TITLE 31

Welfare

In General

CHAPTER 1. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES


As used in this title:

(1) "Board" or "Department" or "Department of Public Welfare" or "Board of Welfare" means the Department of Health and Social Services.

(2) "Secretary" or "Director" means Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 101; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 30.;

The Department shall, in this connection, and in order to obtain federal aid, make such reports in such form and containing such information as the federal government may require and shall comply with such provisions as the federal government may find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

Code 1935, § 1108; 41 Del. Laws, c. 95, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 106.;

(a) The Department shall be responsible for the coordination of welfare and correctional programs in this State and, to this end, may call conferences of representatives of public and private agencies responsible for such programs and individuals and organized groups interested in and concerned with matters of welfare. Such activities shall be carried on in the interest of more effectively understanding and making provision for the welfare needs in this State. Participation in such activities on the part of agencies and individuals shall be voluntary. The Department may sponsor and carry out studies of existing provisions for caring for welfare needs and studies of the need for changes in existing facilities.

(b) The Department shall issue periodic public reports on the extent, nature and cost of public and private welfare programs in this State and, to this end, may require the necessary periodic statistical data from public and private welfare, correction, probation and parole agencies and institutions giving resident care for tuberculous patients.

Code 1915, § 1004C; 30 Del. Laws, c. 64; Code 1935, § 1121; 44 Del. Laws, c. 79, § 2; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 107.;

The Secretary shall manage and supervise the operations of the Department and shall see that all functions are properly carried out in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations approved by the Board. The Secretary shall appoint all employees of the Department and shall fix their salaries subject to any general compensation plan adopted by the Board.

48 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 6; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 109; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 32; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No executive, official or employee of the Department shall participate in any form of political activity other than as may be appropriate to the exercise of the individual's civil rights, duties and privileges or in any manner use the executive's, official's or employee's official position as an executive official or employee of the Department for any political purpose.

Any executive official or employee of the Department who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to discharge or such other disciplinary measures as may be provided by the rules and regulations of the Department.

Code 1935, § 1112A; 42 Del. Laws, c. 97, § 2; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 110; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Secretary shall organize the Department into such divisions or other units as will increase the effectiveness and efficiency with which its affairs are conducted. The organization shall provide for and the efforts of the Department shall be directed toward the maximum degree of integration and consolidation consistent with satisfactory service to the citizens of this State.

48 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 7; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 111; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 33.;

The Secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations for the interpretation of statutes or federal regulations governing programs of public assistance and other programs of the Department and such other rules or regulations as may be necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the Department. No rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the authority granted by this section shall extend, modify or conflict with any law of this State, or the reasonable implications thereof.

48 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 8; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 112; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 33; 67 Del. Laws, c. 344, § 10.;

Nothing in this chapter shall interfere with the continued operation of a merit system of personnel administration for positions placed under such system by agreement between state and federal authorities.

48 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 16; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 113.;

The Department, annually, shall make a report that shall include:

(1) A list of the officers and agents employed;

(2) The conditions of institutions under its supervision;

(3) A statement of the year's work; and

(4) Complete and comprehensive information relating to all welfare work performed, together with any recommendation the Department may desire to make.

Code 1915, § 1005A; 30 Del. Laws, c. 64; 37 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 23; 37 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 17; 38 Del. Laws, c. 54, § 3; Code 1935, §§ 1123, 1131, 1626, 1643; 41 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 3; 45 Del. Laws, c. 96, § 4; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 115.;

An indigent person's remains may be buried at public expense on the order of the Division of Social Services. Uniform standards for such burial shall be established by the Department of Health and Social Services. The fee shall be established by the Department at the lowest cost for which burial services which meet the standards can be locally obtained. In the event that funds are available from social security, Veterans' Administration or any other benefits or insurance, the compensation allowed to be paid for burial shall be reduced by the amount available from such benefits or insurance.

37 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 6; 37 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 10; Code 1935, §§ 1613, 1632; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 120; 62 Del. Laws, c. 386, § 1.;

(a) The State Treasurer shall establish in the State Treasury a State Public Welfare Fund which shall include all funds made available for the purposes of this chapter or of Chapter 5 of this title by the State, the several counties, the federal government or any other source. Within this State Public Welfare Fund there shall be established such separate accounts as the State Treasurer and the State Auditor of Accounts may deem necessary or desirable.

