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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through September 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

 

DIVISION 20

DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND REVIEW OF DETERMINATIONS OF REHABILITATION SERVICES

582-020-0005

Dispute Resolution, General

(1) It is the intention of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) to resolve disputes between OVRS and its clients quickly and fairly.

(2) Clients who are dissatisfied or disagree with a decision that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services shall have available a continuum of dispute resolution options, including informal negotiation and problem-solving, mediation, impartial fair hearings, and formal administrative review.

(3) OVRS shall inform its clients about the range of dispute resolution options available and their right to seek the assistance of the Client Assistance Program.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530 & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 344.530, 344.550, 344.590
Hist.: VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0010

Definitions

(1) "Aggrieved," as used in ORS 344.590 means a client who is dissatisfied with any determination made by OVRS personnel that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, including a delay in making a decision.

(2) "Client," as used in division 020 includes an applicant, client, applicant's representative, or the client's representative as well as applicants or clients who are denied or terminated from services.

(3) "Delay," as used in ORS 344.590 means:

(a) OVRS failed to make a decision within the time limit provided by law; or

(b) If the law does not impose a time limit, that the client has made a dated, written request for a decision and OVRS has unreasonably delayed in making the decision.

(4) "Formal Administrative Review" means an impartial review of a decision of an Impartial Hearing Officer under 34 CFR 361.57(g) and OAR 582-020-0125.

(5) "Good Cause" means due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the parties, including but not limited to the client's extended illness that requires significant medical care or illness or death of a family member.

(6) "Mediation" means the act or process of using a qualified and impartial mediator to act as mediator, intermediary, or conciliator to assist persons or parties in settling differences or disputes prior to pursuing formal administrative or other legal remedies.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 21, f. & ef. 3-5-76; VRD 1-1990, f. & cert. ef. 11-26-90; VRD 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 9-15-93; VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRD 1-1998, f. & cert. ef. 2-26-98; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0015

Mediation

(1) OVRS will offer assistance to help clients request mediation.

(2) OVRS will inform its clients that they may request the assistance of the Client Assistance Program in seeking mediation.

(3) A client who is dissatisfied or disagrees with a decision that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services may request that the differences be resolved through mediation. The client may use the OVRS Request for Mediation form or its equivalent, to request mediation. If an equivalent is used, the request shall be in writing and shall include the client's name, address, phone number; the date; and a brief statement as to the basic issue(s) of disagreement and how the client would like the issue(s) resolved.

(4) Participation in the mediation process is voluntary on the part of both the client and OVRS. If OVRS declines to mediate an issue following a request for mediation under OAR 582-020-0015(3), OVRS shall provide written notice to the client that mediation is declined and the client shall be advised of their right to request an Impartial Fair Hearing, consistent with 582-020-0020, if a request is not already pending.

(5) Selection of Mediator:

(a) OVRS shall select and/or maintain a pool of mediators who are listed on the Oregon State Agency Mediator Roster of the State of Oregon Department of Justice, who have indicated an interest or expertise in disability related issues, and who qualify as mediators under 34 CFR 361.5(b)(43).

(b) Upon receipt of a request for mediation from the client, OVRS will contact on a rotating basis a mediator from among those in the pool who are geographically near the OVRS office of the client. If that mediator is not available within two weeks, other mediators will be contacted using this same identification process until one is identified who can provide timely services. If no mediator is mutually selected from the pool of mediators geographically near the OVRS office of the client, OVRS will contact on a rotating basis the mediators from a wider geographic range.

(c) Each party shall be given the opportunity at the outset to agree to or reject an identified mediator prior to the beginning of mediation services.

(6) Agreement to Mediate:

(a) Prior to the beginning of the first mediation session, the mediator shall provide an Agreement to Mediate for signature by both parties, consistent with the format in current use by OVRS.

(b) The mediation shall occur between the OVRS counselor or assigned OVRS employee and the client. The client shall be allowed the choice of being represented during mediation sessions by the Client Assistance Program or another advocate. The inclusion or participation of any other individuals for either side shall be at the discretion of the mediator, unless otherwise prohibited by law.

(c) All discussions shall be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent Impartial Fair Hearing, administrative or civil proceeding.

(7) Conclusion of Mediation:

(a) At any point during the mediation process, either party or the mediator may elect to terminate the mediation.

(b) A successful mediation shall be concluded with a written agreement prepared by the mediator and signed by the OVRS counselor or assigned OVRS employee and the client. Both parties shall receive a copy of the signed agreement. This final agreement shall become part of the OVRS casefile record, unless otherwise agreed. If this agreement includes any changes to the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), a revision to the IPE or amended IPE that incorporates the change(s) shall be written and signed by the counselor or assigned OVRS employee and the client. No other written record of these mediation discussions will be retained by the mediator, OVRS or the client.

