Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1142.050.00 Claims Hearings

IM-134 October 28, 2022; IM-06 January 15, 2015; IM-142 December 2, 2005

When a claim is established, a demand letter is sent to the household notifying them of their right to a fair hearing (see 1142.045.00 Demand Letters). Any responsible member may request a fair hearing regarding the claim.

To track the hearing go to the “CARS” Change Claim Information (OVCC) screen. For timely hearing requests made within 90 days from the date the claim was established, enter Y and the date the hearing was requested in the FAIR HEARING REQ field. There is no recoupment of SNAP benefits pending the hearing decision. The hearing request must be entered to prevent recoupment.

Note: When an appeal of the fair hearing decision is filed with the Circuit Court, there is also no recoupment until a judgment is rendered.  

A hearing may be requested on the establishment of the claim, or collection activity such as recoupment. The same day a hearing is requested by a responsible member of the claim, print the demand letter using instructions found in the Cars User Guide Printing a CARS-3 Demand Letter.  For CARS-3 Demand Letters dated prior to October 7, 2008 continue to request a copy from the SNAP Policy Unit. Email Demand letters are not re-produced for claims established prior to August 6, 2001. If the claimant is requesting a hearing because collection has begun on a claim that was established prior to August 6, 2001, print the OVLI – DEMAND LETTER INQUIRY screen to submit as evidence that a demand letter was sent.

The hearing decision is entered into CARS on the CHANGE CLAIM INFORMATION (OVCC) screen. Make the following entries in the DECISION field:

  • W (Withdrawn) and the date of the withdrawal – if the hearing request is withdrawn by the claimant or the agency
  • U (Upheld) and the date of the hearing decision – if the agency is upheld
  • R (Reversed) and the date of the hearing decision – if the agency is reversed

The hearing decision is sent to the claimant and the agency. If the agency is upheld and an overpayment exists, an after-hearings notice of the claim is included in the hearing decision. The household is given an opportunity to complete the repayment agreement.

Thirty days after the hearing decision, recoupment of SNAP benefits may begin if another repayment method is not chosen and the individual receives SNAP benefits.

For instructions see CARS User guide Entering and Tracking Fair Hearing Requests in CARS.