(b) The State Treasurer shall pay from the State Public Welfare Fund the amounts requested by the Department for the purposes of this chapter or of Chapter 5 of this title; provided, that such amount requested is not in excess of the balance remaining in the State Public Welfare Fund plus authorized advances.

(c) All expenditures of the Department shall be paid by check drawn by the State Treasurer except as hereinafter provided. Such expenditures shall be made on the basis of prescribed invoice and payroll forms preapproved by designated officials of the Department; copies of such approved invoice and payroll forms to be transmitted to the Department of Finance for preaudit.

(d) Certain expenditures, due to the responsibilities of the Department, are of an emergency nature. Such expenditures shall be made by the Department over the signature of an authorized official from a revolving fund in an amount to be agreed on by the Department and the State Treasurer and which shall be drawn from the State Public Welfare Fund and be deposited in a fund of the State to the credit of the Department of Public Welfare.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 121; 50 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 54; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 9.;

The State Treasurer shall receive all money paid to the State by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States on account of assistance, services and administration, provided under this chapter and under Chapter 5 of this title, and make payments from such moneys and moneys appropriated under such chapters in accordance with the provisions thereof and with the provisions of the United States Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.].

31 Del. C. 1953, § 122; 50 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 9.;

The State Treasurer shall receive all money paid to the State by the receiver of taxes and county treasurer of each of the 3 counties on account of assistance, services and administration provided under this chapter and under Chapter 5 of this title and make payments from such moneys and moneys appropriated under such chapters in accordance with the provisions thereof.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 123; 50 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 9.;

(a) Any assistance paid to or in behalf of any person under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children, General Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid programs in excess of that to which the person is entitled under the program or programs shall be recoverable by the Department of Health and Social Services for the State in a civil action against such person or the person's estate in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) Any judgment entered for the Department in an action brought under this section shall include an award for the court costs of the action. That portion of the judgment that constitutes the court costs of the action shall be remitted by the Department to the State Treasurer.

(c) The Department shall not be required to pay the filing fee or other costs of an action brought under this section and shall not be required to pay fees of any nature or to file a bond or other security of any nature in connection with such action or with proceedings supplementary thereto or as a condition precedent to the availability to the Department of any process in aid of such action or proceedings.

(d) Any judgment entered in any court of competent jurisdiction for the Department pursuant to a confession of judgment regarding any assistance paid to or in behalf of any person under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children, General Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid programs in excess of that to which the person is entitled under the program or programs or regarding any amount of money due under an agreement relating to any assistance paid to or in behalf of any person under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children, General Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid programs in excess of that to which the person is entitled under the program or programs shall include an award for the court costs of such judgment. That portion of such judgment that constitutes the court costs of such judgment shall be remitted by the Department to the State Treasurer.

(e) The Department shall not be required to pay the filing fee or other costs related to any procedure to obtain judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to a confession of judgment governed by subsection (d) of this section and shall not be required to pay fees of any nature or to file a bond or other security of any nature in connection with any such procedure.

66 Del. Laws, c. 287, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In addition to the other powers of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Secretary or the Secretary's designee shall, for purposes related to welfare fraud investigations and welfare overpayment investigations, have the power to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses and compel the production of books, papers, documents or other tangible things. Any person who shall fail to appear in response to a subpoena or to answer any question or produce any books, papers, documents or other tangible things relevant to any such investigations may be compelled to do so by order of the Superior Court.

(b) Service of a subpoena issued under this section shall be made by any sheriff, any deputy sheriff, any constable or any employee of the Department of Health and Social Services by delivering a copy of the subpoena to the person to whom it is addressed or by leaving a copy of the subpoena at the person's usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein. Any fee that the State, or any county or municipality of the State, might otherwise charge for the service of a subpoena shall be waived for the service of a subpoena under this section.

(c) Neither the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services nor the Secretary's designee shall be charged any court costs or fees associated with an order of the Superior Court under subsection (a) of this section.

(d) A subpoena issued under subsection (a) of this section shall be effective throughout this State.

66 Del. Laws, c. 290, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;