(c) If an agreement is not reached, OVRS shall provide the client with written notice that the mediation process has ended and the client shall be advised of their right to request an Impartial Fair Hearing, consistent with OAR 582-020-0020, if a request is not already pending. No other written record of these mediation discussions will be retained by the mediator, OVRS or the client.

(d) Nothing in OAR 582-020-0015(7) shall prohibit the mediator, OVRS, or the client from maintaining and retaining documentation to the extent necessary for work schedule or payment purposes.

(8) Rights After Mediation If OVRS received the written request for mediation within 60 days of the decision in dispute, the client may request an opportunity to present this issue or group of issues to an Impartial Hearing Officer by filing a written request under OAR 582-020-0030 within 60 days of either the written notice that mediation is declined under 582-020-0015(4) or the written notice that mediation has ended under 582-020-0015(7)(c).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530 & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 344.530, 344.550 & 344.590
Hist.: VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04; VRS 5-2004, f. & cert. ef. 8-5-04

582-020-0020

Notice of Right to a Hearing

(1) The notice described in OAR 582-020-0020(2) must be provided in writing:

(a) At the time the client applies for vocational rehabilitation services;

(b) If a client is assigned to a category during an order of selection;

(c) At the time the IPE is developed; and

(d) Whenever vocational rehabilitation services are reduced, suspended, or terminated.

(2) The Notice required by OAR 582-020-0020(1) shall give the client written notice of the right to request mediation or a hearing if the client is dissatisfied with the decision. The Notice shall include the following information:

(a) The date of the notice;

(b) The decision;

(c) The basis of the decision;

(d) The client's right to request mediation or a hearing if the client is dissatisfied with the decision, except that the mediation option may be excluded once used for the same decision at issue;

(e) Where and how to file the request;

(f) That hearings are conducted according to federal statute and regulations, Oregon's Administrative Procedures Act, and Division 20 of the OVRS Administrative Rules;

(g) That mediators and hearing officers are independent of OVRS and the procedures for their assignment from the pool to a particular case;

(h) The availability of the Client Assistance Program to assist the client with mediation or a hearing, including contact information;

(i) That interpreters and materials in alternative formats are available, if needed; and

(j) That OVRS must receive a request for hearing within 60 calendar-days of the date of the notice, or, if a client submits a written request for mediation within 60 days of the decision in dispute, the client may request a hearing within 60 days of either the written notice declining mediation or the written notice that mediation has ended. If the request for hearing is not received as required and the client does not demonstrate good cause for the delay, as defined in OAR 582-020-0010(5), the client will have waived the right to a hearing.

(3) If the client is represented by the Client Assistance Program or another representative, OVRS shall also provide notice to the representative.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 21, f. & ef. 3-5-76; VRD 1-1981, f. & ef. 12-1-81; VRD 1-1990, f. & cert. ef. 11-26-90; VRD 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 9-15-93; VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0030

Hearing Request

(1) A client who is dissatisfied with or aggrieved by a decision that affects the provision of vocational rehabilitation services may request a hearing. The client will use the OVRS Request for Impartial Fair Hearing form or its equivalent to request a hearing. If an equivalent is used, the request shall be in writing and shall include:

(a) A description of the OVRS decision(s) concerning the provision of vocational rehabilitation services that are the subject of the disagreement; and

(b) A statement that the client disagrees or is dissatisfied with the decision; and

(c) A description of how the issue(s) could be resolved to the client's satisfaction; and

(d) A request for a hearing; and

(e) The signature of the client, or as appropriate, of the client's guardian or representative.

(2) OVRS shall forward the request to an Impartial Hearing Officer if the hearing request:

(a) Includes the information required by OAR 582-020-0030(1); and

(b) There is no immediate agreement by the client to delay the hearing timeline for mediation or informal resolution.

(3) If OVRS believes that the hearing request does not meet the requirements of OAR 582-020-0030(1), OVRS may contact the client or client's representative promptly to obtain a corrected request. If the hearing request is corrected, OVRS will forward the corrected hearing request to the Impartial Hearing Officer and the time period under 582-020-0040(2) shall start with the date that OVRS receives the correction. If the client prefers to proceed under the original hearing request, OVRS shall forward the original hearing request to the Impartial Hearing Officer.

(4) At the time OVRS forwards a hearing request to the Impartial Hearing Officer, OVRS may request in writing that the Impartial Hearing Officer dismiss the hearing request because it does not comply with OAR 582-020-0030(1) and/or 582-020-0040(1). The Impartial Hearing Officer shall provide the client an opportunity to respond to the request for dismissal and shall submit a written decision prior to the date scheduled for hearing on the merits of the hearing request.

(5) If the client or the client's guardian or representative requests assistance or the client is unable to request a hearing without assistance, OVRS shall assist the client in completing the hearing request.

(6) The client may withdraw a request for hearing any time before there is a final order. The withdrawal shall be either submitted in writing to OVRS, or the client may orally notify or confirm a withdrawal to the Impartial Hearing Officer and the oral withdrawal is valid if confirmed by a written dismissal of the hearing request by the Impartial Hearing Officer.

(7) If the request for hearing is withdrawn:

(a) Prior to the selection of the Impartial Hearing Officer, the OVRS Agency Representative shall transmit the withdrawal to the OVRS Dispute Resolution Coordinator;

(b) After the selection of the Impartial Hearing Officer, OVRS will assure that the Impartial Hearing Officer is notified, and request that an order dismissing the request for hearing be issued.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 21, f. & ef. 3-5-76; VRD 1-1981, f. & ef. 12-1-81; VRD 1-1990, f. & cert. ef. 11-26-90; VRD 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 9-15-93; VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04; VRS 5-2004, f. & cert. ef. 8-5-04

582-020-0040

Deadlines and Time

(1) OVRS must receive a request for hearing no later than 60 calendar-days after the date of the verbal or written notice -- or delay as defined in OAR 582-020-0010(4) -- concerning the furnishing or denial of vocational rehabilitation services, unless good cause exists, except as provided in 582-020-0015(8).

(2) For any hearing request received on or after February 1, 2004, the hearing shall be held no later than 60 calendar-days after the date of the receipt by OVRS of the hearing request, unless the parties agree to an extension for a specific time. Extensions of this timeline shall be documented in writing.

(3) The Impartial Hearing Officer shall provide the client, client's representative if applicable, OVRS counselor, OVRS Agency Representative, and the OVRS Field Office the decision and written report described in OAR 582-020-0110(1) and (2) no later than 30 calendar-days after the completion of the hearing, unless the parties agree to an extension for a specific time.

(4) Both parties have 20 days from the mailing of the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer to request a Formal Administrative Review to challenge all or any part of a decision of an Impartial Hearing Officer. The date of mailing shall be the date identified on the certificate of mailing attached to the decision; if there is no certificate, the date of mailing shall be the date of the postmark; if there is no certificate or postmark, the date of mailing shall be the date of the decision.

(5) The decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer is a final order and may be implemented 28 days after the decision is issued, except as provided in OAR 582-020-0040(6). If both parties agree in writing that they will not appeal the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer, the decision may be implemented earlier than 28 days after it is issued.

(6) If either party requests a Formal Administrative Review within 20 days, any actions imposed on either party by the Impartial Hearing Officer that are the subject of the Formal Administrative Review will be delayed until after the Formal Administrative Review has been completed. Once the Formal Administrative Review is completed, the Final Order of the Reviewing Official will be implemented as provided in OAR 582-020-0125(7).

(7) If the last calendar-day of a time period in division 20 of chapter 582 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period will be extended until the next working day.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0050

Continuation of Services

(1) If a client has a pending request for an Impartial Fair Hearing to challenge a decision concerning the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, for the duration already agreed upon OVRS shall not suspend, reduce, or terminate the client's vocational rehabilitation services provided under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) until there is a final order as provided in OAR 582-020-0040(5)-(6) unless the client requests the suspension, reduction, or termination of services, or as provided in OAR 582-020-0050(3).

(2) If a client has a pending request for mediation to challenge a decision concerning the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, for the duration already agreed upon OVRS shall not suspend, reduce, or terminate the client's vocational rehabilitation services provided under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) while the mediation is pending unless the client requests the suspension, reduction, or termination of services, or as provided in OAR 582-020-0050(3), or the request for mediation was received more than 60 days after the decision in dispute.

(3) OVRS may suspend, reduce or terminate services if there is evidence that the client has obtained services through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0060

Informal Resolution

(1) The client and OVRS may resolve issues or disputes informally before mediation or a hearing.

(2) The client and OVRS may resolve the issues or disputes through mediation under OAR 582-020-0015 before an Impartial Fair Hearing.

(3) If the dispute is resolved informally or through mediation, the client shall withdraw a pending request for hearing in writing or the Impartial Hearing Officer shall dismiss the matter on request.

