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02/10/88 HELEN M. STOCKTON v. INDIANA DEPARTMENT

Filed : February 10, 1988.

HELEN M. STOCKTON, BY HER NEXT FRIEND, WILLIAM M. STOCKTON, JR., APPELLANT (PLAINTIFF BELOW),
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE; DONALD L. BLINZINGER, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE; ST. JOSEPH COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE; AND ROBERT L. GOSHERT, DIRECTOR OF THE ST. JOSEPH COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, APPELLEES (DEFENDANTS BELOW)



APPEAL FROM THE MARSHAL CIRCUIT COURT The Honorable Michael D. Cook, Judge Cause No. CTC-85-181

Conover, P.j., Miller, P.j., and Hoffman, J., concur.

Author: Conover

CONOVER, P.J.

Plaintiff-Appellant Helen M. Stockman (Stockman) appeals the denial of medicaid benefits to her by the Indiana Department of Welfare (IDW).

We affirm.

Stockton presents eight issues for review. We restate them as

1. whether the "first day of the month" rule is a valid rule when it had not been properly promulgated under the federal Administrative Procedure Act;

2. whether the trial court erred by receiving into evidence letters from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) when these letters were not part of the administrative record;

3. whether the "first day of the month rule" is a properly promulgated state regulation;

4. whether the court erred by relying upon an Indiana Medical Manual, which is based upon a repealed Indiana statute, when calculating Stockton's available resources;

5. whether the court erred by finding Stockton's resources exceeded $1,500 for July and August, 1984;

6. whether Stockton's guardian received proper notice of the "first day of the month" rule; and

7. whether Stockton's Fourteenth amendment rights were violated by the "first day of the month" rule.

On August 29, 1984, Stockton's guardian filed an application for medicaid benefits with the St. Joseph County Department of Public Welfare (County). Stockton was granted benefits effective September 1, 1984, but was denied retroactive benefits for July and August, 1984. The County found Stockton had resources exceeding $1,500 on the first day of each of the denied months. Under IC 12-1-7-18.5, an individual's resources must be below $1,500 to qualify for medicaid benefits. 470 IAC 9.1-3-1 requires resource calculations to be made on the first day of each month. The County found Stockton's resources were valued at $2,706.81 on August 1, 1984 and $2,058.79 on July 1, 1984. Stockton's guardian claimed he had written a check for $1,738.08 on Stockton's account on August 1, 1984 for Stockton's July health care. Similarly, he claims Stockton had incurred expenses which had not yet been paid on July 1, 1984 which would have qualified her for medicaid benefits for July.

IPW used the "first day of the month" rule to deny Stockton benefits. A hearing officer sustained IPW's determination. The hearing officer was affirmed by IPW in an administrative decision. This decision was appealed to the Marshall County Circuit Court ...


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