What to Expect at your Public Assistance Hearings - Prehearing Conference Process

Prehearing Conference Process

Do I have a Prehearing Conference (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, time, and location of the prehearing conference or hearing.

What is a PHC?

Some cases have a prehearing conference before the hearing. This is a brief phone call with the judge and your DSHS representative. The judge may discuss the date and time for the hearing with you during the PHC.

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

What happens at a PHC?

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, present any documents, or need witnesses. That will happen at the hearing.

How do I prepare for a phone PHC?

  • PHCs typically last 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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 PHC, you will get a PHC order in the mail that confirms everything that was agreed on.