(4) If the client is represented by the Client Assistance Program or another representative, the representative must receive notice of informal resolution settlement offers.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, ORS 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0070

Selection of Impartial Hearing Officer

(1) Impartial Hearing Officers are assigned from a pool of qualified persons who meet the requirements of 34 CFR 361.5(b)(25) identified jointly by OVRS and the State Rehabilitation Council.

(2) Impartial Hearing Officers are assigned on a rotational basis unless the parties agree in advance of assignment on a specific hearing officer from the pool outside of the rotation.

(3) Either party may request that the assigned Impartial Hearing Officer remove himself or herself because of a potential conflict of interest or disqualification. Requests based on conflict of interest should be reviewed under the standards of 34 CFR 361.5(b)(25)(i)(F) and section JR 2-106 of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct. If the Impartial Hearing Officer removes himself or herself or is removed under OAR 582-020-0070(5), a new Impartial Hearing Officer will be chosen by rotation from the pool unless the parties agree to a specific Impartial Hearing Officer from the pool outside of the rotation.

(4) If the Impartial Hearing Officer denies a request to withdraw under OAR 582-020-0070(3), he or she must advise the parties in writing of the nature of the conflict and the rationale for the decision not to remove himself or herself.

(5) The Impartial Hearing Officer's decision not to remove himself or herself may be appealed immediately to the OVRS Administrator, whose decision is final.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0080

Evidence

The client may review the OVRS case file and review the OVRS evidence before and during the hearing. However, materials protected under 34 CFR 361.38(c)(2) because of potential harm to the client may be withheld from clients representing themselves if these materials are not offered in evidence at the hearing. At the hearing, the client may examine the OVRS witnesses, call witnesses to testify, and introduce additional evidence.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0085

Prehearing Conferences

(1) Prior to hearing, the Impartial Hearing Officer shall conduct at least one prehearing conference to facilitate the conduct and resolution of the case, unless the client and OVRS both agree that no such conference is desired.

(2) The purposes of a prehearing conference may include, but are not limited to the following:

(a) To facilitate a decision on any requests by OVRS to dismiss the hearing request if these have not been resolved prior to the prehearing conference;

(b) To facilitate discovery and to resolve disagreements about discovery;

(c) To identify, simplify and clarify issues;

(d) To eliminate irrelevant issues;

(e) To obtain stipulations of fact;

(f) To provide to the Impartial Hearing Officer and parties, in advance of the hearing, copies of all documents intended to be offered as evidence at the hearing and the names of all witnesses expected to testify;

(g) To authenticate documents;

(h) To decide the order of proof and other procedural matters pertaining to the conduct of the hearing;

(i) To discuss the use of a collaborative dispute resolution process in lieu of or preliminary to holding the contested case hearing; and

(j) To discuss settlement or other resolution or partial resolution of the case.

(3) The prehearing conference may be conducted in person or by telephone.

(4) The Impartial Hearing Officer shall make a written record of any stipulations, rulings and agreements. Stipulations to facts and to the authenticity of documents and agreements to narrow issues shall be binding upon the agency and the parties to the stipulation unless good cause is shown for rescinding a stipulation or agreement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530 & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 344.530, 344.550, 344.590
Hist.: VRS 5-2004, f. & cert. ef. 8-5-04

582-020-0090

The Hearing

(1) The hearing shall be held at a time consistent with OAR 582-020-0040(2) and designated by the Impartial Hearing Officer.

(2) The hearing shall be held in a location that is accessible and convenient to the client, and agreed to by the Impartial Hearing Officer, the client, and OVRS.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0100

Agency Representation during Impartial Hearings

(1) OVRS may be represented by an Assistant Attorney General.

(2) Subject to the approval of the Attorney General, an employee of OVRS is authorized to appear as the agency representative in hearings governed by OAR chapter 582, division 020.

(3) An OVRS representative may not make "legal argument."

(a) "Legal argument" includes arguments on:

(A) The jurisdiction of the agency to hear the contested case;

(B) The constitutionality of a statute or rule or the application of a constitutional requirement to the agency; and

(C) The application of court precedent to the facts of the particular contested case proceeding.

(b) "Legal argument" does not include presentation of evidence, examination and cross-examination of witnesses or presentation of factual arguments or arguments on:

(A) The application of the facts to the statutes or rules directly applicable to the issues in the contested case;

(B) Comparison of prior actions of the agency in handling similar situations;

(C) The literal meaning of the statutes or rules directly applicable to the issues in the contested case; and

(D) The admissibility of evidence or the correctness of procedures being followed.

