The Administrative Hearings Unit (AHU) is responsible for all activities relating to official requests for a State hearing on claims of improper action or inaction by DPSS relating to programs administered by the department. A person who files a request for a State hearing is referred to as a “claimant.”
When an action is taken on a Foster Care case, the FC ET sends a Notice of Action (NOA). The back of the NOA provides instructions for requesting a formal state hearing. The request may be made in writing by completing the Hearing Request information on the back of the NOA, or by telephone by calling 1-800-952-5253 (TDD 1-800-952-8349).
When a claimant files a request for hearing, the AHU reviews the action taken to determine if correct and appropriate actions have been taken for all categorical aid programs. The AHU works with the claimant to resolve issues by either obtaining needed information or verification from the claimant, or requiring corrective action by DPSS.
If the issue cannot be resolved through the problem resolution process and a hearing is required, the AHU prepares written position statements, documentary evidence, and witnesses to represent the position of the county at the State hearing.
The AHU representative, the claimant and any person he or she decides to bring, and any County staff the AHU representative requests, will attend a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) appointed by the California Dept. of Social Service (CDSS). The AHU presents the department’s position in hearing to the ALJ. The AHU reports to CDSS on all corrective actions taken by DPSS in compliance with State Hearing decisions.
Eligibility and Assistance Standards (EAS) section 45-304.11 defines an overpayment as “any amount of aid paid which a foster care provider received on behalf of a child to which the provider was not entitled.” EAS 45-304 further provides that the County:
* avoid overpayments by prorating the foster care payment if the child resided in the foster care facility for less than the full month, and
* demand and collect overpayments for any period of time in which the foster child was not cared for in the foster care facility when the information was not provided timely to allow the payment to be prorated.
The County will prorate payments and/or collect most overpayments. The FC ET determines whether the overpayment meets criteria for voluntary repayment or involuntary repayment. Caregivers seeking to repay overpayments may contact DPSS Recovery by telephone at (951)358-3200 or by mail at 3021 Franklin Ave., Riverside, CA 92507.
The following regulations apply: Eligibility and Assistance Standards (EAS) 45-302.23 and 45-304.11 through 45-304.113 which may be viewed here.
A Notice of Action (NOA) is sent to the caregiver when an overpayment is assessed. The Notice of Action provides information for requesting an informal and/or a formal hearing.
- In order to request an informal hearing, the request must be made no later than 30 calendar days after this NOA was mailed.
- To appeal the informal hearing decision at a formal State hearing, the caregiver must request the formal State hearing within 90 calendar days after the informal hearing decision is mailed. If the informal hearing is requested but not held, the 90 days will begin 31 calendar days from the date of the NOA.