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(a) Subject to (b) of this section, an adoptive parent may request a fair hearing under 7 AAC 49 on an adoption subsidy decision under this chapter. The adoptive parent may be represented by legal counsel, a relative, friend, or other spokesperson. Before requesting a formal hearing, the adoptive parent may request an informal review under (c) - (d) of this section. A request for an informal review does not affect that person's right to a formal hearing.
(b) An adoptive parent may appeal the department's decision to deny, reduce, change, or terminate an adoption subsidy if the adoptive parent believes they were wrongly denied benefits on behalf of the adoptive child because
(1) relevant facts regarding the child were known by the department and were not presented to the adoptive parents before the adoption was finalized;
(2) the department's decision was based upon a means test of the adoptive parent's income or other resources, or on a life choice made by the adoptive parent, including a decision to leave a job to stay at home with the child or return to school;
(3) the adoptive parent believes the department's determination that the child is ineligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance was made in error;
(4) the department failed to advise the adoptive parent about the availability of adoption assistance for children in the state's foster care system;
(5) a decrease in the amount of adoption assistance was made without the adoptive parent's concurrence; or
(6) the adoptive parent believes the department's denial of a request for a change in payment due to a change in the adoptive parent's circumstances was made in error.
(c) A request for informal review must be made within 15 days after the adoptive parent receives the department's decision to deny, reduce, change, or terminate an adoption subsidy. The request may be submitted to the department by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile, and must include
(1) the requestor's name, mailing address, telephone number, and, if available, electronic mail address and facsimile number;
(2) an identification of the department's decision to be reviewed; and
(3) a clear and concise statement of the reason for the request, including
(A) a statement of the nature and scope of the requestor's interests, and an explanation of how and to what extent those interests would be directly and adversely affected by the decision;
(B) the contested terms and conditions of the department's decision, and proposed alternatives; and
(C) copies of any documents or data that would assist the department in concluding the informal review.
(d) The department will designate a department employee to conduct the informal review, other than the person who issued the contested decision. The designee may request additional information from the requestor. The designee shall issue a final decision within 15 days after receipt of the request for informal review or receipt of additional information requested, whichever is later. The designee shall also advise the requestor of the right to file an appeal for a formal hearing under 7 AAC 49.
History: Eff. 3/31/2005, Register 173
Authority: AS 13.26.062
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Last modified 7/05/2006