Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0293.000.00 Hearing Requests

IM-37 June 17, 2011IM-64 September 30, 2010

The Temporary Assistance (TA) recipient may request a hearing within Family Support Divisions’ (FSD’s) 10-day adverse action period (or at any time within 90 days of the imposition of the sanction).  The adverse action is notification to the TA recipient that their TA benefits are going to be reduced (sanctioned) or their TA case is going to close.

The adverse action notice is sent when (but is not limited to):

  • TA benefits are going to be sanctioned (reduced) by 25 percent for failing to comply with work participation, or
  • The TA case is going to close based on mail returned and marked by the post office as ‘Unable to Locate’.

A 10-day adverse action is FSD’s official notice of intent to reduce a recipient’s TA benefit for not cooperating with the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) service provider.  The adverse action notice also advises the recipient of the right to a hearing and to representation of the recipient’s choice.  If the hearing is requested within the 10-day adverse action time period, the recipient can continue receiving the TA benefit at the current amount or the sanctioned amount until the disposition of the hearing.

When a hearing is requested based on the MWA service provider’s recommendation, the MWA service provider becomes the primary “proprietor” of the evidence justifying the sanction recommendation.

When a recipient requests a hearing based on non-cooperation with a work-related activity or mail was returned marked “unable to locate”, the hearing unit faxes a copy of the request for hearing, and a copy of the notice of hearing, which includes the date, time, and location of the hearing to FSD Central Office.  FSD Central Office immediately reviews the MWA System record and determines if the sanction alert or the unable to locate alert was sent according to MWA policy.

When the sanction or unable to locate alert was sent in error:

  • FSD Central Office staff:
    • Sends an email to the MWA service provider and the FSD local office staff stating:
      • the sanction or unable to locate alert was sent in error;
      • the reason for the error; and
      • local FSD staff is instructed to withdraw from the hearing.
    • Documents the action in case notes in the MWA System.
  • The MWA service provider must begin re-engagement efforts immediately.

When the sanction alert or unable to locate alert was sent correctly:

  • The MWA service provider and local FSD office staff receives an email stating the alert was sent according to policy and gives the date, time, and place of the hearing.  If only the request for hearing was received by FSD Central Office staff, an email stating policy was followed is sent.  A followed-up email is sent giving the date, time and location once the Notice of State Hearing is received from the hearing unit;
  • The MWA service provider must immediately notify the appropriate case manager that s/he is required to participate in the hearing when scheduled; and
  • The MWA case manager must be prepared to provide relevant testimony and/or evidence relating to the reason for the sanction or reason unable to locate.  See section 0293.005.00 Submitting Evidence for Hearing regarding evidence to submit as evidence for the hearing.

Most hearings are held by telephone at the local FSD office; however, the recipient has the right to request an in-person hearing.  In either instance the appropriate MWA case manager (or supervisory/management staff familiar with the circumstances regarding the recipient’s non-compliance) must participate in the hearing or risk having the hearing officer rule in favor of the recipient based on lack of evidence supporting the FSD’s sanction.

NOTE:  MWA case managers can also participate in the hearing via telephone as long as the required evidence has been provided to the appropriate individuals prior to the hearing.