Section 359.6 - Notification of administrative disqualification hearing.

359.6 Notification of administrative disqualification hearing. (a) Following a determination that the evidentiary packet is sufficient, the department must schedule an administrative disqualification hearing. The notice of administrative disqualification hearing which notifies the accused individual of the scheduled hearing must be mailed by first class mail, or provided by any other reliable method, to the accused individual.

(b) The hearing will be held at a time and place convenient to the accused as far as practicable, taking into account circumstances such as physical inability to travel to a regular hearing location.

(c) When it mails the notice of administrative disqualification hearing to the accused individual, the department must mail to the social services district which requested the hearing a notification of the time, date and place of the hearing by regular mail.

(d) Notice of administrative disqualification hearing. A written notice must be provided by the department to an individual alleged to have committed an intentional program violation in accordance with the standards described in section 359.3 of this Part. This notice must be provided to the individual at least 30 days prior to the date of the administrative disqualification hearing. The notice must include:

(1) the date, time, and place of the hearing;

(2) the charge(s) against the individual;

(3) a summary of the evidence and how and where the evidence may be examined;

(4) a statement warning that the decision will be based solely on information provided by the social services district if the individual fails to appear at the hearing;

(5) a notification that the individual or the individual's representative may have an opportunity to examine all documents and records to be used at the hearing by calling an identified telephone number and making arrangements to examine the documents and records at a specified place, provided that confidential information, such as names of individuals who have disclosed information about the public assistance unit or the nature or status of pending criminal prosecutions, cannot be released;

(6) notification of the individual's right to:

(i) an adjournment, provided that such a request is made at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. In addition, such notification must advise the individual that if an adjournment is requested less than 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing date, the individual must demonstrate good cause for requesting the adjournment;

(ii) present the case or be represented by legal counsel or other person;

(iii) bring witnesses;

(iv) advance arguments without undue interference;

(v) question or refute any testimony or evidence;

(vi) confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses; and

(vii) submit evidence to establish all pertinent facts in the case;

(7) notification that the accused individual has the right to remain silent during the hearing process, but that inferences can be drawn from the silence of the individual;

(8) a statement that upon request, a copy of this part will be made available to the individual or his or her representative at the social services district during normal business hours;

(9) copies of the sections of this part relevant to the hearing process;

(10) a citation of the federal or State regulations governing the hearing and/or offense where appropriate;

(11) a listing of legal aid and/or legal services organizations which are available to assist in the defense of the case;

(12) a statement that the hearing does not preclude the state or federal government from prosecuting the individual for fraud in a civil or criminal court action, or from collecting an overpayment or recovering over-issuances of benefits;

(13) a statement that in order to receive a new hearing the individual or the individual's representative will have 10 days from the date of the scheduled hearing to present to the department good cause reasons for failing to appear at the hearing;

(14) a description of the penalties that can result from a determination that the individual has committed an intentional program violation and a statement of the penalty which is applicable to the individual; and

(15) an explanation that the individual may, in writing, waive his or her right to appear at an administrative disqualification hearing as provided in section 359.8 of this Part. This explanation must include:

(i) the date that the signed waiver must be received by the department and a place in which the accused individual can sign his or her name. This explanation must also include a statement that any caretaker relative or head of household must also sign the waiver if the accused individual is not the caretaker relative or head of household; the waiver statement must include an appropriately designated signature block in which such other individual can sign his or her name;

(ii) a statement of the accused individual's right to remain silent concerning the charge(s), but that inferences can be drawn from the silence of the individual, and that anything said or signed by the individual concerning the charge(s) can be used against him or her in a court of law or at an administrative hearing;

(iii) the fact that a waiver of an individual's right to appear at an administrative disqualification hearing may result in a disqualification penalty and a reduction or discontinuance of assistance or food stamp benefits for the appropriate period even if the accused individual does not admit to the facts as presented by the social services district;

(iv) an opportunity for the accused individual to specify whether or not he or she admits to the facts as presented by the social services district;

(v) the telephone number and, if possible, the name of the department employee and an employee of the social services district to contact for additional information; and

(vi) the fact that the remaining members, if any, of the household or assistance unit will be held responsible for the repayment of any overpayment or over-issuance.

 

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