File No. 34933

This rule was published in the July 1, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 13) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Workforce Services, Employment Development

Rule R986-100

Employment Support Programs

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 34933
Filed: 06/15/2011 05:29:15 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this amendment is to meet federal guidelines and to streamline fair hearings.

Summary of the rule or change:

Pursuant to a recent audit by the Department of Agriculture, some issues were identified with the current language in the rules and one time limit. The food stamp regulations only allow 10 days for a client to request reopening for failure to participate in a hearing. The Department had allowed 30 days. This change is necessary to comply with federal regulations. Food stamp regulations use the term dismissal instead of default so that language has also been changed. Finally, the Department is asking clients to call 24 hours in advance of a hearing. This is because approximately 50% of clients do not participate in the hearing. If a client does not call in advance, another hearing can be scheduled for that time slot making better use of Department time and resources. A rehearing can be requested for clients who fail to call in advance.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 35A-3-302(5)(b)
  • Section 35A-1-104
  • Subsection 35A-1-104(4)
  • Section 35A-1-303

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This applies to federally-funded programs so there are no costs or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs or savings to the local government.

small businesses:

There will be no costs to small businesses to comply with these changes because this is a federally-funded program.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There will be no costs to any persons or businesses other than small businesses or government entities to comply with these changes because there are no costs or fees associated with these proposed changes.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no compliance costs associated with these changes for any persons because this is a federally-funded program and there are no fees or costs associated with these proposed changes.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There are no compliance costs associated with this change. There are no fees associated with this change. There will be no cost to anyone to comply with these changes. There will be no fiscal impact on any business.

Kristen Cox, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Workforce Services
Employment Development
140 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2333

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Kristen Cox, Executive Director


R986. Workforce Services, Employment Development.

R986-100. Employment Support Programs.

R986-100-124. How Hearings Are Conducted.

(1) Hearings are held at the state level and not at the local level.

(2) Where not inconsistent with federal law or regulation governing hearing procedure, the Department will follow the Utah Administrative Procedures Act.

(3) Hearings for all programs listed in R986-100-102 and overpayments and IPVs in Section 35A-3-601 et seq. are declared to be informal.

(4) Hearings are conducted by an ALJ or a Hearing Officer in the Division of Adjudication. A Hearing Officer has all of the same rights, duties, powers and responsibilities as an ALJ under these rules and the terms are interchangeable.

(5) Hearings are [usually] scheduled as telephone hearings. Every party wishing to participate in the telephone hearing must call the Division of Adjudication before the hearing and provide a telephone number where the party can be reached at the time of the hearing. If the client fails to call in advance, as required by the notice of hearing, the appeal will be dismissed.

(6) If a client requires an in-person hearing, the client must contact an ALJ and request that the hearing be scheduled as an in-person hearing. The request should be made sufficiently in advance of the hearing so that all other parties may be given notice of the change in hearing type and the opportunity to appear in person also. Requests will only be granted if the client can show that an in-person hearing is necessary to accommodate a special need or if the ALJ deems an in-person hearing is necessary to ensure an orderly and fair hearing which meets due process requirements. If the ALJ grants the request, all parties will be informed that the hearing will be conducted in person. Even if the hearing is scheduled as an in-person hearing, a party may elect to participate by telephone. In-person hearings are held in the office of the Appeals Unit unless the ALJ determines that another location is more appropriate. A[(6) If the client prefers an in-person hearing the client must contact the ALJ assigned to hear the case in advance of the hearing and request that the hearing be converted to an in-person hearing. An in-person hearing is conducted in one of the following ways, at the option of the client:

(a) the client can request that the hearing be conducted in the office of the ALJ and appear personally before the ALJ, but the Department representative and Department witnesses will be allowed to participate by telephone; or

(b) the] client can participate from the local Employment Center[ with the witnesses and Department employees who work in that particular Employment Center. The ALJ and any Department employees or witnesses who are in another location will participate from that location or locations by telephone].

(7) the Department is not responsible for any travel costs incurred by the client in attending an in-person hearing.

(8) the Division of Adjudication will permit collect calls from parties and their witnesses participating in telephone hearings.


R986-100-130. Default Order or Dismissal for Failure to Participate.

(1) The Department will issue a default order if an obligor in an IPV or IPV overpayment [and/or IPV ]case fails to participate in the administrative process. Participation for an obligor means:

(a) signing and returning to the Department an approved stipulation for repayment and making all of the payments as agreed,

(b) requesting and participating in a hearing, or

(c) paying the overpayment in full.

