The Office of Chief Counsel consists of five sections which provide extensive legal, investigative and hearing services to the Department.
The Appeals and Hearings Section provides administrative hearings for the appeal of adverse agency actions. Appeals may concern Child Maltreatment, SNAP, TEA, Medicaid, Fraud, Intentional Program Violations, Estate Recovery, Adult Protection and a variety of other areas.
The County Legal Operations Section provides statewide legal representation to the Department of Human Services in the areas of child welfare and adult protective services.
The Office of Employee Relations/Office of Equal Opportunity processes employee grievances and conducts mediations and administrative review hearings related to employee grievances and complaints. This office also ensures compliance with federal and state civil rights/anti-discrimination laws, regulations, methods of administration, executive orders, etc., and investigates client complaints of rude and discourteous treatment.
The General Counsel Section provides legal assistance and representation on administrative matters, litigation pertaining to delivery of services, program administration, personnel, civil rights and overpayment collections, as applicable, to all the various divisions of the Department.
The Management Assistance Section is the DHS primary point of contact for Freedom of Information Act requests. It also monitors agency promulgation of rules, provides fiscal planning and monitoring, logistics support and conducts special projects.
The Policy Section researches, writes, and revises DHS employee policies to comply with state and federal regulations. It is also responsible for updating the agency’s administrative procedures, promulgating agency-wide rules, and assisting employees with interpretation and application of agency policies.