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Office of Administrative Hearings
 

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Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS)  operates a number of programs which affect housing, shelter and economic security of District of Columbia residents.  If DHS has denied or altered benefits you receive under the following programs, you can appeal that decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings:

  • Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (“TANF”)
  • Medicaid or Healthcare Alliance eligibility
  • Child care subsidies
  • Interim Disability Assistance (“IDA”)
  • Burial assistance
  • Emergency rental assistance (including decisions by private providers)

If a request for appeal is filed within 15 days of notice of the adverse decision, then benefits continue unchanged.  All requests for hearing must be made within 90 days of notice of the adverse decision.  You may file an appeal with DHS or directly with the Office of Administrative Hearings.  Requests for appeals may be filed by e-mail, by in-person filing, by mail, by facsimile or by calling (202) 442-9094.

Shelter

Under the Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005, the Office of Administrative Hearings can hear appeals involving actions by certain providers of shelter services.  Not all providers are covered—only those that receive money to provide shelter services from DHS or from the federal government, if DHS distributes the money.  A provider that does not receive such money is not covered under the Act.

If a covered provider seeks to deny you shelter services outright or to transfer or suspend you when you are receiving shelter services, you may appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings.  You may also appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings if a service provider has denied you rights protected by the Homeless Services Reform Act. 

If the provider seeks to end shelter services, suspend or transfer a client, the provider must normally give 15 days’ advance written notice and any appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings must be filed within 90 days of receiving the notice.  DHS must then schedule an administrative review.  If the results of the DHS administrative review are even partially unfavorable to the client, the Office of Administrative Hearings will schedule a hearing in the case.

If the provider seeks to take action on an emergency basis, no advance notice is required.  The provider must still provide written notice and DHS must decide within 24 hours of receipt of the notice whether it appears to comply with the Act.  DHS must conduct an administrative review and, if it is even partially unfavorable to the client, the Office of Administrative Hearings will schedule a hearing.  As necessary, the Office of Administrative Hearings will schedule hearings in shelter cases on an emergency basis.

Requests for appeals in shelter cases may be filed at the Office of Administrative Hearings by e-mail, by in-person filing, by mail, by facsimile or by calling (202) 442-9094.

Sample Decisions

Sample Decisions

Administrative law judges issue a written decision for every case that is contested. The decisions below are examples of some issues raised in Office of Administrative Hearings’ cases involving this agency. You can review these decisions to get a sense of how prior cases were decided.

Please note that the facts of each case are different. These cases should be used for informational purposes only.  Identifying information has been redacted from these decisions because of confidentiality requirements.

  • L.O. v. Dep’t of Human Servs., November 28, 2011 (reversing agency decision to reduce TANF and Food Stamp benefits based on the definition of “household”)
  • I.U. v. Dep’t of Human Servs., February 17, 2010 (remanding to agency for recalculation of eligibility for Food Stamps)
  • J.J. v. Dep’t of Human Servs., March 13, 2012 (reversing agency decision to terminate Medicaid benefits)
  • S.R. v. Dep’t of Human Servs., March 27, 2012 (reversing termination of supportive housing program because of insufficient notice)
  • E.R. v. Dep’t of Human Servs.,  February 15, 2012 (reversing decision of provider and ordering an additional amount in Emergency Rental Assistance be paid)
  • A.W. v. Salvation Army, January 31, 2012 (reversing provider denial of Emergency Rental Assistance because petitioner satisfied income standards; in its calculations, provider used the federal poverty level from the wrong year and included funds it should not have)
  • E.N. v. Dep’t of Human Servs. and Office of the State Superintendent of Educ., December 12, 2011 (requiring further information to decide whether agency used correct data to determine eligibility for child care subsidy)
  • E.N. v. Dep’t of Human Servs. and Office of the State Superintendent of Educ., March 7, 2012 (reversing agency decision to terminate subsidized child care benefits because decision was based on adjusted gross income from the wrong year)
  • J.S. v. Partner Arms Transitional Hous. Program, October 14, 2010 (dismissing hearing request because Homeless Services Reform Act does not apply to a provider that does not receive funding from agency)
  • C.B. v. Community of Hope, February 15, 2011 (in three consolidated cases, (1) housing provider to homeless persons ordered to comply with agency administrative review decision and continue to provide some rental assistance services; (2) notice of termination of shelter services reversed because provider failed to prove that permanent housing offered was appropriate for petitioner; and (3) notice of emergency termination of shelter services reversed because provider failed to prove petitioner presented an imminent threat of harm to herself or to others.)
  • M.H. v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, August 2, 2007 (enforcing a favorable DHS administrative review decision over the objection of the shelter)

Agency LawAgency Law

Administrative law judges base their decisions upon many sources of law, chief among them the District of Columbia laws (DC Official Code) and the District of Columbia regulations (DCMR). Depending on the type of case, federal law (US Code) and federal regulations (CFR) may also be relevant. Cases decided on the issues in other courts, especially the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, are relevant.

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