Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Appeals and Fair Hearings




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Every applicant/recipient must be informed of his/her right to appeal if he/she is aggrieved by an action or lack of action by DHS.Anyone who applies or wants to apply for Families First benefits must be given the informational pamphlet that explains the right of Appeal and Fair Hearing, the method by which a hearing may be obtained and that his/her case may be presented by a household member or a representative.Any applicant/ recipient must be informed about these rights:


        Verbally at the interview when he/she applies for benefits.


        In writing on the notice regarding the action taken on his/her application.


        When he/she indicates disagreement with an agency action. In addition, the appellant must be informed of any free legal representation that is available.DHS staff will refer the appellant to any legal services available in the community.


All Department hearing records and decisions are available for public inspection and copying, subject to the disclosure safeguards provided by federal regulation.In addition, the names and addresses of appellants and other members of the public must be kept confidential.


Appeals may arise from conflicts or dissatisfaction related to an action or lack of action by DHS such as, but not limited to:


        A decision regarding eligibility for Families First such as amount of assistance, the manner of payment, restrictions on the payment or the amount of payment for services.


        Reduction or termination of Families First benefits.


        Failure to act on a request for Families First benefits within 45 days.


        State or federal laws, policies or regulations considered unfair or unreasonable.


        Discriminatory treatment or practices on the basis of race, color, age, sex, handicap, religious creed, national origin or political belief.In the case of a discrimination complaint, see Rights and Responsibility chapter.


        The content of the Personal Responsibility Plan.


        The activities or support services provided which are related to the Personal Responsibility Plan.


Exception: If the appeal is regarding an action of a Title XX Third Party agency, that agency is responsible for responding to the complaint.If the complaint is not resolved informally by the Third Party agency, the complainant can bring his/her case to the Department of Human Services for further review through the appeal process.


Complaints by an interested individual on behalf of an applicant/recipient must be handled within the limits of confidentiality.When an appeal is filed, every effort must be directed to resolving the appeal promptly and, if possible, to the complainantís satisfaction.



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