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GERALDINE COWANS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/20/82)

decided: July 20, 1982.

GERALDINE COWANS, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Geraldine Cowans, No. Q-543992-D.

COUNSEL

Lawrence D. Funsten, for petitioner.

Carol A. Genduso, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 550]

The petitioner challenges a decision of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which denied her a special allowance for transportation costs while she attended the Community College of Allegheny County.

In the 1979-80 school year, the petitioner received a general assistance grant including a transportation allowance from the DPW while she was a part-time student seeking an Associate Degree in Programming. In December of 1980, the DPW proposed to discontinue the petitioner's transportation allowance while she was seeking the same degree and she appealed that decision to a hearing examiner who held that the DPW's policy was not to consider undergraduate college study as training for purposes of determining eligibility for a grant for transportation expenses and upheld the proposed discontinuance of such an allowance. On further appeal, the DPW affirmed the order of the hearing examiner and this petition for review followed.

Section 175.23(c)(3)(i)(A) of the DPW's regulations, 55 Pa. Code ยง 175.23(c)(3)(i)(A), is at issue here and it provides:

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 551]

(c) Grants To Decrease Need For Assistance. Grants to decrease need for assistance will conform with the following:

(3) Recurring grants for expenses related to training. A recurring allowance may be included in the regular grant for either of the following items for a recipient who is in training as specified in this paragraph. . . .

(i) Does not apply to WIN. The actual cost for public transportation or transportation by the automobile of another person, or $.12 a mile for transportation by the automobile of the client, to and from the training site for the following:

(A) A client who is enrolled in or participating in a non-WIN training program or a work experience program that is part of the training plan ...


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