Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Eldora Gleim, dated October 17, 1978.
Stephen R. Krone, with him G. David Pauline, for petitioner.
Mary F. Grabowski, Assistant Attorney General, with her Linda M. Gunn, for respondent.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge DiSalle.
[ 48 Pa. Commw. Page 357]
This appeal is a challenge to the method of computation utilized by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in calculating Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Eldora Gleim applied for AFDC on May 8, 1978. For purposes of computing the monthly grant, DPW included James E. Gleim within the family unit and considered a portion of his income as available to the family's support. Eldora Gleim contends that her husband's inclusion in the family unit for AFDC grant purposes was improper under Section 602(a)(24) of the Social Security Act*fn1 which provides:
a. A State plan for aid and services to needy families with children must. . . .
(24) provide that if an individual is receiving [SSI] benefits under subchapter XVI of this chapter, then, for the period for which such benefits are received, such individual shall not be regarded as a member of a family for purposes of determining the amount of the benefits of the family under this subchapter and his income and resources shall not be counted as income and resources of a family under this subchapter. . . . (Emphasis added.)
The question on appeal is whether James Gleim was a "recipient" of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits within the meaning of the statute at the time of DPW's grant determination.
[ 48 Pa. Commw. Page 358]
It is undisputed that Gleim was found by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be eligible for SSI benefits as of April 8, 1978. However, SSA neglected to send official notification and accompanying retroactive payments until August 9, 1978. DPW contends that, in consequence, Gleim was not a "recipient" within the terms of the Act until August 9, 1978, and that his inclusion in the family unit was proper. The Geims, on the other hand, argue that Mr. Gleim became a "recipient" as of April 8, 1978, the date commencing his eligibility.
It is axiomatic that a statute may not be construed to reach an absurd or illogical result, and that in the absence of special intent statutory language must be given its clear and plain meaning.
Under 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(24), if an individual is receiving SSI benefits, then " for the period for which such benefits are received " (emphasis added) his income and resources shall not be ...