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VERONICA KORBEL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/12/79)

decided: December 12, 1979.

VERONICA KORBEL, 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 Veronica Korbel, dated April 12, 1978.

COUNSEL

Dana McBride Breslin, for appellant.

Betty F. Perry, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Crumlish

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 633]

Veronica Korbel appeals from an order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which affirmed the Delaware County Board of Assistance (DCBA) termination of Medical Assistance (MA) to the Korbel family.

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 634]

At the time of termination, Veronica Korbel, her disabled husband and five children, received a monthly income of $675.00 in Federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI)*fn1 benefits under Subchapter II of the Social Security Act. Accordingly, Mr. and Mrs. Korbel received $420 per month in their own name and Mrs. Korbel received $255 monthly as representative payee for the children.

The DCBA terminated MA benefits after finding that the family's available monthly income exceeded the level established as "medically needy" under the Public Welfare Code.*fn2 Available income was calculated in accordance with PAEM, Section 177.83.*fn3

The issue is whether OASDI benefits paid to a parent as representative payee of her children may be considered as a resource available to the family's support for MA eligibility purposes and whether the inclusion of such income violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution and Pennsylvania Constitution.

Income which may be considered by state welfare authorities in determining eligibility for MA is governed by federal law. Carr v. Department of Public Welfare, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 254, 398 A.2d 1088 (1979).

Federal regulations governing MA income standards and eligibility provide that the agency must use an income standard to determine eligibility of families of three or more that at least equals the eligibility ...


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