Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in the case of Appeal of: Marjorie S. Farrell, No. 8060-C.
Joseph A. Campagna, Jr., with him James D. Shomper, Jr., for petitioner.
Edward P. Carey, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 70 Pa. Commw. Page 278]
Petitioner, Marjorie S. Farrell, has brought this appeal from a Department of Public Welfare (DPW) order dated February 15, 1979, terminating Aid to
[ 70 Pa. Commw. Page 279]
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits as a result of Petitioner's refusal to sign a form PA-9 reimbursement agreement. For the reasons which follow, we must reverse.
Petitioner resides with her husband, Duane H. Farrell, and her three minor children by a previous marriage. Mr. Farrell is not the father of the children nor has he adopted them; as a result, Mr. Farrell is not a legally responsible relative of the children and has no duty, under DPW regulations, to support them. Mr. and Mrs. Farrell are owners, as tenants by the entireties, of real property in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. Farrell refuses to allow the property to be considered a resource for the children's benefit and has refused to sign a Form PA-9 also.
Petitioner relies upon the following regulation adopted by DPW on June 1, 1977, to support her claim that she was not required to sign a form PA-9.
Property owned by the Entireties
Entireties property is property owned jointly by a husband and wife. One spouse cannot without the other spouse's consent use the property to support children for whom both persons are not legally responsible. Therefore, in cases where the assistance recipient is an individual for whom both husband and wife are not legally responsible and neither husband nor wife receives assistance benefits, property owned by the entireties cannot be considered available without the consent of the nonlegally responsible relative. Questionable cases should be referred to claim settlement for determination.
Wherever the caretaker relative has remarried and the spouse has not adopted the caretaker's children, [County Boards of Assstance] are required to ...