How to Prepare
Public Assistance Hearings


General Hearing Information

How can I request a hearing?

In most cases, you can request a hearing in writing or by phone. If you have any questions about how to request a hearing, please call 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.

In some cases, you cannot request a hearing by phone.  If you disagree with a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) notice, read it carefully.  It has instructions on how to request a hearing.  It is your responsibility to make sure you request a hearing correctly. If you do not, you may lose your right to a hearing. 

Do I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer.  Most people represent themselves.  You may have a lawyer, family member or friend represent you as long as they do not work for DSHS.  The state will not pay for your lawyer.

Can I change the hearing date?

You can change the hearing date if you have a good reason.  You must call the Agency Representative as soon as possible if you need to change the date or time of your hearing.  The judge will decide if the date or time may be changed.  If your hearing date changes, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will send you another notice with the new date and time.    

What if I need an interpreter?

If you want an interpreter, click Interpreter Request or call OAH as soon as possible. The state will pay for the interpreter.  Family members and friends cannot be your interpreter at the hearing.  

For a free translation of OAH documents, call 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.

What if I have a disability and require an accommodation? 

If you or any of your witnesses have a disability and require an accommodation to participate, contact OAH as soon as possible. You will need to tell OAH about how the disability effects the ability to participate and describe how we can help by accommodating the need so you can access our facilities and services. 

Click Accommodation Request to request an accommodation or call OAH at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.  

What if my phone number or address changes?

If your phone number or address changes, call OAH as soon as possible at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.  You should also call DSHS.

What if I want to cancel my hearing?

To cancel your hearing, call the Agency Representative.  You may also send a written statement to DSHS or OAH.  Please include your name and docket number or client ID.  

Can I reapply for benefits?

If your benefits have been denied or terminated, you may reapply at any time.  Your hearing with OAH will not affect your new application.  Contact your Agency Representative for more information.