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SUSAN E. HASSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/15/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 15, 1983.

SUSAN E. HASSON, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of: Susan Hasson, Case No. 33066D.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Piatek, for petitioner.

Roger T. Margolis, Assistant Attorney General, with him Bradford Dorrance, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 83]

Susan E. Hasson (petitioner) appeals from an order of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which affirmed the County Assistance Office's determination of ineligibility for her assistance unit. The denial of General Assistance was based on a finding that her husband had refused to sign an acknowledgment of liability on the house in which they lived and which he and his mother owned.

55 Pa. Code § 257.21(c)(4) provides that the owner of real property will be liable for the assistance received by himself and certain of his relatives. And 55 Pa. Code § 257.24(a)(ii) provides that if a person who is liable for reimbursement refuses to sign the proper acknowledgment of liability, assistance will be discontinued.

The petitioner challenges the ruling of the DPW on the basis that her husband is not an "owner" of the property in question.*fn1

Our scope of factual review is limited to a determination of whether or not the record contains substantial evidence to support the findings of fact. Palmer v. Department of Public Welfare, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 407, 291 A.2d 313 (1972).

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 84]

The petitioner admitted that her husband's name was on the deed to the property in question as "a co-owner", and this testimony was corroborated by an employee of the DPW who testified that the records in the county courthouse listed both the petitioner's husband and his mother as the owners of the property. The petitioner has also admitted that her husband refused to sign the required acknowledgment of liability.

We believe, therefore, that the finding of the DPW on this issue is clearly supported by substantial evidence, and we will affirm the conclusion of the DPW that benefits must be denied.

Order

And Now, this 15th day of June, 1983, the order of the Department of Public Welfare in the above-captioned matter is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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