Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Appeal of Loretta Ricci, Case No. M 512-109-J.
Edward Feinstein, for petitioner.
Phillip B. Rosenthal, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 569]
Petitioner, Loretta Ricci, appeals on behalf of her son, Dennis Ricci, from an order of the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Hearings and Appeals which upheld the County Assistance office's termination of transportation benefits to her son.
Dennis Ricci is a retarded adult who is entitled to benefits under the Supplemental Security Income Program.*fn1 As part of his benefits under that program, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) provided Ricci with a special needs grant*fn2 to cover the cost of transportation to the East Hills Work Activity Center in Pittsburgh, where Ricci received training in basic skills.
On March 30, 1982 the County Assistance Office issued an advance notice to Ricci that his transportation allowance would be discontinued because it did not qualify as transportation for "necessary medical care" under Section 175.23(b)(2) of the Public Assistance Manual (Manual).*fn3 The county's determination was upheld on appeal by the Hearing Officer, whose decision was later affirmed by the Office of Hearing and Appeals. Petitioner's request for reconsideration was denied on July 19, 1982, and appeal to this Court followed.
Petitioner does not contend that her son's transportation qualifies as medical transportation under
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 570]
Section 175.23(b)(2) of the Manual. Instead, she argues that the transportation to the Work Activity Center qualifies as "other special transportation" under Section 175.23(b)(3) of the Manual,*fn4 which, at the time of the hearing, stated, in pertinent part:
(3) Other special transportation needs. The cost of transportation and necessary related expenses which cannot be met from other sources will be authorized as a one time grant or included in the computation of the grant if any of the following exist:
(vi) A client needs transportation which is not covered in subsection (b)(2) of this section that is part of the plan of an agency or institution for treatment of the recipient, ...