Requesting a hearing is an easy thing to do. Your request for a hearing must be in writing. You or someone who represents you must sign the request. You can fill out a request form by filling out an Appeal to State Agency Form (DHS-0033). You can submit the form online or print it and mail it or fax it to the Appeals Office. With Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) appeals, you may make a verbal request for a hearing. Send or make the request to the agency whose action you are appealing or to:
Minnesota Department of Human Services
PO Box 64941
St. Paul, MN 55164-0941
The request for a hearing must be received within 30 days after getting written notice of the agency's decision. If you show good cause for not appealing within this time limit, you may appeal up to 90 days. With SNAP, you may appeal up to 90 days after getting notice of the agency's decision and do not have to show good cause.
After the state gets your request, it will set a date for a hearing. The state will tell you the exact date, time and place.
Yes. You have the right to look at your case file and any other papers the state or county agency whose decision you are appealing will use at the hearing. In fact, it’s a good idea to look at your file ahead of time. You have a right to free copies of any papers related to your hearing. If you want to see your file, call the agency whose decision you are appealing. If you have trouble getting information related to your hearing, contact the Appeals Division. The agency cannot use information at the hearing if the agency did not give you a chance to see it first.
If you need an interpreter to be at the hearing, contact the Appeals Division as soon as possible. Tell the Appeals Division what help you need. The Appeals Division will make sure that an interpreter is at the hearing. Interpreter services are available to you at no charge.
You must come prepared. The human services judge (HSJ) runs the hearing. The agency and you take turns giving evidence and asking questions. If you are unsure about what to do, ask the HSJ.
The HSJ will turn on the recording device and explain how the hearing will run. The HSJ will write down the names of the people at the hearing. The HSJ also will ask that all people take an oath to tell the truth.
Most hearings are held by telephone, but in certain circumstances you have the right to a hearing where you can see the HSJ. This kind of hearing may be conducted either in-person or by videoconference. Usually, an in-person hearing will be held only if you or a witness has a physical or mental disability that would impair your ability to fully participate in a hearing held by videoconference or if the HSJ thinks an in-person hearing is necessary. If you want to see the HSJ at your hearing, contact the Appeals Division and explain why you want an in-person or videoconference hearing. Your hearing may have to be rescheduled for a different day and time if the way the hearing is held is changed.
Yes. You may have a lawyer come with you to the hearing if you choose. The agency will not get a lawyer for you or pay for one. You may be able to get free legal advice or help with an appeal from your local legal services office. For more information about legal services, or to find a legal services office in your area, go to www.LawHelpMN.org or call 888-354-5522.
Yes. You may bring a friend or relative or anyone else with you to the hearing. That person may help you ask questions or explain your case to the HSJ.
No. It is not a good idea to bring them with you unless they are going to take part in the hearing. For most appeals involving a county agency, the agency will pay for child care while you are at your hearing. Ask the county agency about whether child care can be provided while you are at the hearing.
You must back up your side of the case with evidence. This means you must provide all the papers you want the HSJ to see. Send copies to both the agency and the Appeals Division before your hearing. Tell the HSJ what you think the facts are. If you have any witnesses who know about your case, ask them to come to the hearing.
If you need a witness to come to the hearing or to hand over evidence to be used at the hearing, ask the witness to come or to give you what you need. Usually, a witness will come if you ask. If the witness says no, contact the Appeals Division and ask for a subpoena. A subpoena is a legal order making someone come to the hearing and bring specific evidence that the person may have. It is your responsibility to serve the witness with a subpoena according to the legal rules.
If the agency comes to the hearing, the HSJ will ask the agency representative to start first. The agency will tell the HSJ its view of the facts. The agency representative will also explain reasons for handling your case the way the agency did. The agency representative will explain the laws and policies that were used in your case.
You may ask the agency representative questions after the representative is done speaking. You may question each of the agency’s witnesses. You may look at all the papers the representative shows the HSJ and ask questions about them. The HSJ may also ask questions.
Give the HSJ all your evidence. Tell the HSJ why you disagree with the agency. Explain to the HSJ what you think should happen in your case. The HSJ will ask your witnesses to give information as well. The agency representative may see all your papers and may ask you and your witnesses questions.
If you know you are not going to be able to attend the hearing, contact the Appeals Division right away to reschedule. You must have a good reason for rescheduling. If you do not reschedule your hearing and then miss it, your case will be dismissed, and you may lose your chance to appeal.
Normally, if you miss a hearing, you lose your appeal. If you miss a hearing and you want the appeal reopened, you must write the Appeals Division and ask that it be reopened. For a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) appeal, you may also call the Appeals Division to request that it be reopened. The Appeals Division must get your request within 10 days after the date the appeal was dismissed for most appeals. If your appeal is about benefits through MNsure, you will have 30 days from the date the appeal was dismissed to ask that it be reopened. Your appeal will be reopened only if you show that you had a good reason for missing the hearing.
Yes, in some cases and for some costs related to an appeal involving a county agency. For most appeals with a county agency, the agency will pay for gas to get you and your witnesses to the hearing, child care, photocopies, a medical assessment and other reasonable costs.
No. The hearing is private. Only the people from the agency, state or otherwise authorized by law may come to the hearing, see the file or listen to the recording without your permission.
You may not talk or write to the HSJ privately about the facts of your case. Neither side may.The HSJ must hear both sides of a case to decide fairly. If you have questions about the appeals process, need to reschedule the hearing, or have other administrative matters, contact the Appeals Division.
Yes, you may file an application at any time. If your situation changes during an appeal, tell the agency and ask to reapply right away.
Sometimes this can make an overpayment smaller or help you get more benefits. You might be eligible now, even if the HSJ decides that the agency was right in the decision being appealed.
No. The HSJ will write a recommendation to the state's chief HSJ. The chief HSJ will make the final decision. The final decision takes time, up to 60 days from the date you appeal a SNAP decision or 90 days for all other appeals.
If you disagree with the decision of the state’s chief HSJ, you may appeal to the state district court in your county. Any appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the chief HSJ's decision. You should ask legal aid or another attorney about what court procedures to use. Before appealing to district court, you may ask the state to reconsider its decision. This request should be in writing and sent to the Appeals Division. You have 30 days to ask for reconsideration. If your timely request for reconsideration is denied, you then have 30 days to appeal to district court.
If you disagree with a decision about benefits through MNsure, you may also appeal to the Office of Marketplace Eligibility Appeals (OMEA) under 42 U.S.C. §18081(1) and 45 C.F.R. §155.520(c). An appeal request may be made to the OMEA within 30 days of the date of this decision by calling the OMEA Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 855-889-4325); by downloading the form from the appeals landing page at www.healthcare.gov; or by downloading the form and mailing the request to the OMEA.
Talk with your worker. Your worker can answer most of your questions but cannot give you legal help. To find an attorney or your local legal aid office, go to www.LawHelpMN.org or call 888-354-5522.
If the matter gets resolved or you want to cancel the appeal, please contact the Appeals Division to let them know. Your appeal will be dismissed and any hearing that has been scheduled will be canceled.
To contact the Appeals Division:
Minnesota Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 64941
St. Paul, MN 55164-0941
Greater Minnesota: 800-657-3510
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