How to Prepare 
Public Assistance Hearings


Preparation for Hearing

How do I prepare?  

OAH will mail you a Notice of Hearing.  The Notice of Hearing will include the date and time of the hearing.   

You are strongly encouraged to contact the Agency Representative to discuss your case. Their name and phone number can be found at the end of your Notice of Hearing.  You may be able to resolve some issues before the hearing.

What documents will I receive?

DSHS will mail you a copy of the documents they will present at the hearing. Read these documents carefully. You should have these documents with you during the hearing.

If you have documents you want to present at the hearing, you must mail them to OAH before the hearing. You must also mail a copy to the Agency Representative.  If you think DSHS has documents that will help you, contact them before the hearing.  Their address and phone number can be found at the end of your Notice of Hearing. 

Write your docket number on all documents so they are put into your file.  Do not wait to submit your documents.  It is important to follow these instructions.  If you do not, your documents may not be considered.

You can file documents or review your case information through the Participant Portal.

Training and Resources:

How do I participate?

Read your Notice of Hearing carefully to learn how your hearing will be held. Follow all instructions closely. 

Many hearings are held over the phone.  You may ask to change the way your hearing is held.  Call 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.

How do I prepare for a phone hearing?

Your hearing may be held over the phone. Please follow these guidelines for phone hearings:

  1. If using a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
  2. Try to have good, clear reception. If the judge cannot hear you, your case may have to be rescheduled.
  3. Be in a quiet location.
  4. You must be able to receive calls from a blocked caller ID or unknown number.
  5. Have a pen and paper available for note taking.
  6. Have all documents with you during the hearing.
  7. You may not be driving during the hearing.
  8. Do not multitask. The judge will expect your full attention.

How long will my hearing last?

The length of your hearing will depend on the type and complexity of your case. Many hearings last an hour or less.