(2) If a hearing has been scheduled at the request of a client or an obligor in a case not involving an IPV and the client or obligor fails to appear at or participate in the hearing, either in person or through a representative, the ALJ will, unless a continuance or rescheduling has been requested, [issue a default order]dismiss the request for a fair hearing.

(3) A default order will be based on the record and best evidence available at the time of the order.


R986-100-131. Setting Aside A Default or Dismissal and/or Reopening the Hearing After the Hearing Has Been Concluded.

(1) Any party who fails to participate personally or by authorized representative as defined in R986-100-130 may request that the default order or dismissal be set aside and a hearing or a new hearing be scheduled. If a party failed to participate in a hearing but no decision has yet been issued, the party may request that the hearing be reopened.

(2) The request must be in writing, must set forth the reason for the request and must be mailed, faxed or delivered to the ALJ or presiding officer who issued the default order or dismissal within ten days of the issuance of the default or dismissal. If the request is made after the expiration of the ten-day time limit, the party requesting reopening must show good cause for not making the request within ten days.

(3) The ALJ has the discretion to schedule a hearing to determine if a party requesting that a default order or dismissal be set aside or a reopening satisfied the requirements of this rule or may grant or deny the request on the basis of the record in the case.

(4) If a presiding officer issued the default or dismissal, the officer shall forward the request to the Division of Adjudication. The request will be assigned to an ALJ who will then determine if the party requesting that the default or dismissal be set aside or that the hearing be reopened has satisfied the requirements of this rule.

(5) The ALJ may, on his or her own motion, reschedule, continue or reopen a case if it appears necessary to take continuing jurisdiction based on a mistake as to facts or if the denial of a hearing would be an affront to fairness. A presiding officer may, on his or her own motion, set aside a default or dismissal on the same grounds.

(6) If a request to set aside the default or dismissal or a request for reopening is not granted, the ALJ will issue a decision denying the request to reopen. A copy of the decision will be given or mailed to each party, with a clear statement of the right of appeal or judicial review. A defaulted party may appeal a denial of a request to set aside a default or dismissal by following the procedure in R986-100-135. The appeal can only contest the denial of the request to set aside the default and not the underlying merits of the case. If the default or dismissal is set aside on appeal, the Executive Director or designee may rule on the merits or remand the case to an ALJ for a ruling on the merits on an additional hearing if necessary.


R986-100-132. What Constitutes Grounds to Set Aside a Default or Dismissal.

(1) A request to reopen or set aside for failure to participate:

(a) will be granted if the party was prevented from participating and/or appearing at the hearing due to circumstances beyond the party's control;

(b) may be granted upon such terms as are just for any of the following reasons: mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect or any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the decision. The determination of what sorts of neglect will be considered excusable is an equitable one, taking into account all of the relevant circumstances including:

(i) the danger that the party not requesting reopening will be harmed by reopening,

(ii) the length of the delay caused by the party's failure to participate including the length of time to request reopening,

(iii) the reason for the request including whether it was within the reasonable control of the party requesting reopening,

(iv) whether the party requesting reopening acted in good faith, and

(v) whether the party was represented by another at the time of the hearing. Because they are required to know and understand Department rules, attorneys and professional representatives are held to a higher standard, and

(vi) whether based on the evidence of record and the parties arguments or statements, setting aside the default and taking additional evidence might effect the outcome of the case.

(2) Requests to reopen or set aside are remedial in nature and thus must be liberally construed in favor of providing parties with an opportunity to be heard and present their case. Any doubt must be resolved in favor of granting reopening.


R986-100-133. Canceling an Appeal and Hearing.

When a client notifies the Division of Adjudication or the ALJ that the client wants to cancel the hearing and not proceed with the appeal, a decision dismissing the appeal will be issued. This decision will have the effect of upholding the Department decision. The client will have [30]ten days in which to reinstate the appeal by filing a written request for reinstatement with the Division of Adjudication.


R986-100-135. Further Appeal From the Decision of the ALJ or Presiding Officer.

Either party has the option of appealing the decision of the ALJ or presiding officer to either the Executive Director or person designated by the Executive Director or to the District Court. The appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days of the issuance of the decision of the ALJ or presiding officer. If a request for a fair hearing is not timely filed under R986-100-123, there are no further appeal rights.


KEY: employment support procedures

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [April 11,] 2011

Notice of Continuation: September 8, 2010

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-3-101 et seq.; 35A-3-301 et seq.; 35A-3-401 et seq.



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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at