Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Appeals and Fair Hearings




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Any applicant for, or recipient of, Families First may file an appeal through the county office, district office, State Office or the Family Assistance Service Center when dissatisfied with an action on his/her case.Complaints must be given prompt and careful attention and corrective action, when indicated, must be taken immediately.The county office or the Family Assistance Service Center must provide whatever assistance the complainant requires in appealing for a fair hearing.The county office staff must provide the Families First participant with a Tennessee Department of Human Services Appeal form or complete the form on his/her behalf.


If an individual files an appeal because he/she is dissatisfied with an action or lack of action by the county office, the county office will offer the complainant the opportunity to have a conference with either the caseworker or the supervisor to discuss the issue.The caseworker will inform the appellant that the conference is optional and will not delay or replace the fair hearing.The individual may also question the Departmentís interpretations of the law and the validity and applicability of the policies to his/her situation.Group hearings may be conducted where the sole issue is one of state or federal law, regulation or policy.


If the individual is not willing to discuss his/her grievance with local staff, he/she may request an appeal without a conference with the caseworker or supervisor.However, he/she should be encouraged to resolve the issue through the informal conference.If the individual files an appeal, it cannot be delayed or canceled without his/her consent because of the outcome of any subsequent informal conference.



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