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Issue Alert - 09-04-01

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Apr 10, 2009

Program Area:

All Programs

Issue Summary:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will now accept faxed hearing requests

Persons Affected:

Individuals either who were either denied or terminated from assistance or whose application is still pending past the program’s standard of promptness, and wish to request a hearing.

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Clients or their Authorized Hearing Representatives (AHR) have a right to request a hearing to challenge a denial, reduction, or termination of benefits by the Department of Human Services (DHS).  They also can request a hearing if their application for benefits has not been processed within the mandatory time limits.  Except for the Food Assistance Program (FAP), all hearing requests must be signed and in writing.  Hearing requests for FAP can be either oral or in writing.

For more information regarding the time when benefits programs must be processed, see PAM115.  For more information on the Hearings Process, see PAM 600.

The DHS manuals are available on-line at or through a link at

What's Happening?

DHS will now accept written hearing requests via fax.  Hearing requests sent by fax still must contain either the client’s or AHR’s signature.

What Should Advocates Do?

Inform clients of that they can request hearings by fax.  Assist clients with the faxes if possible especially when the client is close to a deadline.  Keep a fax printout showing tha the fax was sent and received.

What Should Clients Do?

Be aware that you can request a hearing in writing either by mailing the request to the local office, submitted the request to the office in person, or faxing the hearing request.   If you mail the request, it is best to get a receipt showing it was delivered if you can afford to do so.  If you hand deliver the request, sign it into the log book if you DHS office has one.   If you fax the request, get a fax printout showing that it was sent and received.  Be aware of all deadlines for requesting a hearing.  You have 90 days to request a hearing from the date of the letter from DHS denying or terminating your benefits.  In some instances, you can continue to receive benefits at the current level if you request your hearing within 11 days of the date on the notice of termination or reduction. 

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.