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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the appeal process work for individuals and families?

Administrative Review - Once your appeal is received, you will be scheduled for an Administrative Review Conference at the Office of Administrative Review and Appeals (OARA). This is a voluntary meeting with a Hearing Examiner from the District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify and discuss your concerns. You can bring your own representative if you choose to have one. Your representative may, but does not have to be, an attorney. Your representative may not be an employee of DHS.

Please bring documents related to your case to the meeting. This will help the DHS Hearing Examiner identify and understand your concerns. After the meeting Conference, the DHS Hearing Examiner will review your case and try to resolve your issues. You will receive a written decision from the DHS Hearing Examiner regarding the issues of your case, including a summary of facts. If you agree with the written decision, you may withdraw your request for a Fair Hearing. If you do not agree with the DHS Hearing Examiner's written decision, your appeal still continues to a Fair Hearing.

Fair Hearing - If you decide not to attend the DHS Administrative Review, or if you disagree with DHS's decision regarding your case and you have not withdrawn your request for a Fair Hearing, your case will continue on to a Fair Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge who is not an employee of DHS. The Fair Hearing will take place at the DC Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) at 441 4th Street NW, Suite 450-North, Washington, DC 20001.

OAH will contact you and tell you when and where your Fair Hearing will take place. OAH will send you a scheduling notice. That notice will tell you when your Fair Hearing will take place.

At the Fair Hearing, you can testify, have others testify for you, and submit documents. At the hearing, DC agency representatives will also be able to ask questions of you or other people who testify. The DC agency representatives will be permitted to present testimony and documents. You will be able to ask questions of the DC agency representative if you want. Finally, the Administrative Law Judge will make a decision in writing, after the completion of the Fair Hearing, and will send it to you. That decision will also tell you what you can do if you do not agree with it.

Any decisions by OARA and Appeals or OAH about your eligibility for benefits might also change the eligibility of other people in your household.