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Diegidio v. Division of Public Welfare of New Jersey Department of Human Services

Decided: December 29, 1986.

DAWN DIEGIDIO, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
DIVISION OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, AND BERGEN COUNTY BOARD OF SOCIAL SERVICES, RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS



On appeal from final decision of the Division of Public Welfare.

Furman, Dreier and Stern. The opinion of the court was delivered by Stern, J.A.D.

Stern

[214 NJSuper Page 532] The Bergen County Board of Social Services denied petitioner's application for emergency assistance pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10:82-5.10. After an initial decision and recommendation to the contrary by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the Director of the Division of Public Welfare (Director) in the Department of Human Services affirmed the Board's denial. Petitioner

appeals from the final administrative determination of the Director.

After an emergent fair hearing, the ALJ issued the following findings of facts embodied in her initial decision:

1. The eligible unit consists of four individuals, petitioner and her children, ages 6, 3 and 2 years.

2. Petitioner obtained employment in July 1985; at that time she was receiving AFDC. She advised her income maintenance worker of her employment. The agency felt that she had not reported income and sought [recoupment;] petitioner did not request a fair hearing. Petitioner continued to work.

3. In September 1985, petitioner and her children moved into a trailer with her boyfriend. Both she and her boyfriend were working at the time.

4. The trailer was located in a trailer park. Petitioner and her boyfriend rented the trailer from its owner. At some point, the landlord refused to accept rental payments, indicating that she did not want petitioner and her boyfriend and her children to remain in the trailer. Although petitioner asked her why, the landlord refused to give reasons. Petitioner was eventually evicted on February 3, 1986 for non-payment of rent. Outstanding rent was approximately $800. The landlord was also demanding approximately $400 as a deposit.

5. Petitioner lost her job in December 1985[.] Her boyfriend lost his job several weeks later.

6. Petitioner applied for emergency shelter assistance on June 11, 1986[.] At that time, she and her children had been living in a motel for two weeks. The motel rent was paid until June 13, 1986. Petitioner had no funds at the time of the application, which was denied.

7. Petitioner re-applied for AFDC on February 14, 1986, which application was approved. At the time, petitioner advised the employee who processed the application that it was important to receive her benefits quickly as she needed them to pay storage costs. Petitioner did not receive her first AFDC benefit until at least the 3rd week of March 1986.

8. As of February 14, 1986, petitioner was accepted in a local shelter, at which time she was advised she would be allowed to remain there for three months. She was subsequently given an extension until June 1, 1986. She was required to leave on May 30, 1986 because of an incident involving another resident. The other resident told someone calling petitioner about an apartment that petitioner was not there, when the other resident knew petitioner was waiting for the call. This led to an argument.

9. While at the shelter, petitioner was required to pay $150 per month in food stamps, the amount of her food stamp benefits. She was also receiving AFDC benefits of $418 per month. Petitioner was entitled to benefits of $465 per month, but was subject to a ...


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