(4) When an agency representative represents OVRS, the Impartial Hearing Officer shall advise the representative of the manner in which objections may be made and matters preserved for appeal. Such advice is of a procedural nature and does not change applicable law on waiver or the duty to make timely objection. Where such objections involve legal argument, the Impartial Hearing Officer shall provide reasonable opportunity for the OVRS employee to consult legal counsel and permit such legal counsel to file written legal argument within a reasonable time after conclusion of the hearing.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRD 1-1998, f. & cert. ef. 2-26-98; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0110

Impartial Hearing Officer's Decision

(1) The Impartial Hearing Officer's decision shall be based on the approved State Plan, the federal Rehabilitation Act, federal vocational rehabilitation regulations, relevant state statutes, the Oregon Administrative Rules, and/or OVRS policy.

(2) The Impartial Hearing Officer shall provide a full written report of the findings and grounds for his or her decision to the client, client's representative if applicable, OVRS counselor, OVRS Agency Representative, and the OVRS Field Office within the time prescribed by OAR 582-020-0040(3).

(3) The decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer shall be final upon the date of mailing to the client and OVRS, except that either party may request a Formal Administrative Review under OAR 582-020-0125.

(4) An Impartial Hearing Officer may dismiss a client request for hearing if the client has abandoned the request. A request may be considered abandoned if:

(a) The client, following sufficient notice and attempts at contact, does not participate in a scheduled hearing; or the Impartial Hearing Officer and OVRS are unable to contact the client to schedule a pre-hearing conference or hearing; and

(b) The absence of the client prevents compliance with the hearing timeline established under OAR 582-020-0040(2).

(5) An Impartial Hearing Officer may dismiss a client request for hearing after receiving oral or written notice or confirmation from the client that the request for hearing is withdrawn.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04; VRS 5-2004, f. & cert. ef. 8-5-04

582-020-0120

Appeals by OVRS

The Administrator or the Administrator's designee shall approve any decision by OVRS to challenge a decision by an Impartial Hearing Officer, a Reviewing Official, or a court of law.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530(2) & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 183.310 - 183.550, 344.511 - 344.690 & 344.710 - 344.730
Hist.: VRD 4-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

582-020-0125

Formal Administrative Review

(1) A party who is dissatisfied with the decision or any part of the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer issued on or after February 1, 2004 may seek an impartial review of the decision by filing a Request for Formal Administrative Review within 20 days of the mailing (as described at OAR 582-020-0040(4)) of the Impartial Hearing Officer decision. The request shall be in writing filed with the OVRS Dispute Resolution Coordinator at the OVRS Central Administrative Office in Salem.

(2) The Formal Administrative Review shall be conducted by a Reviewing Official, who shall be the Director of the Department of Human Services or the designee of the Director. The designee may not be an employee of OVRS, or an individual previously involved in the vocational rehabilitation of the client, or an individual with a personal or financial conflict of interest.

(3) On receipt of a timely Request for Formal Administrative Review, the OVRS Dispute Resolution Coordinator shall promptly notify the Reviewing Official and the parties to the Impartial Hearing Officer decision. The OVRS Dispute Resolution Coordinator shall provide the entire hearing record to the Reviewing Official.

(4) The Reviewing Official shall provide both parties with an opportunity to submit in writing additional evidence and information relevant to a final decision concerning the matter under review. Each party shall provide copies to the opposing party of any materials submitted directly to the Reviewing Official. If the Reviewing Official does not provide a schedule for submitting written materials, all written materials must be received by the Reviewing Official no later than 20 days after the filing date of the Request for Formal Administrative Review.

(5) The Reviewing Official shall make an independent, final decision following review of entire hearing record and provide the decision in writing, including a full report of the findings and the statutory, regulatory, or policy grounds for the decision to the client or as appropriate, the client's representative, and to the OVRS Dispute Resolution Coordinator within 30 days of the Request for Formal Administrative Review.

(6) The Reviewing Official may not overturn or modify the hearing officer's decision, or any part of that decision, that supports the position of the client unless the Reviewing Official concludes, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer is clearly erroneous on the basis of being contrary to the approved State Plan, the federal Rehabilitation Act, federal vocational rehabilitation regulations, or state regulations and policies that are consistent with federal requirements.

(7) The decision of the Reviewing Official is a final order and shall be implemented unless directed otherwise by a state or federal court.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 344.530 & 344.590
Stats. Implemented: ORS 344.530, 344.550, 344.590
Hist.: VRS 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 1-30-04

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