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SHARON R. OWENS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/18/83)

decided: July 18, 1983.

SHARON R. OWENS, 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: Sharon R. Owens, No. 33661.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. Meister, for petitioner.

Jason W. Manne, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 495]

This is an appeal by Sharon R. Owens of an order of the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) which denied her a special one-time grant to purchase an automobile. We affirm.

Sharon R. Owens was receiving public assistance in the amount of $318.00 per month for herself and her four year old twins. In September of 1981, Owens secured a job in a department store and sought a grant to purchase an automobile under Department regulations*fn1 in order to transport her twins to a day care center and herself to work. At the time of the request, Owens owned and operated a 1967 Plymouth.

The York County Assistance Office denied Owens' request and she appealed. A hearing was conducted and on December 8, 1981, the hearing officer affirmed the denial of the grant. On December 18, 1981, the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals affirmed

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 496]

    the hearing officer's determination and Owens filed a request for reconsideration with the Secretary. On January 29, 1982, the Secretary affirmed the decision of the Director. Appeal to this Court followed.

Department regulations restrict the availability of special grants to individuals who demonstrate need for the allowance. 55 Pa. Code ยง 175.23(c)(2) provides, in pertinent part:

A nonrecurring one-time grant may be authorized for an allowance to meet the actual minimum cost, subject to the specified maximum allowances for any of the following items provided an individual shows that these items are needed in order to apply for or accept employment or training*fn2 which will result in decreasing or preventing his need for assistance.

(iv) . . . [A] down payment on [an] automobile, subject to a maximum of $200 plus the cost of state inspection fee, automobile license plates, and driver's license if there is no other means of ...


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