Administrative Hearing Coordinator's Role

Revised October 28, 2015

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

The following is a summary of general duties assigned to an Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC).

To find out the name of the Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) in Community Services Division (CSD) regions / offices, please contact:

Terrie Kirker, Administrative Hearings Program Coordinator
Office of Field Services, Community Services Division
360-725-4620
Email:  Terrie.Kirker@dshs.wa.gov


Clarifying Information: 

The Community Services Office (CSO) Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) is usually a Financial Services Coordinator (FSS) who has responsibility for the Administrative Hearing operations in the CSO.

The AHC acts as the liaison, in cases involving Administrative Hearings, between the CSO and

  • The appellant
  • The appellant's representative
  • The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)
  • The DSHS Board of Appeals (BOA)
  • The Health Care Authority (HCA)
  • The Community Services Division (CSD)
  • The Office of the Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
  • Children's Administration (CA)
  • The Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA)
  • Other agencies or individuals involved in specific hearings.

The AHC must maintain the appearance of fairness in the Administrative Hearing process. The following guidelines apply:

  1. Communication with Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), department witnesses, appellants their witnesses and representatives must be on a professional level.
  2. Any communication between the AHC and an ALJ regarding a specific hearing must include the appellant and/or their representative. Private conversations with an ALJ about an administrative hearing (ex-parte communications) are strictly prohibited, unless it involves a safety issue. See RCW 34.05.455.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities: 

  1. Maintain in BarCode Administrative Hearing Control System (AHCS) the following specific information:
    1. Name and client ID of appellant;
    2. Date of request for hearing;
    3. Hearing Issue;
    4. Name of appellant representative, if any;
    5. Pre-Hearing meeting (PHM) activities, if any;
    6. Scheduled date of hearing;
    7. Continuances requested;
    8. Date and result of hearing decision; and
    9. Date of request for review and/ or reconsideration.
  2. Document hearing actions on ACES narrative;
  3. Determine eligibility for continued benefits under WAC 388-458-0040;
  4. Give notice to Office of Financial Recovery (OFR) to stop recovery when an administrative hearing about an overpayment has been requested;
  5. Represent the Department at the voluntary Pre-Hearing Meeting, Pre-Hearing Conference, and the Administrative Hearing;
  6. Contact the local Assistant Attorney General (AAG) when necessary to determine whether an AAG should be present at an administrative hearing.
  7. Contact the division program manager for Administrative Hearings when a local AAG is not available;
  8. Notify the OAH of any accommodation needed due to client Equal Access (EA) status;
  9. Notify the OAH if interpreter services are requested for Limited English Proficient (LEP) clients;
  10. Prepare the DSHS 09-354(X), Administrative Hearing Report or similar document as an attachment to exhibits (Administrative Hearing Packet);
  11. Provide copies of the Administrative Hearing Packet to all parties;
  12. Coordinate and conduct pre-hearing meeting or pre-hearing conference activities;
  13. Arrange for subpoenas to be issued by the AAG, when necessary;
  14. Distribute copies of hearing decisions as necessary to:

          a) Supervisor/Social Service Supervisor.

          b) Coordinate implementation of hearing decisions;

          c) Prepare petition for review or request for Board of Appeals (BOA) reconsideration of initial decision or response to appellant petition as appropriate;

Exception: The department cannot request BOA reconsideration for Basic Food hearing decisions.  See 7 CFR (q)(2).

   17. Notify the Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) of any hearing requests on cases that have been referred for prosecution.