You applied for food stamps, completed your interview, and weeks later you received a Georgia Food Stamps Denied letter in the mail stating that you were not eligible for benefits. You are left confused and without answers. On top of that, according to the eligibility requirements for Georgia food stamps, you think you should have been approved. What should you do?
Well, we are here to help. At iGeorgia Food Stamps, we hear this story all too often from our readers. They’ve received a letter in the mail denying them of benefits and they aren’t sure what to do.
In this Georgia Food Stamps Denied Help Guide, we will help you determine why you may have been denied for benefits and provide you with suggestions on what to do to get benefits.
We will cover the following topics:
- Reasons you were denied Food Stamp benefits
- What to do if you are denied Benefits
- How to get your benefits eligibility reviewed
- How to file a Fair Hearings Request in Georgia
- Georgia Benefits Appeal Frequently Asked Questions
Georgia Food Stamps Denied – Help Guide
The first thing you should do after receiving an eligibility denial for benefits is figure out why you may have been deemed as ineligible. You should start by reviewing the information provided on your Georgia Food Stamps Application.
If you notice that there is incorrect or missing information, this may have significantly impacted your eligibility decision for benefits. Another common reason for denial is not meeting the income requirements. You can find more information about the Georgia Food Stamps Income Requirements for 2019 here.
Reasons you were denied Food Stamp Benefits
Here are some of the most-common reasons why applicants are denied food stamp benefits:
- Your application was missing information
- You did not provide the correct or complete documentation
- There was an error made by the DFCS
- You provided incorrect information
- Your monthly income is too high
What to do if you are Denied Benefits
If you have reviewed your application and believe you are still eligible for benefits, please contact your DFCS Caseworker. You can visit the local County DFCS Office and speak with an employee directly about your application.
In most cases, application and processing errors can be quickly and easily resolved by contacting your DFCS caseworker or visiting your DFCS county office. Typically, visiting a DFCS office is more effective because it gives you an opportunity to better explain your situation.
Before contacting your caseworker or visiting the DFCS office, be sure to bring all documentation and proof that supports your case for benefits. Your goal is to prove why your denial was an error.
Some important items to bring with you to the DFCS include:
- Proof of Income from a job – pay stubs for the past 2 months or your W-2
- Documents showing proof of any additional Income – income from self-employment, income from renters or a rental property, Social Security payments, etc.
- Proof of Household Expenses – rental agreement or mortgage, property tax documentation, utility bills (electricity, water, fuel for heat, basic phone line)
If you have a child, you should also provide:
- Proof of Monthly Childcare costs (daycare bills)
- Documentation of Child Support payments (if applicable)
If you or a member of your household is Elderly or Disabled, you should also provide the following documentation:
- Receipts of Medical Expenses (not paid by insurance)
- Documentation showing any necessary In-Home Care Costs
If your local DFCS county office or caseworker do not provide help with your benefits denial, keep reading below for instructions on how to proceed.
Request a Benefits Eligibility Review
If you still do not agree with the decision that the DFCS has made regarding your eligibility for benefits, you can submit a request to have this decision reviewed. This review, also known as an appeal is done by submitting a “Fair Hearing Request” with the DFCS.
What is a Fair Hearing Request?
A Fair Hearing Request simply means that you disagree with any action or decision taken on your case and you would like to have it reviewed.
You can also submit a Fair Hearing Request if you believe that you have received unfair treatment pertaining to your age, sex, race, color, handicap, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs.
The review of your eligibility decision is completed by a judge at the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH).
How do I submit a Fair Hearing Request?
You can submit for a review of your eligibility decision by completing a Fair Hearing Request form and submitting it to your local County DFCS office.
For help completing your Fair Hearing Request, follow our step-by-step instructions below.
How to file for a review of a food stamps benefits denial
How to File a Fair Hearings Request
You have 30 days from your Food Stamps eligibility denial to file an appeal with the state. This appeal, also referred to as a “Fair Hearing Request,” can be submitted if you have been:
- Denied a service or benefits
- Received a reduced monthly benefit amount
- Terminated and stopped receiving monthly benefits
- Disputed for the amount of monthly assistance you receive
If any of the above applies to you, follow the step-by-step instructions below for help on how to file your Food Stamps Denial Appeal.
Instructions for Filing a Fair Hearing Request
Follow these step-by-step instructions if you would like to have your eligibility for benefits reviewed.
Find the Fair Hearing Request Form
The first step when requesting a hearing for your food stamps denial, is to locate the Fair Hearings Request Form. You will find this form on the back of Benefits Denial Letter you received in the mail from the DFCS.
