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Ryder v. Daines

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department


December 31, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF TRACY RYDER, AS EXECUTRIX FOR ESTATE OF MARY BOSMA, DECEASED, PETITIONER,
v.
RICHARD F. DAINES, M.D., COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, LUCILLE A. SOLDATO, COMMISSIONER, ONEIDA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AND ONEIDA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, RESPONDENTS.

Proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 (transferred to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Fourth Judicial Department by amended order of the Supreme Court, Oneida County [Norman I. Siegel, A.J.], entered January 15, 2008) to review a determination, after a fair hearing, with respect to decedent's application date for purposes of determining the amount of decedent's retroactive Medicaid benefits.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

PRESENT: CENTRA, J.P., FAHEY, PERADOTTO, GREEN, AND GORSKI, JJ.

It is hereby ORDERED that the determination is unanimously annulled on the law without costs, the amended petition is granted, and the matter is remitted to respondent Oneida County Department of Social Services for further proceedings in accordance with the following Memorandum: Decedent commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding to challenge the determination following a fair hearing that decedent's application date for purposes of determining the amount of decedent's retroactive Medicaid benefits was the date on which decedent re-applied for benefits with proper documentation, rather than the date of decedent's initial application for such benefits. Decedent subsequently died, whereupon the executrix of her estate was substituted as the petitioner. We note at the outset that petitioner does not raise a substantial evidence issue, and Supreme Court thus erred in transferring this proceeding to us pursuant to CPLR 7804 (g). Nevertheless, we consider the merits of the amended petition in the interest of judicial economy (see Matter of Rauch v DeBuono, 265 AD2d 797; Matter of Moulden v Coughlin, 210 AD2d 997). Although the initial application of decedent for Medicaid benefits was denied based on her failure to provide adequate documentation, the record establishes that respondent Oneida County Department of Social Services (DSS) entered into a stipulation with decedent after receiving the required documentation, pursuant to which DSS agreed to withdraw its initial denial and to reevaluate the initial application. We thus conclude that the determination of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) refusing to apply the initial application date must be annulled inasmuch as the ALJ thereby violated the terms of the stipulation, and we remit the matter to DSS to determine the amount of decedent's retroactive Medicaid benefits based on the date of decedent's initial application.

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