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DONALD BRANDT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/06/81)

decided: April 6, 1981.

DONALD BRANDT, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Appeal of Donald Brandt, dated January 4, 1980.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Dixon, for petitioner.

Howard Ulan, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Macphail

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 267]

Donald Brandt (Petitioner) appeals from an order of the Hearing and Appeal Unit of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) dated January 4, 1980, that denied the Petitioner's request for an abatement or modification of the liability assessment for costs incurred by his son who is a resident at the Children's Rehabilitation Center (Center), Butler, Pa.

The Petitioner's son was placed at the Center through the Cumberland-Perry Mental Health and Mental Retardation Program in 1976. Pursuant to Section

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 268502]

of the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966 (Act),*fn1 the Petitioner was assessed a liability of $152.00 per month for the period June 1979 to June 1980 based upon a determination of Petitioner's income and expenses as of June 6, 1979.*fn2 On June 28, 1979, the Petitioner requested a review of the assessment. The Petitioner was notified on August 29, 1979 that the liability was modified to $76.00 per month for the first six months and $152.00 per month for the second six months of the assessment year.

On September 25, 1979, the Petitioner filed a written request for an administrative hearing to consider the amount of this new assessment alleging that his income had been reduced because he was now working only five days instead of six days a week.*fn3

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 269]

A hearing was held on November 19, 1979. The Petitioner appeared pro se. The request for modification or abatement was denied. In his adjudication the examiner noted that the only oral testimony by the Petitioner bearing upon the question of abatement or modification concerned transportation expenses that exceeded the maximum allowable under DPW rules and regulations.*fn4

Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether the adjudication was in accordance with law, whether constitutional rights were violated, and whether all necessary findings of fact were supported by substantial evidence. Skehan v. Department of ...


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