Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

Fair Hearings Process

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) oversees public assistance programs for needy individuals and families. These programs are administered by local districts under the overall supervision of OTDA. When a local district determines that public assistance benefits should be denied, discontinued or reduced, the determination can be appealed in a hearing held before an OTDA administrative law judge. We examined various aspects of the hearing process and found that improvements are needed. For example, most of the appealed determinations are either reversed by the administrative law judge or withdrawn by the local district. In addition, we estimate that, over a 21-month period, $2.8 million in benefits were overpaid by the local districts because of delays in the hearing process. We further found provisions often are not made for recovering overpayments and the adjustments made to the benefits as a result of the hearings are not always timely. We recommend that OTDA more closely monitor the hearing process.

For a complete copy of Report 97-S-42 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.