Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Donald Newton, dated November 29, 1979.
O. Randolph Bragg, with him, Frank J. Bolock, for petitioner.
Jason W. Manne, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Mencer, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Wilkinson, Jr., did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 418]
Donald Newton (petitioner) has appealed from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which upheld the action of the Lackawanna County Assistance Office in requiring reimbursement from the petitioner for general assistance benefits paid from April 1, 1979 through June 7, 1979. We vacate and remand for modification.
In July 1978, while receiving general assistance from DPW, the petitioner applied for federal social security disability and supplemental security income
[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 419]
benefits. He also executed a "Reimbursement Authorization" form at the request of DPW. The form contained the following provisions:
For and in consideration of assistance granted to me by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare from State funds for basic needs until I receive Supplemental Security Income, I authorize the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare to make the first payment of Supplemental Security Benefits for which I am determined to be eligible, for and on my behalf, to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
I further authorize the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to deduct from such first payment the amount of State assistance paid to me in the interim, and after making such deduction, promptly pay the balance, if any, to me.
It is understood that in the event of disagreement with the amount the Department of Public Welfare claims for interim assistance paid to me, I have the right to a hearing by the Department.
DPW continued to pay general assistance to the petitioner until June 18, 1979. Ultimately, the petitioner's application for disability benefits was approved, and he received a lump-sum award of supplemental benefits to cover the 9-month period from July 1, 1978 through March 31, 1979. Payment of this award was sent to DPW in June 1979, and DPW deducted $1,886 as reimbursement for general assistance benefits paid during the 11 1/2-month period from July 1, 1978 through June ...