her from her husband exceeded her needs by assistance standards.*fn4 Petitioner appealed from the redetermination and a fair hearing was held. The hearing examiner sustained the decision of the Board and that order is before us now.

The controversy concerning Petitioner's benefits is based on the fact that she is no longer eligible for benefits because her husband receives OASDI benefits but that she would be eligible if he received Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In reevaluating Petitioner's eligibility, the Board made calculations as follows:*fn5

Mr. Emerick's OASDI

     benefits ...


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