Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Wilma Kniepkamp, Case No. 02-P-507585-J.
Lorraine D. Taylor, for petitioner.
Bruce G. Baron, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 573]
Petitioner, Wilma Kniepkamp, appeals from an order of the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Hearings and Appeals which upheld the County Assistance Office's termination of Petitioner's transportation benefits.
Petitioner is a retarded adult who attends the Therapeutic Activity Center of the Mon-Yough Mental Health/Mental Retardation agency, where she receives educational training. As part of her benefits under the Supplemental Security Income Program,*fn1 the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) provided Petitioner with a monthly transportation grant which covered transportation to the Therapeutic Activity Center as well as to psychiatric services provided at another location.
On May 17, 1982 the County Assistance Officer issued notice to Petitioner that her transportation allowance to the Therapeutic Activity Center would be discontinued because it did not qualify as "medical transportation" under a directive issued by DPW which stated:
The only services for which a special allowance for medical transportation allowance may be considered are acceptable diagnostic or treatment procedures provided by a licensed or certified provider. Such providers include physicians, dentists, pharmacies, hospitals, partial hospitalization, clinics and nursing homes. Day care and sheltered workshops are not medical providers.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 574]
On appeal, the Hearing Officer upheld the County's determination, holding that the Therapeutic Activity Center was not a medical provider. The Hearing Officer's decision was affirmed by the Office of Hearings and Appeals, and the appeal to this Court followed.
Petitioner argues that whether or not her transportation qualifies as medical transportation, she is nonetheless entitled to an allowance under Section 175.23(b)(3) of the Public Assistance Manual (Manual), 55 Pa. Code § 175.23(b)(3), which authorizes ...