Brown v. Bates, Civ. No. C 72-217.

Citation363 F. Supp. 897
Decision Date21 September 1973
Docket NumberCiv. No. C 72-217.
PartiesBessie BROWN et al., Plaintiffs, v. Charles W. BATES et al., Defendants.
CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio

363 F. Supp. 897

Bessie BROWN et al., Plaintiffs,
Charles W. BATES et al., Defendants.

Civ. No. C 72-217.

United States District Court, N. D. Ohio, W. D.

September 21, 1973.

363 F. Supp. 898

James M. Klein, Thomas E. Willging, Toledo, Ohio, for plaintiffs.

Kevin Duffey, Columbus, Ohio, for defendants.


DON J. YOUNG, District Judge:

This cause came to be heard upon motion of the plaintiffs for summary judgment and upon cross motion of the defendants for summary judgment, both pursuant to Rule 56, Fed.R.Civ.P. The parties state to the Court that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the Court finds the case in the proper posture for ruling under the provisions of Rule 56. Counsel on both sides have ably represented their clients' positions.

This is a case of first impression which has evolved from the following fact situation. Plaintiffs, in this class action,1 are recipients of aid from what is commonly referred to as "categorical public assistance programs" of the Social Security Act (Old Age Assistance OAA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 301-306; Aid to the Blind AB, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1201-1206; Aid to Families with Dependent Children AFDC, 42 U.S.C. §§ 601-610; and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled APTD, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1351-1355), who also attend college on a full time basis, and participate in the Federal Work Study Program, 42 U.S.C. § 2751 et seq.

The categorical assistance programs are funded by the federal and state governments on a matching basis and are administered by the state, subject to federal laws and regulations. The Work-Study Program is funded directly by the federal government, and is administered, on a local level, by the colleges and universities which participate in the program.

363 F. Supp. 899

The plaintiffs seek to enjoin the Ohio Department of Public Welfare from treating monies received by categorical assistance recipients under the Work-Study Program as available income, and thereby reducing the recipients' monthly grants from the categorical assistance programs.


Congress has provided, in pertinent part, that:

A state plan for aid and services to needy families . . . (7) except as may otherwise be provided in clause (8), provide that the State agency shall, in determining need, take into consideration any other income and resources of any child or relative claiming aid to families with dependent children . . . . 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(7)2

The Federal Regulations, 45 C.F.R. § 233.20 et seq., in giving guidance in implementing the provisions of the categorical assistance programs provide in pertinent part:3

Requirements for State Plans. A State Plan for OAA, AFDC, AB, APTD or AABD must, as specified below:
(1) General. Provide that the determination of need and amount of assistance for all applicants and recipients will be made on an objective and equitable basis and all types of income will be taken into consideration in the same way, except where otherwise specifically authorized by Federal statute. . . .
(3)(ii) Provide that, in establishing financial eligibility and the amount of the assistance payment: . . . (c) only such net income as is actually available for current use on a regular basis will be considered and only currently available resources will be considered . . . .
(3)(iv) Provide that, in determining the availability of income and resources, the following will not be included as income: . . . (b) loans and grants, such as scholarships, obtained and used under conditions that preclude their use for current living costs. . . .

The Ohio Department of Public Welfare has interpreted Section 4054 of Ohio Public Assistance Manual to include funds received by participation in the Federal Work-Study Program and has in essence declared the funds to be "available income" which must be taken into consideration in determining the amount of assistance to be granted recipients of categorical assistance programs. 45 C. F.R. § 233.20(a)(1). Plaintiffs seek to enjoin the Ohio Departnent of Public Welfare from treating the Work-Study monies as available income.

363 F. Supp. 900


The Court is first faced with determining whether the monies received under the Work-Study Program are a grant under the provisions of 45 C.F.R. § 233.20(a)(3)(iv)(b). The term "grant"5 does not lend itself to a precise definition that can be applied in all situations. Rather its meaning is to be determined from its connection and the manner of its use. Bainton v. Clark Equipment Co., 210 Mich. 602, 178 N.W. 51 (1920). The Court, therefore, must look to the purpose of the Work-Study Program and how the program is administered to determine if it meets the provisions of 45 C.F.R. § 233.20(a)(3)(iv) (b).

The Work-Study Program is merely one part of a more general program6 that Congress has established to provide financial assistance to needy students who desire to obtain higher education. Selection of students to participate in the Work-Study Program, which provides employment for those selected, is distinct from employment generally. The individual selected must maintain his status as a student at an eligible institution, 42 U.S.C. § 2754; the student must meet the financial eligibility requirements of demonstrating that he is in need of the earnings from such employment in order to pursue a course of study at such institution, Id. at § 2754(a)(3)(1); his wages are paid up to eighty percent (80%) by the federal government, Id. at § 2754(a)(6); and the institutions participating in the program must make the program reasonably available to all eligible students, Id. at § 2754(a)(7).

The differences between employment under the Work-Study Program and employment in general leads the Court to believe that first, student participation in the program is brought about by qualifying under financial requirements established by the federal government to earn wages paid from funds which are provided, up to eighty percent (80%), by the federal government. Second, and equally important, the participants in the program must maintain student status and the funds, as stated by Congress, "shall be furnished only to a student who is in need of the earnings from such employment in order to pursue a course of study at an institution," 42 U.S.C. § 2754(a)(3)(1). This precludes the use of the funds for current living costs since the recipient must be a student and also show that he needs the funds to continue his education. The Court, based upon the language of the statute, cannot find that the monies earned are for current living costs but rather for the extraordinary costs of being a student. Therefore, on the basis of the money earned being heavily subsidized by federal grants and that the recipients of the monies must maintain the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
14 cases
  • Sturgell v. Creasy, 78-3548
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 11 February 1981
    ...U.S.C. § 602(a)(7) and 45 C.F.R. § 233.20(a) (1) are inapposite. In Elam v. Hanson, 384 F.Supp. 549 (N.D.Ohio 1974), and Brown v. Bates, 363 F.Supp. 897 (N.D.Ohio 1973), Judge Young found that OASDI student benefits and work study benefits should not be considered as income available to the......
  • Hayes v. City University of New York, 77 Civ. 5476 (ADS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 14 January 1981
    ...Ohio 1974) (inclusion of OASDI funds in income invalid as discouraging recipients from seeking higher education); Brown v. Bates, 363 F.Supp. 897, 902-03 (N.D.Ohio 1973) (inclusion of CWS funds in income invalid as disincentive to working for A second purpose of section 507 appears to be to......
  • Tavarez v. Sipprell
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • 26 May 1978
    ...We do not believe that this determination is in conflict with the holdings in Elam v. Hanson, D.C., 384 F.Supp. 549, and Brown v. Bates, D.C., 363 F.Supp. 897. In those cases recipients of public assistance sought to enjoin the Ohio Department of Public Welfare from considering as available......
  • Owens v. Heckler, 84-1104
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 30 January 1985
    ...the spirit of the law, and serves only a sterile administrative purpose." Elam v. Hanson, 384 F.Supp. at 553 (citing Brown v. Bates, 363 F.Supp. 897, 902-03 (N.D.Ohio 1973), which held that work study monies should be excluded from calculation of available income under AFDC). We reiterate t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT