Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Administrative Review Branch
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of Agriculture: Administrative Review Branch
Food and Nutrition Service
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
State SNAP Appeals Board
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Hearing Official/Board Member
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 establishes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a federally funded, state-administered program for nutritional assistance to eligible households. USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) makes payments to state agencies to administer the SNAP in their respective states, and provides technical assistance. Proceedings under this adjudication scheme afford state agencies the opportunity to challenge adverse FNS decisions relating to: state agency liability for financial losses involved in acceptance, storage, or issuance of coupons (EBT benefits); negligence or fraud by a state agency in certification of applicant households; and/or disallowance of Federal funds for state agency claim for otherwise reimbursable administrative costs. (7 CFR Part 276).

By regulation, certain matters are generally reviewed by a State SNAP Appeals Board member/hearing official (i.e., appeals of negligence claims and disallowances), while other matters are typically heard by a single hearing officer (presumably, a single Board Member. (See 7 CFR 276.7(a)(2).

State agencies that disagree with final administrative determinations may seek judicial review.

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
7 CFR 276.7
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
How far in advance of the hearing date is notice typically provided?: 
10 Days
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
Please provide the approximate percentage of each type of hearing relative to the total number of hearings (FY2013)
Written (Document-Only) Hearing: 
How is the type of hearing selected: 
By Agency
By Private Party
Depends on Nature of Case/Claim
Please describe: 
Oral hearings are conducted only upon request by appellant state agency. The default process is review of written submissions and evidence.
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 276.7(a)(2) provide that a state agency aggrieved by a claim has the option of requesting a hearing in addition to a review of the record and any written submissions presented by the state. Generally, hearings on appeals of negligence claims (7 CFR 276.3) and disallowances of federal funds (7 CFR 276.4) are before the State SNAP Appeals Board. All other claims are heard by a single hearing officer.
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Witness testimony is permitted if oral (evidentiary) hearing is conducted. Not applicable for document-only hearings.
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Cross examination is not permitted in oral hearings. This question is not applicable for document-only hearings.
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
N/A (Document-Only Hearings)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other," please specify: 
The State SNAP Appeals Board issues final decisions related to negligence/fraud and disallowance claims. Individual hearing officers preside over, and issue final decisions in, matters involving billings for financial losses.
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
If a hearing is requested by a state agency, the Board/Hearing Officer must issue a decision within 30 calendar days after the hearing and the final determination will take effect 30 days after delivery of the final decision to the state agency. If a written "hearing" is carried out, a decision is required within 30 after receipt of the state agency's written evidence (See 7 CFR 276.7(i)).
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
How are claims/cases processed at the hearing-level stage?: 
First-In/First-Out Basis
Please briefly describe your case management practice(s) at the hearing level stage: 
The number of these cases is typically small so management/processing time is usually not an issue.
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
7 CFR 276.7(h)(4) states that FNS and the state agency shall have the opportubnity to submit additional written information to the Appeals Board or hearing official within 10 days after the close of the hearing.
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
USDA/FNS regulations describe the hearing as "an informal proceeding." Neither Federal Rules of Civil Procedure nor Administrative Procedure Act apply. (7 CFR ยง 276.7(h)(1)); see also Covington & Burling v FNS, 744 F. Supp. 314, 317 (D.D.C. 1990).
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
Comments/Notes on ADR Process (Optional): 
While there are no formal ADR processes, Part 76 program rules do require that, before imposing monetary sanction on state agencies in the form of suspending or disallowing payment for administrative funds, FNS must provide written notice to the state agency that such action is being considered. Warnings take the form of advance notification or formal warnings depending on the facts of the claim. State agencies then have a period of time to to correct deficiencies or get FNS approval of a correction action plan approved. (See 7 CFR 276.4(e)).
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Summary Statistics
Total # Cases Filed/Opened (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Decided/Closed (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Pending (End of FY2013): 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Supplementary Statistics
Does your agency maintain annual caseload statistics for this hearing office by case type (e.g., discrimination complaint, licen: 
Verified by Agency: