**DSS Field Offices are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

**DSS Field Offices and our staffed telephone Benefits Center (1-855-6-CONNECT or 1-855-626-6632) are closed on Wednesdays to allow our staff time to process applications, renewals and related work.

**24/7 access: Customers can access benefit and application information, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or our automated Client Information Line at 1-855-6-CONNECT (1-855-626-6632). More about 24/7 access options at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices.

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

The Hearing Decision

After the hearing is over, the Hearing Officer will issue a final written decision.

Timing of the Decision
In general, the Hearing Officer will issue the final decision not later than 90 days after the date DSS receives the hearing request. That time is extended if the Appellant asks for or agrees to an extension or when the Commissioner of Social Services documents an administrative or other extenuating circumstance beyond the Commissioner’s control.

If the Hearing Officer does not issue the final decision within these time limits, it does not mean that the relief requested by the Appellant is granted.  The Appellant may ask the Hearing Officer to issue the final decision, and the Hearing Officer will issue the decision not later than 20 days after receiving the request.

For SNAP, the Hearing Officer will issue a final decision within 60 days of DSS receiving the hearing request.

For nursing facility transfer or discharge hearings, the Hearing Officer will issue a final written decision not later than 30 days after the hearing ended or not later than 60 days after the date of the hearing request, whichever occurs sooner. For failure to readmit hearings, the final decision will be issued not later than 30 days after the hearing record is closed.

The Hearing Officer will mail the final decision to the Appellant (and an authorized representative, attorney and/or nursing facility, as appropriate) by signature confirmation not later than one business day after the decision is issued. 

Content of the Decision
The Hearing Officer’s final decision contains Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and a result that supports either the Department’s position or the Appellant’s position.  The facts in the final decision are based only on the documents and testimony presented at the hearing. The Hearing Officer applies the relevant law to the facts and issues the final decision.

The Hearing Officer decides whether the Department has established, by a preponderance of the evidence/substantial evidence, that the proposed action, in whole or in part, is correct.  If the Hearing Officer decides that the Department’s proposed action is incorrect, the Hearing Officer will order the Department to review and change the proposed action in accordance with the final hearing decision.  If the Hearing Officer finds that the Department’s proposed action is correct, and upholds the Department, the Appellant has rights as described in the After The Hearing Decision section of the website.

See Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 17b-61; 19a-535(h); 19a-537(h); 7 CFR § 273.15(c); 42 C.F.R. § 431.244(f)