HomeElder LawFAIR HEARING PROCEDURE IN OKLAHOMA

DHS stands for Deartment of Human Services. They have many offices located throughout Oklahoma. DHS deals with child support, child custody, nursing homes, medicaid etc.

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Through DHS you can request a fair hearing. This article is going to talk about how to request a fair hearing, hearing procedures and appeals from hearing decisions. If DHS was to deny you on a medicaid application, you have the right to a fair hearing to convince them that you should be able to be on medicaid.

A fair hearing, according to the OKDHS pamphlet is anyone who applies for or receives services from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services has a right to request that the OKDHS Appeals Unit review an OKDHS action or delay in action, This is called a fair hearing. The hearing is a process through which the Appeals Unit obtains evidence regarding the protested action or delay in action, considers the evidence in relation to the Department’s rules, reaches a decision and makes sure the decision is carried out.

Fair Hearings may be requested for: Children’s Special Health Care Needs Program, Child Care Services, Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Food Stamps, Individual and Family Disaster Grant Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Medical Assistance (Medicaid/SoonerCare), Social services under Title XX of the Social Security Act, State Supplemental Payments for Aged, Blind and Disabled, Temporary Assistance for Neddy Families (TANF), including Emergency Assistance, Foster Home closure, Failure to return a child to a Foster Home following a confirmed finding of abuse, Denial of an application for Adoption Assistance and The amount of Adoption Assistance.

You may request a fair hearing for the following reasons, There has been an unusual delay in reaching a decision on your application or an OKDHS action while you are receiving assistance or services. The county office can tell you the length of tiem that is considered an unusual delay, Your application has been turned down or you believe you have been denied the right to apply, A benefit is less than you think it should be, a benefit is stopped or suspended, you are dissatisfied with the interpretation of the law or policy as applied to you, you are denied participation in a service program, you are dissatisfied about conditions of eligibility, including work or training requirements or acceptance of treatment, you receive written notification that you owe money to OKDHS for a given period of time or payments or services which you were not considered eligible to receive.

If you have a pending application, or an active case with OKDHS, you have a right to request a fair hearing: within 90 days after you have been notified of a decision with which you do not agree in the Food Stamp program, in all other programs, within 30 days after you have been notified of a decision with which you do not agree, and when there has been unusual delay by OKDHS in reaching a decision on your application or case. Your request should be made directly to the OKDHS office where you made your application or where you go to talk about your case as a recipient. You may have a relative, friend, or legal representative make the request for you. If you wish, the county office staff will help you prepare your request.

The hearing procedures go as follows:

1.) Representation- in all hearings you may represent yourself or be represented by a lawyer. In case involving TANF, Medical Assistance (Medicaid/SoonerCare), Food Stamps, State Supplemental Payment, Child Care Assistance, or Emergency Assistance, you may be represented by anyone, including a lawyer, relative, or friend. There are two possible sources of free legal advice and representation. Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (LASO) represents people in civicl case and may be available to represent you at your hearing. To find out if they will represent you, call the LASO office that is responsible for your county that you live in. The Oklahoma Disability Law Center (ODLC) handles cases involving disability issues. They can be contacted in Tulsa at 918-743-6220 or 1-800-226-5883 and in Oklahoma City at 405-525-7755 or 1-800-880-7755.

2.) Before your hearing- You will be sent a letter at least 10 days before the hearing that tells you when and where the hearing will be held and the name of the hearing officer who will conduct the hearing. If you cannont attend the hearing on the date and time in the letter, contact the local OKDHS office as soon as possible. Before the hearing, you and your representative are entitled to look at your file. If you want to do this, contact the OKDHS office that took the action, or failure to act. Before the hearing, OKDHS will deliver to you or your reprensentative a copy of all of the information that OKDHS intends to use at the hearing, a written explanation of why the action that is the subject of the hearing was taek, and a copy of the OKDHS rules that support the action.

3.) At the hearing:
Evidence:-the hearing officer will consider any evidence that you want to submit that is relevant to the issue to be decided.
Hearing Procedure:-before the hearing starts, the hearing officer will talk with both sides to make sure that everyone understands what the hearing is about. The hearing officer will also ask both sides to describe the evidence that will be presented. Normally OKDHS will present their side first.

4.) The Hearing Decision- The decision in your case will be made by the Appeals Committe. The Appeals Committee is made up of the hearing office and two OKDHS state office employees who were not involved in the action you are appealing. If the hearing officer votes against you, he or she will send you a letter on behalf of the Appeals Committee, without the other members voitng. If the hearing officer thinks you should win the appeal, then your case is sent to the two other members of the Appeals Committee for a vote. The Appeals Committee tries to get most cases decided within 30 days after the hearing, sometimes it takes longer.

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Brent’s Photo with his Juris Doctorate from the OU School of Law. Brent has practiced law since 1976. You can count on his experience to protect you!

An experienced medicaid lawyer, such as Brent D. Coldiron, is aware of the rules of Oklahoma DHS. An experienced medicaid attorney, like Brent D. Coldiron, knows what to do for you, to insure that your wishes will be carried out. His fees are reasonable. Contact Brent at (405) 478-5655 or 737-2244. His website is www.coldironlaw.com.


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