Hearings will be held by telephone conference between the hearing officer, the FSD witness, the EU and their representative, and the interpretive service, when needed. Refer to section 0130.020.20.05 Hearing Requests From Non-English Speakers.
Customers must be allowed to have their hearing held in their county of residence. Regardless of location, a private room must be available to the customer for the hearing.
The EU may have other individuals such as friends or relatives attend the hearing. However, the hearing officer has the authority to limit the number of persons attending who are not participating in the hearing.
The hearing officer:
- Starts the electronic recording of the hearing to ensure a complete hearing record
- Explains the purpose of the hearing
- Explains the ground rules of the hearing
- Informs the EU of their rights in the hearing process. The client and his or her representative have the right to:
- Examine all documents to be used at the hearing, including exhibits, allowing sufficient time for preparation of the case
- Represent himself or herself at the hearing, or be represented by an attorney or any other person who may be helpful in the presentation of the case
- Present witnesses and documents pertinent to the case
- Establish facts and advance arguments pertinent to the case without undue interference; and
- Question or refute testimony or evidence, including the opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses
- Reviews the reason (s) for the case action
- Swears in the witnesses
- Conducts the hearing in an orderly manner to impartially obtain full disclosure and discussion of facts and evidence essential to the hearing
The FSD witness:
- Testifies and presents information about the case action
- Explains relevant regulations, policies, and guidelines
- Requests to introduce as exhibits documentary evidence substantiating the FSD’s decision and action taken on the case
- Does not cross examine, enter objections or conduct direct examination during the hearing
Following the FSD witness presentation, the hearing officer will allow for the EU or the EU’s representative to cross examine, challenge and object to evidence submitted from the FSD. Then, the EU or representative will present information about the case and any documentary evidence.
The FSD witness may:
- Examine the EU’s evidence
- Provide rebuttal testimony only upon request of the hearing officer, and
- Request a continuance if new information is introduced which may affect the eligibility determination
The hearing officer may:
- Adjourn the hearing
- Request additional information and leave the hearing record open, or
- Allow a continuance of the hearing if one has been requested