Revised October 29, 2015

DSHS Hearing Rules are found in chapter 388-02 WAC.  

Clients have the right to receive written notice of their administrative hearing rights at the time of application, denial, termination, suspension, grant reduction or notification of overpayment. [see RCW 74.08.080].

Clients have the right to be represented or to represent themselves at an administrative hearing.

The client who requests an administrative hearing is called the appellant.  However, in an Administrative Disqualification Hearing food assistance case the department requests the hearing and the client is called the respondent.

Clarifying Information:

The Community Service Office (CSO) Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) is usually a Financial Service Specialist (FSS) who has the responsibility for administrative fair hearings in the CSO. The Aging and Disability Services Administration (ADSA) AHC has the responsibility for the administrative hearings related to ADSA clients. The CSO Administrator (CSOA) has the authority to resolve issues with the client prior to an administrative hearing.

Remember that not every complaint received about a department action is a request for an administrative hearing. Refer to information in WAC 388-426-0005  for complaints that are not appropriate for an administrative hearing.

Administrative hearings are conducted by Administrative Law Judges (ALJ), employed by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is a separate agency from DSHS. The administrative hearing can be held in person or by teleconference call.  The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is responsible for scheduling administrative hearings and sending a notice of the date and time for the administrative hearing to all participants.

The DSHS Board of Appeals (BOA) is responsible for reviewing the initial hearing decisions when reconsideration is requested by either the department or the appellant.

Exception: The department cannot request reconsideration on Basic Food decisions. See 7 CFR 273.15 (q)(2).   

The client has the right to request judicial review of a final DSHS hearing decision.