FAIR HEARINGS

If you are dissatisfied with an action or decision of the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) relating to your application or to your services, you can request a fair hearing with an impartial hearing officer. You can request a hearing within one year of the DOR action or decision, or within thirty days from your receipt of a written Administrative Review decision.

You may concurrently seek an informal Administrative Review by contacting the District Administrator. The Administrative Review Decision will be rendered within 15 days of the date of the request.

Many problems can be resolved informally and more quickly at the local level than through the fair hearing process.

Impartial hearing officers conduct fair hearings throughout California and render decisions on whether the DOR actions or decisions are in accordance with the Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations  and other applicable law.

If you need assistance with the fair hearing process, please contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) to request advocacy services.

The hearing will be held within 60 days from the date of your request unless you agree to a later date. At the hearing, you may appear in person and may be accompanied by a Client Assistance Program (CAP) representative or other representative of your choice.

For information on requesting a Fair Hearing, please contact the District Administrator in your local district office. You can also download and print the DR 107, Request for Mediation and/or Fair Hearing form.

If you are not satisfied with the fair hearing decision, you can file a writ of mandate, within six months of the decision, with the California Superior Court.

Fair Hearing Process Information 

Requesting a Fair Hearing

To request a fair hearing, send a completed "Request for Mediation and/or Fair Hearing" form (DR 107)  within one year of the action or decision of the DOR, or within thirty days of your receipt of a written Administrative Review decision, to the Mediation and Fair Hearing Office by mail, fax, hand delivery or email.

When you complete the DR 107, explain the reason that you are requesting a hearing, why the DOR action or decision should be changed, and what action you wish to have taken.

If you have questions regarding mediation and/or the fair hearing process, please contact the Mediation/Fair Hearing Office at 1-916-558-5860 or  appealsinfo@dor.ca.gov. You may also contact the District Administrator in your local DOR office .

The Mediation and Fair Hearing Office will respond to your request within two weeks, indicating if your appeal has been accepted. If it has, the hearing will be set within 60 calendar days, unless you agree to a later date. When an appeal request is accepted, it means that the issue is subject to appeal and within the jurisdiction of the impartial hearing officer.

If your request is not accepted, the Mediation and Fair Hearing Office may ask for more information from you, or you will receive information on why it was denied and what your options may be.

Before the Hearing

Both you and the DOR will receive a notice of hearing, which identifies the time and place of the hearing. The notice of hearing will define the issue, and contain instructions for you and the DOR. Both you and the DOR will bring three (3) copies of a written summary of the issue(s) and any supporting evidence to the hearing.

If you choose to have a CAP advocate or other representative of your choice at the hearing, send the signed "Authorized Representative" form to the Mediation and Fair Hearing Office at least five days before the scheduled hearing, or bring the completed Authorized Representative form to the hearing.

During the Hearing

At the hearing, you may appear in person, and may be accompanied by a CAP advocate or other representative of your choice.

One impartial hearing officer will conduct your hearing. The impartial hearing officer's purpose in the hearing is to listen to the evidence presented by both you and the DOR, to ask clarifying questions and to request additional documentation if needed to make his or her decision. The impartial hearing officer may ask questions of either side at any time.

Both you and the DOR have the opportunity to present your cases, including any witnesses. All testimony must be sworn or affirmed. You have the burden of demonstrating your case by a preponderance of the evidence.

Following the Hearing

The impartial hearing officer analyzes the testimony and evidence that you and the DOR provide to decide whether the California Code of Regulations and other applicable law were followed by the DOR. The impartial hearing officer renders his or her final decision within 30 days of the hearing. The final written decision is sent by certified mail to you and the DOR on the same day.

Once a decision has been rendered, the impartial hearing officer has no authority to change his or her own decision. If you are not satisfied with the impartial hearing officer's decision, you may file a writ of mandate within six months of the decision with the California Superior Court.