CHAPTER 95 - MOTHERS PENSION COMMISSION

AN ACT AMENDING CHAPTER 39 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO MOTHERS' PENSION COMMISSION SO THAT THE PROVISIONS THEREOF MAY CONFORM WITH FEDERAL LAW CONCERNING DEPENDENT CHILDREN.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 39 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of said Chapter 39 and by inserting in lieu thereof the new Chapter 39.

1104. Section 1. Definitions:--As used in this 'Act: "State Department" means the Mothers' Pension Commission as now created.

"Dependent child" means a needy child under the age of sixteen, who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, or aunt, in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home, or any other person, in loco parentis, designated by the Mothers' Pension Commission and the child or the parent or parents, guardian or guardians has/have been continuous resident/ residents of the State of Delaware for a period of one year.

"Assistance" means money payments with respect to a dependent child or children.

"Supplementary Service" means services other than money payments to dependent children and their families in need.

1105. Section 2. This Act shall be administered by the Mothers' Pension Commission. The Commission shall consist of nine persons, three from each County, who shall serve without pay, except for travelling expenses actually incurred in the work of the Commission. Members of the Commission shall be appointed for terms of three years. The present members of the Commission shall continue in office until their respective terms shall expire. The Governor shall appoint successors to fill the vacancies caused by the expiration of the terms of the present members of the Commission and of future members of the Commission. In case of a vacancy caused by death, resignation, refusal to serve or otherwise, the Governor shall make appointments to fill such vacancy or vacancies for the balance of the unexpired term; provided, however, that not more than three Commissioners shall reside in any one County.

1106. Section 3. Eligibility for Assistance to Dependent Children:--Assistance shall be granted under this Act to any dependent child who is living in a suitable family home meeting the standard of care and health fixed by the laws of this State and the rules and regulations of the State Department thereunder.

1107. Section 4. Amount of Assistance:--The amount of assistance and supplementary services which shall be granted for any dependent child shall be determined by the State Department with due regard to the resources and necessary expenditures of the family and the conditions existing in each case and shall be sufficient, when added to all other income and support available to the child, to provide such child with a reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health.

1108. Section 5. Duties of State Department:--The State Department shall:

(a) Administer assistance to dependent children under this Act;

(b) Make such rules and regulations and take such action as may be necessary or desirable for carrying out the provisions of this Act;

(c) Establish minimum standards for personnel employed by the State Department in the administration of this Act and make necessary rules and regulations to maintain such standards;

(d) Cooperate with the Federal Government in matters of mutual concern pertaining to assistance to dependent children;

(e) Make such reports in such form and containing such information as the Federal Government may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Federal Government may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(f) Publish an annual report and such interim reports as may be necessary;

(g) Make a report each three months to the Levy Court of each County of all warrants drawn on the respective County Treasurer during the preceding three months.

1109. Section 6. Application for Assistance:--Application for assistance under this Act shall be made to the office of the State Department. The application shall be in writing or reduced to writing in the manner and upon the form prescribed by the State Department. Such application shall be made by the person with whom the child will live and shall contain information as to the age and residence of the child and such other information as may be required by the State Department. One application may be made for several children of the same family if they reside with the same person.

1109a. Section 6a. Investigation of Applications:--Whenever the State Department receives a notification of the dependency of a child or an application for assistance, an investigation shall be made by a member of the staff of the State Department and a record shall be made of the circumstances in order to ascertain the dependency of the child and the facts supporting the application.

The investigation shall include a visit to the home of the child and of the person who will have the custody of the child during the time assistance is granted.

1109b. Section 6b. Granting of Assistance:--Upon the completion of such investigation the State Department shall decide whether the child is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this Act, and determine the amount of such assistance and the date on which such assistance shall begin. The State Department shall notify the applicant of its decision. Such assistance shall be paid monthly or more often to the applicant upon order of the State Department.

1109c. Section 6c. Appeal to the State Department:--If an application is not acted upon by the State Department within a reasonable time after the filing of the application, or is denied in whole or in part, or if any award of assistance is modified or cancelled under any provision of this Act, the applicant or recipient may appeal to the State Department in the manner and form prescribed by the State Department. The State Department shall, upon receipt of such an appeal, give the applicant or recipient reasonable notice and opportunity for a fair hearing.

1109d. Section 6d. Periodic Reconsideration and Changes in Amount of Assistance:--All assistance grants made under this Act shall be reconsidered by the State Department as frequently as it may deem necessary. After such further investigation as the State Department may deem necessary, the amount of assistance may be changed or assistance may be entirely withdrawn if the State Department finds that the child's circumstances have altered sufficiently to warrant such action.

1109e. Section 6e. Limitations of Act:--All assistance granted under this Act shall be deemed to be granted and to be held subject to the provisions of any amending or repealing Act that may hereafter be passed, and no person shall have any claim for compensations, or otherwise, by reason of a child's assistance being affected in any way by any amending or repealing Act.

1110. Section 7. Payments, How Made, Duty of Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer; 'Administration Expenses; Duty of State Treasurer; Limitations:--The amount paid to a beneficiary hereunder shall be on a warrant drawn by the Commission or authorized agent thereof, on the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of the County in which such beneficiary resides. And the said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay the said warrants on the approval of the Comptroller of said County out of any moneys he may have belonging to said County not otherwise appropriated. The Levy Courts of each County are hereby authorized and directed to levy and collect all necessary taxes and make adequate appropriations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

The travelling and administrative expenses of the Commission shall be paid on warrants drawn by the Commission, or authorized agent thereof, on the State Treasurer, and the State Treasurer is authorized and directed to pay said warrants on the approval of the State Auditor, from any money he may have belonging to the State not otherwise appropriated.

1111. Section 8. On the first day of every calendar month, the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of each County shall certify under oath, in duplicate, to the Secretary of the State, and to the State Treasurer, the amount paid out by such County during the preceding month under this Chapter, and the State Treasurer thereupon shall pay to the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of the said County, (1) a sum equal to one-half of the amount paid out by such County for such grants in which the Federal Government does not participate and a sum equal to the State's proportion of the amounts paid out by such County for such grants in which the Federal Government participates, the State's share (exclusive of the Federal Government's share) shall at all times equal such County's share, (2) for the purpose of this Act the sum of $71,900.00 is appropriated for the year beginning July 1, 1937 and ending June 30, 1938 and the like sum of $71,900.00 is hereby appropriated .for the year beginning July 1, 1938 and ending June 30, 1939, out of any moneys in the State Treasury, not otherwise appropriated. The appropriation hereby made shall not be in addition to the appropriation made to the Mothers' Pension Commission under the provisions of the General Appropriation Bill, but shall be construed to be one and the same appropriation.

1112, Section 9. Federal Financial Participation:--The State Treasurer is authorized and directed to receive all money paid to the State by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States on account of assistance provided under the provisions of this Act, and to make payments from such moneys and moneys appropriated under this or any other Act, in accordance with provisions of this Act, and the provisions of the United States Social Security Act.

Section 2. Repeal of Existing Laws:--All provisions of law in conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.

Section 3. Separability Clause:--If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the Act, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Approved May 20, 1937.