OAH Procedures Transmittal 16-06
02 Jul, 2016
On July 1, 2016, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) issued OAH Procedures Transmittal 16-06, entitled "Review of Disqualification Consent Agreement (DCA) and New Issue codes 170 and 443."
This transmittal addresses a change in policy concerning jurisdiction to review at a Fair Hearing a Disqualification Consent Agreement (DCA) signed by an accused individual. Previously, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) determined that it did not have jurisdiction to review a DCA at a Fair Hearing. However, various advocacy groups have raised concerns that social services districts (SSDs) have not followed the procedural requirements in State regulations (18 NYCRR 359.4), to ensure the due process rights of accused individuals who sign a DCA to settle a Public Assistance, or SNAP Intentional Program Violation (IPV). Therefore, OAH will conduct a limited review of a DCA at a Fair Hearing to ensure that the SSD followed the procedural requirements outlined in 18 NYCRR 359.4(b)(1) and (b)(4).
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At the Fair Hearing, the SSD has the burden to show that the DCA signed by the accused individual meets the requirements in 18 NYCRR 359.4(b)(1) and that the accused individual was provided a copy of the DCA, along with the notification of the consequences, at least ten (10) days prior to the signing and that the accused individual was advised that he/she may obtain a legal or other authorized representative prior to and at the time the DCA is signed, as required by 18 NYCRR 359.4(b)(4). The underlying merits of the claim of alleged fraud will not be reviewed at the Fair Hearing. This review is strictly limited to whether the SSD complied with the procedural requirements in18 NYCRR 359.4(b)(1) and (b)(4) to obtain the DCA from the accused individual.
If the SSD fails to meet its burden of proof, then the DCA cannot be upheld if the SSD did not comply with the procedural requirements of 18 NYCRR 359.4(b)(1) and (b)(4). The SSD should be directed to restore any lost Temporary Assistance (Family Assistance (FA) or Safety Net Assistance (SNA)) or SNAP benefits retroactive to the date of discontinuance. Additionally, the SSD should be advised that if it determines to redo its previous action, it is directed to comply with the requirements of 18 NYCRR 359.4(b).
Effective July 5, 2016, new Fair Hearing Information System (FHIS) issue codes will be available for statewide use. Coding for hearing requests related to this issue is as follows:
Category: FA/SNA or SNAP
AID STATUS: NA
Staff should be aware that no other unrelated issues should be included in these requests.
If you have any questions regarding this transmittal, please contact Michael Allen at (518) 473-4969 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Author: Gene Doyle, LMSW.