How to Prepare for your Public Assistance Hearing

Preparation for Hearing

How do I participate?

OAH will mail you a Notice of Hearing. It will include the date, time, and location of your hearing.
Read your Notice of Hearing carefully to learn how your hearing will be held. Follow all instructions closely.

You are strongly encouraged to contact your DSHS 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.
Most hearings are held over the phone. You may ask to change the way your hearing is held by calling OAH at 360-407-2700.

What do I need to know for my phone hearing?

Please follow these guidelines for phone hearings:

• If using a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
• Try to have good, clear reception.
• Be in a quiet location. If the judge cannot hear you, your case may have to be rescheduled.
• Have a pen and paper available for note taking.
• Have all documents with you during the hearing.
• You may not be driving during the hearing.
• 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.

What documents will I receive?

Your Notice of Hearing will include a Hearing Rights Brochure. You can refer to it for more information.
DSHS will also 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.

What if I have documents to present at the hearing?

Before the hearing, you must send OAH any documents you would like to present at the hearing. You must also send a copy to your DSHS 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 might not be considered. If you need additional help, please contact OAH at 360-407-2700.