If you have misplaced or lost your letter stating that you have been denied for benefits, please contact your local county DFCS office.
You can also mail your request for a fair hearing by writing your local DFCS office. Find the mailing address or phone number for your local DFCS office here.
It is recommended that you contact your local county DFCS office to request a fair hearing within ten (10) days of receiving your notice of eligibility.
Complete the Fair Hearing Request Form
Once you have correct form, the next thing you want to do is complete the requested information. You will be asked to provide your:
- Decision Date
- Assigned Client ID Number
- Current Date
- Phone Number
- Benefits you are Appealing
- Reason for Requesting a Hearing
Be sure to make a copy of the completed Fair Hearing Request for your records.
Submit the Fair Hearing Request Form
Once your Fair Hearing Request Form is filled out and complete, submit it to your local County DFCS office for processing. You can submit the Hearing Request by in-person drop-off, fax, or mail.
I submitted my Fair Hearing Request, but haven’t received a Hearing?
If you have already submitted your Fair Hearing Request form to your local DFCS or state agency but have not received confirmation, you can submit a Petition for Direct Appeal.
To submit a Petition for Appeal, you must have submitted your Fair Hearing Request at least thirty (30) days ago.
You should only file a Petition for Direct Appeal if you have submitted your Fair Hearing Request and have not received notification that your request has been transmitted to the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH).
For help submitting the Petition for Direct Appeal, follow the instructions below:
How to Submit a Petition for Direct Appeal
Follow these step-by-step instructions if you would like to submit a request for a hearing with OSAH.
Visit the OSAH Website
The first thing you want to do when submitting a Petition for Direct Appeal is to visit the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) website. You can find the OSAH website at https://osah.ga.gov.
Download and Print the Direct Appeal Form
Second, download and print the Direct Appeal form. You can do this on their website under Court Forms or you can download and print the Petition for Direct Appeal form here.
OSAH Petition for Appeal form.
Complete the Direct Appeal Form
Once you have printed the form, the next thing you want to do is fill in the requested information on the form.
You will need to provide your:
- First and Last Name
- Current Address
- County of Residence
- Email Address (if applicable)
- Phone Number
- Your Attorney’s Information (if applicable)
- Name of the Agency where you submitted Hearing Request Form
- Date you submitted the Hearing Request Form
- Your Reason for requesting a Hearing
Submit your Direct Appeal Form to OSAH
Once you have signed and completed the requested information above, you can submit your Appeal form. You can submit your completed Petition for Direct Appeal form by mail, fax, or email. All information is provided below:
OSAH Direct Appeal
225 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Please note that filing a Petition for Direct Appeal does not guarantee that your case will be scheduled for a hearing. A judge will review the information you provide and determine whether a hearing should be scheduled. You will receive notification of the judge’s decision through the mail.
For answers to some of the most-commonly asked questions pertaining to the Benefits Appeal Hearing, continue reading below.
Benefits Appeal Hearing FAQ’s
The most frequently asked questions about Eligibility Denial Appeal Hearings.
When will I receive my scheduled hearing date?
You will receive notification of the judge’s decision to schedule a hearing for your Benefits Eligibility Appeal through the mail. Filing an Appeal does not guarantee that your case will be scheduled for a hearing.
What if I can’t be at the scheduled hearing date?
You must have a good reason to change the hearing date. You must explain your reason to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in writing and send a copy of your letter to the DFCS. This should be done as soon as you receive your hearing date.
Do I have to send anything to the Administrative Law Judge before the hearing?
No, you do not have to send anything to the Administrative Law Judge before the hearing. It is very important for you to come to the hearing. If you don’t come to the hearing you may lose your case.
What should I bring to the hearing?
The hearing is your chance to tell your side to the ALJ. You should bring details and proof that prove your case for benefits. This includes any documents that are important to your case or people who have knowledge of important facts.
When will my case be decided?
The Administrative Law Judge will decide your case with a written decision. You will be mailed a copy of your decision as soon as it is ready.
What do I do if my Appeal was denied?
The decision made by the Georgia ALJ is considered a final decision. If you would like to file a second appeal, you can do that by submitting a Petition for Judicial Review.
Where do I submit a Petition for Judicial Review?
If your initial appeal was denied and you would like to file a final appeal, you can only do that by submitting a Petition for Judicial Review in the Fulton County Superior Court or Superior Court in your County.
Georgia Food Stamps Denied Help Guide Summary
We hope this Guide on what to do if you receive a Georgia Food Stamps Denied letter was helpful to you. If you have additional questions on what to do if you are denied food stamp benefits, please leave those in the comments section below.