Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Hearings and Appeals, in case of John J. Ondrusek and Jane L. Ondrusek v. Walter Cohen, Secretary, Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania, Case No. 16026.
John J. Ondrusek, petitioner, for himself and wife.
Carol A. Genduso, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 453]
Petitioners, John J. Ondrusek and Jane L. Ondrusek, appeal from a decision of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) which affirmed the calculation of Petitioners' food stamp benefits by the Lebanon County Assistance Office (CAO). We affirm.
The questions presented in this appeal are: whether public assistance payments should be included as income for purposes of calculating food stamp (FS) benefits; and whether court-ordered support payments should be excluded from income for FS purposes.*fn1
Petitioners and their daughter composed a three-member FS household which received $181 per month in FS benefits. When Petitioners' daughter moved out in September of 1983, the CAO reduced Petitioners' FS benefits to $120, based on Petitioners' net monthly income for a two-person household. The CAO sent notice of the reduction to Petitioners on September 19, 1983. Petitioners appealed this computation to DPW, which affirmed.
Petitioners do not challenge the reduction of benefits based on a decrease in the number of persons in
[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 454]
the household. What Petitioners contend is that the CAO's recomputation erroneously included as income the $117 Petitioners receive each month as public assistance, and failed to exclude the $7.50 Petitioners pay each week as court-ordered support arrearages.*fn2
The pertinent regulation is found at 55 Pa. Code § 523.3, which states in part:
(a) General income requirements. All payments received by household members will be income for Food Stamp purposes, except for those specified in subsection (c). The income considered will normally be that income received over a period of certification. Since this is generally a future period, the income considered will be that income anticipated by the household. In addition, adjustments in the form of deductions will ...