Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Appeals and Fair Hearings




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Fax all county office Families First appeals to the Division of Appeals and Hearings. The county office may continue to take action to resolve the issues in the appeal informally. If the informal hearings result in resolution, the county office must fax a Withdrawal of Appeal form to the Division of Appeals and Hearings. At that time, the appeal process will cease.


Fax all Family Assistance Appeals to:


Director of Intake and Conciliation

Tennessee Department of Human Services

Division of Appeals and Hearings

P.O. Box 198996

Nashville, TN 37219-8996

Fax: 1-866-355-6136 (Long Distance) or 313-5013 (Nashville or 615 Area Code)


The Family Assistance Service Center will accept appeal forms or file a verbal appeal on behalf of the Families First participant. The Family Assistance Service Center will document the request for an appeal in the Family Assistance eligibility and case management system and enter the request for an appeal into the ARTS system.


The responsibilities of the Division of Appeals and Hearings will be divided among the three units described below and organized according to the action needed on each case.


Intake Unit


The Intake Unit is the initial receiving point for appeals and miscellaneous mail. Intake Unit staff will enter the appeals that have been Faxed or mailed to them into the Appeals Resolution Tracking System (ARTS);


Note: When an appeal is entered into ARTS as complete, it automatically goes to the Conciliation Unit.


Conciliation Unit


The Conciliation Unit staff will be responsible for conciliation attempts concerning appeals. They will:


        Determine if the appeal was filed timely.

        Make an initial determination of whether it is fair hearable.

        Determine benefit continuation/reinstatement pending the appeal decision.

        Send a letter of acknowledgment of the appeal and informational attachments to the Families First participant.

        Resolve as many appeal issues as possible through communication with the appellant and the county office.

        Ensure that the due process rights of the appellant are upheld.

        Review the appeal to determine if the case action relative to the appeal was appropriate.

        Make changes on items relative to the appeal.

        Reinstate benefits if the case was closed because of caseworker error.

        Contact the county office caseworker and FS1 to make the case correction if the Conciliation Unit is unable to do so.

        Forward the appeal to the Case Preparation Unit if unable to resolve the issue.


Note: The Conciliation Unit will not have the authority to make changes on the PRP, Child Care information, or Refugee Cash Assistance cases.


Case Preparation Unit


The Case Preparation Unit will:


        Prepare the case for a hearing with the Hearing Official.

        Schedule the hearing, and notify individuals needed to testify.

        Give the appellant notice that will include the date, time, place and issue of the hearing.


After the hearing, the Hearing Official will issue an order. The Hearing Official will send the order to the appropriate county office, which will take action to implement the order. The Case Preparation Unit will monitor implementation of the order.



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