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PAULETTE BROWN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/22/84)

decided: March 22, 1984.

PAULETTE BROWN, 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: Paulette Brown, Case No. 57137-D.

COUNSEL

Robert F. Bensing, for petitioner.

Jean E. Graybill, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Barry and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri. Judge Barry dissents.

Author: Barbieri

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 110]

This is an appeal from an order of the Secretary (Secretary) of the Department of Public Welfare (D.P.W.) reversing a decision of the D.P.W.'s Office of Hearings and Appeals which awarded state funded general assistance benefits to Paulette Brown (Petitioner). We affirm.

Petitioner, who is separated from her husband, receives support payments from her spouse, by way of military allotments, pursuant to a separation agreement which reads in pertinent part as follows:

Whereas, the parties do confirm the separation and hereby make arrangements in connection therewith, including the settlement of property rights, the custody, support and education of their child or children, support and maintenance of the wife and all of the rights and obligations growing out of the marriage relationship; and,

5. The wife also agrees that for so long as the husband shall maintain the child support payments incorporated herein, then for all income tax purposes, State and Federal, the husband shall have the right to claim the issue of the marriage to wit: Terrance J. Brown, Eugene M. Brown, Jr., Candy M. Brown and Yvette A. Brown as dependents and receive therefore the deduction. . . .

6. The wife shall retain custody of the said children, and the husband will be accorded visitation rights at the discretion of the wife. Husband agrees to pay the wife $450.00 per month, which amount will be for the support of the children.

[ 81 Pa. Commw. Page 111]

On September 15, 1980, Petitioner applied to the Blair County Assistance Office (CAO) for state funded General Assistance (GA) benefits for herself alone. The CAO subsequently determined that Petitioner was receiving $400.00 per month in support payments from her husband, rather than the $450.00 per month called for in their separation agreement, and concluded that these payments were not legally restricted to the use of Petitioner's children, and hence, had to be considered in determining Petitioner's ...


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