The Appeal Hearings Section conducts public assistance, nursing home discharge, and other administrative hearings on behalf of the Department. The parties to the appeal include a petitioner, who requested the appeal, and respondent, who is responding to the hearing request. The purpose of a fair hearing is to afford due process in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
The issue for a public assistance fair hearing may include when the Department’s action, intended action, or failure to act would adversely affect the individual's or family's eligibility for an amount or type of public assistance benefits; or where action on a claim for such assistance or services is unreasonably delayed. These hearings are generally referred to as "Fair Hearings" in federal regulations. A request for a public assistance fair hearing can be made at a local Department office, the Customer Call Center (CCC), or directly to the Appeal Hearings Section. There is a time limit in which an appeal can be made, depending on program rules. For Food Assistance, Cash Assistance, and Medicaid programs, a fair hearing must be requested within 90 days of the Notice of Case Action.
The section employs dedicated full-time hearing officers to conduct hearings. Each hearing officer is a trained, knowledgeable, independent, and neutral adjudicator who had no involvement in the initial determination. The hearing officer makes a written decision on the appeal based on the evidence developed on the record and the program rules and regulations. The written decision is in the form of a Final Order issued to all parties at the conclusion of the appeal. If the final decision is adverse to the non-agency party, an appeal may be requested within a limited time to the appropriate District Court of Appeal.
Office of Inspector General
Appeal Hearings Section
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Building 5, Room 255
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
Phone 850-488-1429 | Fax 850-487-0662