The Department of Social Services has suspended in-person visits to our field offices as a protective measure for customers and staff. We are continuing to provide services. Customers can access benefit and application information, 24/7, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or 1-855-6-CONNECT. Full information on ways to contact DSS online, by phone, by mail, and at office dropboxes is at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices. Information and updates about child support is available at www.ct.gov/dss/childsupport. Please also visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus for latest State of Connecticut updates; and www.ct.gov/dss/covid for DSS-specific updates. Thank you.

Office of Legal Counsel, Regulations and Administrative Hearings (OLCRAH)

FAQs

  • WHAT IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE DISQUALIFICATION HEARING?
    Answer:

    An administrative disqualification hearing (ADH) is held at the request of the Regional Office when it feels that an Assistance Unit Member has committed an intentional program violation. This process may be used as an alternative to referral to the court system for prosecution but does not preclude additional civil or criminal action.

  • ATTENDANCE AT HEARING
    Answer:

    You are advised to attend the hearing in person although others including a lawyer may represent you. The Department of Social Services cannot, however, pay any legal fees.

  • CLIENT'S RIGHTS DURING HEARING
    Answer:

    The Assistance Unit member may not be familiar with the rules of order, and it may be necessary to make particular efforts to arrive at the facts of the case in a way that makes the individual feel most at ease. The individual or representative must be given adequate opportunity to:

    • Examine all documents and records to be used at the hearing at a reasonable time before the date of the hearing as well as during the hearing. The contents of the case record including the application form and documents of verification the State used to establish the ineligibility or eligibility will be made available. Confidential information, such as names of individuals who have disclosed information about the Assistance Unit without their knowledge, or the nature or status of pending criminal prosecutions, will be protected from release. If requested by the Assistance Unit or its representative, the State will provide to the Assistance Unit a free copy of the portions of the case file that are relevant to the hearing. Confidential information and other documents of record which the assistance unit will not otherwise have an opportunity to contest or challenge will not be introduced at the hearing or affect the hearing officer’s decision.
    • Present the case or have it presented by legal counsel.
    • Advance arguments without undue influence.
    • question or refute any testimony or evidence, including an opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses
    • Submit evidence to establish all pertinent facts and circumstances in the case.
    • Bring witnesses.
  • EVIDENCE
    Answer:

    You are expected to bring to the hearing any papers, documents or other information which is related to your hearing. You may also try to disprove any evidence presented by the Department and question all witnesses. The Department of Social Services has the burden, using clear and convincing evidence, to prove that you intentionally violated a provision of the Food Stamp and/or the Jobs First Program (formerly AFDC).

  • FAILURE TO APPEAR
    Answer:

    Hearing will be held and a decision issued even if you or your representative fail to appear. The decision will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.

  • GOOD CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR
    Answer:

    If you do not attend the hearing, you have ten (10) days from the date of your scheduled hearing to present good cause for failure to appear in order to receive a new hearing. The Hearing Officer will decide whether to grant your request for a new hearing.

  • HEARING
    Answer:

    A Hearing officer will hold the hearing by video call. The hearing will be scheduled at the Regional Office closest to your home. If you are disabled and unable to travel to the Regional Office, the hearing may be held in your home if you request.

  • HEARING DECISION
    Answer:

    The decision of the hearing officer is final and binding on both you and the Department. If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you may request a reconsideration of the decision and/or file an appeal at Superior court. The hearing decision will be issued within ninety days from the mailing date of the appointment letter.

  • POSTPONEMENT
    Answer:

    If you cannot make the scheduled hearing, you must contact the Administrative Hearing Office (1-800-462-0134) in Hartford at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled date. You are entitled to one postponement. The hearing may not be postponed for more than thirty (30) days.

  • RECORD ACCESS
    Answer:

    Before the date of the hearing, you and/or your authorized representative have the right to inspect all material in your case file including what will be used by the Department at the hearing except as limited by Federal Regulations or Department Policy. You may also examine the record at the hearing. To arrange for an appointment to examine your record, contact your local Regional Office.

  • RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
    Answer:

    You are advised of your right to remain silent and that anything you say or sign may be used against you in a court of law.

  • SCHEDULING OF HEARING
    Answer:

    You will be notified by certified mail of date of the time and place the hearing, at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing.