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BERNARD GROBLEWSKI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/29/87)

decided: July 29, 1987.

BERNARD GROBLEWSKI, 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: Bernard Groblewski, dated September 14, 1984.

COUNSEL

John G. Swatkoski, Meyer and Swatkoski, for petitioner.

Jason W. Manne, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 103]

Bernard Groblewski (Petitioner) appeals a determination of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) denying him medical assistance benefits. Petitioner applied for medical assistance benefits for nursing home care on March 8, 1984, and was found ineligible by the county assistance office (CAO). Petitioner appealed from this initial denial and after a hearing the DPW's hearing examiner reversed and found him eligible for benefits. DPW's Office of Hearings and Appeals reversed the decision of the hearing examiner and this appeal followed.

Petitioner and his wife had resided with their son and daughter-in-law for approximately twelve years prior to his application for medical assistance.*fn1 Petitioner's son testified that during this time he and his wife had provided his parents with housekeeping services and that his parents did not contribute to the household

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 104]

    expenses. Petitioner's son also testified that he is a doctor and has provided his father with free medical care, although his father maintained his own medical insurance coverage.*fn2

Petitioner and his wife had $10,201.82 in a joint checking account on February 17, 1984. On that date $9,000.00 was withdrawn from this account and deposited in the son's name. Petitioner also had a joint account with his son which had a balance of $6,742.54 on February 21, 1984. On that date, the funds in this account were also withdrawn and deposited in the son's name alone.

On rejecting Petitioner's application, the CAO determined that the transfer of funds was for less than fair consideration, raising a presumption that the transfer was made with intent to defraud the Commonwealth. The hearing examiner found that the presumption was rebutted. Therefore, the transferred funds were available for Petitioner's nursing home care.*fn3

Petitioner contends on appeal that the transfer of funds was for fair consideration and without any intent to defraud the Commonwealth. Our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether the adjudication was in accordance with law, whether any constitutional rights were violated, and whether all the necessary findings of fact were supported by substantial ...


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