If you do not agree with the decision of the Department of Social Services (including the Family Support Division, Children's Division and MO HealthNet Division), the Department of Health and Senior Services or the Department of Mental Health on your state benefits (MO HealthNet, Temporary Assistance, Food Stamp benefits, Child Care Subsidy, Consumer Directed Services, Blind Pension, etc.) or the action in your child support case, you may have the right to a hearing.

The hearing may be your only opportunity to present evidence and show why you believe the wrong decision was made. The Hearings Unit can only use the evidence provided during the hearing in their decision. The Hearings Unit cannot discuss the facts of your case before or after the hearing.

Depending on the type of case you are appealing, the hearing process may vary. For more detailed information about the hearing process, choose the type of hearing you are interested in:

Important Notice

The following information is provided to help you understand the hearing process. It is not intended to provide legal advice about an appeal. If you need legal advice about how to proceed with your appeal, please contact an attorney.

What can I expect at the hearing?

At the beginning of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will identify the reason for appeal, the issue involved, and explain the order in which the hearing will proceed. Every hearing is recorded.

All testimony is given under oath or affirmation. The Hearings Officer may question anyone who testifies. You or your representative (if you have one) may question the agency's witnesses. The agency's representative(s) may also question you and/or your witnesses.

At the end of the hearing, the Hearings Officer will ask the parties if they have anything to add.

How will I be notified of a hearing?

A notice of the hearing will be mailed to you at least 10 days before the hearing. Please read the notice carefully.

If you do not receive a notice, contact the Child Support Hearings Unit for a child support hearing or the Benefit Hearings Unit for a benefit hearing. It is possible that we do not have your current address. It is your responsibility to keep your contact information up to date with the Hearings Unit. If the Hearings Unit does not have your current address, you may not receive important information about your appeal.

If your address or contact information changes, please contact the Hearings Unit immediately to update your information.

Benefit Hearings Unit:

  • Central Missouri: 573-751-0335
  • Eastern Missouri: 314-877-2076
  • Western Missouri: 816-325-5918

Child Support Hearings Unit: 573-526-3518

Do I need a lawyer?

Although it is not required, you have a right to have a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in Missouri represent you at the hearing. If you do not have an attorney you can contact the Missouri Bar for help.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact the legal aid office that serves your area to see if you qualify for a free lawyer.

Review the benefit hearing information or the child support hearing information for more detailed information about representation based on your type of hearing.

What happens after the hearing?

Once the hearing is over and the Hearing Officer has had time to consider all of the evidence presented at the hearing, a written decision will be mailed to each party involved. Decisions cannot be given over the phone.

If you disagree with the Hearing Officer's decision, you may file an appeal. Appeals must be filed within a certain amount of time after the Hearing Officer's decision. Your appeal rights will be set forth at the end of the decision.

What if I have a special need?

If you have a special need addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, please call the Hearings Unit as soon as you receive your notice of hearing for assistance.

Benefit Hearings Unit:

  • Central Missouri: 573-751-0335
  • Eastern Missouri: 314-877-2076
  • Western Missouri: 816-325-5918

Child Support Hearings Unit: 573-526-3518

Interpreter/Translation Services

If you need assistance through a sign language interpreter or a foreign language interpreter, please contact the Hearings Unit before your hearing so we can make arrangements for you.

Benefit Hearings Unit:

  • Central Missouri: 573-751-0335
  • Eastern Missouri: 314-877-2076
  • Western Missouri: 816-325-5918

Child Support Hearings Unit: 573-526-3518