Appeals from the Orders of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Cynthia Lundy, No. L-299659-C, and in case of Appeal of Irene Battle, No. N-182771-C.
Joseph Mesar, for Cynthia Lundy, petitioner.
Thomas C. Reed, for Irene Battle, petitioner.
Catherine Stewart, Assistant Attorney General, with her Mary Frances Grabowski, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
Petitioner Cynthia Lundy appeals from a final order of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) affirming the reduction in the monthly grant for her children under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC). Petitioner Irene Battle appeals from a similar order. As the appeals present the same material facts and raise the same legal issues, we consolidated them for argument and disposition.
Each petitioner has two children for whom she received a monthly AFDC grant of $247.00. Neither petitioner was included in the AFDC grant or the recipient of any public assistance for herself. Each petitioner had a spouse who was not the natural or adoptive father of her two children. And, each petitioner
obtained a court order requiring her husband to pay her $200.00 monthly support.
As a result of the support orders, the Allegheny County Assistance Office proposed to reduce the monthly AFDC grants for the children to $102.00, in each case. After appeal hearings the reductions were affirmed as the final decision of the Department.*fn1
In each case the county assistance office treated $145.00 of the $200.00 support order as income available to the petitioner's children, relying on Sections 183.22 and 183.44 of the Public Assistance Eligibility Manual, 55 Pa. Code §§ 183.22, 183.44. Those Sections create a presumption that the income of a legally ...