Often, you can resolve matters without legal action by talking to your Local DES Office.
If you disagree with a decision or action taken by the DES, you have a right to file an appeal (ask for a legal review) of your case. This review is called a Fair Hearing. You can ask for a Fair Hearing on DES decisions or actions on all of the following programs:
- AHCCCS Health Insurance (Medical Assistance)
- Cash Assistance
- Nutrition Assistance
- Two-Parent Employment Program
- Tuberculosis Control
In a Fair Hearing, an impartial Administrative Law Judge reviews DES’s decision to make sure Arizona law and DES policy is correct. You must request a Fair Hearing within 30 days of the mailing date of the decision notice by completing and returning the Fair Hearing Request Form FA-100. For Nutrition Assistance, you must request a Fair Hearing within 90 days of the mailing date of the decision notice.
Your Fair Hearing Rights
DES must send you a notice when a decision is made on your case. A Fair Hearing is your chance to explain your case to a judge who will decide if DES made the right decision.
You have the right to:
- Ask for a Fair Hearing if you do not agree with a decision we made.
- Ask for a Fair Hearing if we have not made a timely decision.
- Ask for a pre-hearing meeting with DES to discuss your case.
- Review your DES case file.
- Get a copy of the law, rule or policy that we used in your decision.
- Present testimony and evidence at the Fair Hearing to support your case.
- Bring a representative or lawyer to the Fair Hearing.
What happens after you ask for a Fair Hearing?
You will receive a notice asking you to contact us for a pre-hearing meeting with DES. You do not have to come to the pre-hearing meeting. If you do, we may be able to fix the problem.
If the problem cannot be fixed, the DES Office of Appeals will send you a notice telling you the date and time of the Fair Hearing.
How do you request a Fair Hearing?
Download the Fair Hearing Request Form FA-100 or request a form at your local office.
Give the local DES office your completed Fair Hearing Request form, or a written statement in person, by mail, or by fax. Find your Local Office at the DES Office Locator.
The statement asking for a Fair Hearing should include your address, date of the notice you do not agree with, and a reason why you do not agree with the decision.
What is the deadline to request a Fair Hearing?
You must request a Fair hearing within:
- 30 days from the date on the decision notice for: AHCCCS Health Insurance (Medical Assistance), Cash Assistance, Two-Parent Employment Program and Tuberculosis Control
- 90 days from the date on the decision notice for Nutrition Assistance
How can you keep getting benefits while you wait for a Fair Hearing?
You may keep getting benefits if you ask for a Fair Hearing within 10 days from the date on the decision notice. For Cash Assistance you may keep getting benefits if you ask for a Fair Hearing any time prior to the effective date of the adverse action on your case. But, you cannot keep getting benefits while you wait for a Fair Hearing if:
- Your application was denied.
- Your benefits were stopped because the approval period ended.
- You received the maximum benefits under the program.
- The law changed.
Caution: If you do not go to your Fair Hearing, withdraw your Fair Hearing request, or the judge decides that DES was correct, you may have to REFUND any type of Cash Assistance benefits or Nutrition Assistance benefits received while waiting for the Fair Hearing.