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Issue Alert - DHS issues clarification of how 90 days are counted for request of hearing

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Mar 25, 2015

Program Area:

All - BAM 600

Issue Summary:

In order to request a hearing with the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Department of Community Health (DCH), the request must be submitted within 90 days of the Notice of Case Action. A clarification of how the 90 days are counted has been added to BAM 600 at page 6.

Persons Affected:

Individuals requesting an administrative hearing pursuant to the Social Welfare Act and the Bridges Administrative Manual (BAM) 600.

For More Information:

Lisa Ruby Michigan Poverty Law Program
220 E. Huron, Suite 600A
Ann Arbor MI 48104-3000
P: (734) 998-6100 ext. 117
F: (734) 998-9125

Center for Civil Justice
436 S. Saginaw St., 4th Floor
Flint MI 48502-1829
P: (810) 244-8044
F: (810) 244-5550


Applicants and recipients of Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Community Health (DCH) benefits can request a hearing for most negative actions taken by these agencies. The client must receive a written notice of all case actions affecting eligibility or amount of benefits. When a case action is completed and sent to the claimant it must specify: 

  • The action being taken by the department. 
  • The reason(s) for the action.  
  • The specific manual item(s) that cites the legal base for an action, or the regulation, or law itself.

Requests for a hearing must be made in writing and signed by an adult member of the eligible group; or the client’s authorized hearing representative (AHR). The request must bear a signature. Faxes or photocopies of signatures are acceptable. Michigan Administrative Hearings System (MAHS) will deny requests signed by unauthorized persons and requests without signatures. 

Exception: For Food Assistance Program (FAP) only, a hearing request may be written or oral. It is still recommended that claimants request a hearing in writing and keep a copy for their records.  in order to be valid, a hearing request must be received by DHS within 90 days of the date on the Notice of Case Action.


What's Happening?

BAM 600 states that the hearing request must be received by DHS within 90 days of the date on the Notice of Case Action. Starting April 1, 2015, how the 90 days are counted has been clarified.  


Computation of time for the purposes of administrative hearings is determined as follows:  

  • Time is measured in calendar days.  
  • The computation of time begins on the day after the act, event, or action occurs. (The day on which the act, event, or action occurred is not included.) 
  • The last day of the time period is included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, State of Michigan holiday, or day on which the State of Michigan offices are closed. (In such instances, the last day of the time period is the next business day.) 
  • The last day of the time period runs through the normal close of business. 

Example: A notice of case action is issued on August 1st. Under BAM 600, the client has 90 days to request an administrative hearing. In computing this time period, August 1st, the date on which the action was taken, is not counted. The client must file a request for hearing by the close of business on October 30th (unless that day is a weekend, holiday, or non-working day, in which case the request must be filed by the close of the next business day.) 

Exception: For FAP only, the client or AHR may request a hearing disputing the current level of benefits at any time within the benefit period. 

What Should Advocates Do?

Count carefully! Three months does not always equal 90 days - look at a calendar. When assessing if a hearing request is timely, check to see that the last day does not fall on a weekend or holiday. 

What Should Clients Do?

Request hearings in writing and keep a copy of the request for your records. If you receive a Notice of Case Action that you want to contest, check the date on the notice and count the number of days on a calendar to be sure you don't miss your deadline to file a hearing request. 

If you are an ongoing recipient of benefits and wish to receive benefits pending a hearing, you must file a timely hearing request. A timely hearing request is a request received by DHS within 10 days of the date the notice of case action was issued. When the 10th calendar day is a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or other non-workday, the request is timely if received by the following workday. There are no benefits pending for applicants or food assistance recipients if your benefit period has expired.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.