What to Expect 
Public Assistance Hearings


Prehearing Conference Process

What is a Prehearing Conference (PHC)?

Some cases have a prehearing conference (PHC) before the hearing.  This is a brief phone call with the judge and the Agency Representative.

You must participate in the prehearing conference.  Otherwise, your case may be dismissed.

What happens at a PHC?

You will agree on a date and time for the hearing.  The judge will explain how the hearing works.  The judge will also make sure that everyone understands what the hearing will be about.  You will not tell the judge your side of the case and you do not need witnesses.  That will happen at the hearing.

Do I have a PHC or a hearing?

This information can be found on your notice.  In the top right corner it will say “Notice of Prehearing Conference” or “Notice of Hearing.”

This notice also gives you the date and time of the prehearing conference. 

How do I prepare for a phone hearing?

  • PHCs typically last 30 minutes.
  • If using a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
  • Try to have good, clear reception. If the judge cannot hear you, your case may have to be rescheduled.
  • Be in a quiet location.
  • You must be able to receive calls from a blocked caller ID or unknown number.
  • Have a pen and paper available for note taking.
  • You may not be driving during the PHC.
  • Do not multitask. The judge will expect your full attention.

What is a PHC Order?

After the prehearing conference, you will get a PHC order in the mail that confirms everything that was agreed on.