Revised April 6, 2023

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:

Administrative Hearing Coordinators (AHCs) with the Community Services Division (CSD), Home and Community Services Division (HCS), and Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) manage hearing requests related to their programs. CSO Administrators (CSOAs) have the authority to resolve issues with clients prior to an administrative hearing.

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 aren’t appropriate for an administrative hearing.

Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), employed by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), conduct Administrative hearings. OAH is a separate agency from DSHS. Administrative hearings are held in person or by teleconference call. 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 can’t request reconsideration on Basic Food decisions.

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