How are hearings scheduled?
The appeal tribunal schedules hearings in the order in which appeals are received. The appeal tribunal will mail a written hearing notice detailing the date, time and location as well as the specific issues to be covered in the hearing. The notice will be mailed no less than seven days prior to the hearing. In the vast majority of cases, hearings are held within 10 weeks of filing an appeal.
Where are hearings held?
Most hearings are held via telephone and some are held in person at the SC Works center in the county where the work was performed.
How are hearings conducted?
An administrative hearing officer conducts the appeal hearing by placing all witnesses under oath and taking relevant testimony.
During the hearing all interested parties have the opportunity to ask questions of witnesses and submit any relevant evidence in order to make a fair and informed decision.
Who is the administrative hearing officer?
The administrative hearing officer is an unbiased professional that fairly develops the record with equal consideration to all parties present and has no vested interest in the case’s outcome.
Administrative hearing officers serve as impartial judges of the facts presented and issue written decisions after the hearing.
Do I really need to participate in the hearing?
Yes. The appeal hearing is the only opportunity you will have to present testimony and evidence to support your case. The record developed during the hearing will be the only record the department will use when making a decision on your claim during the appeals process.
If you are the appellant and you choose not to participate, your appeal may be dismissed.
If you are not the appellant and you choose not to participate, the department will hold the hearing without you and make a decision based on the appellant’s testimony.
What if I can't participate in my hearing?
If you cannot participate in the hearing, notify the appeal tribunal at 803.737.2520 as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, the appeal tribunal may postpone your hearing upon receiving faxed documents confirming a scheduling conflict. Postponed hearings will be rescheduled for telephone hearings only.
Do I need evidence or witnesses?
Because the appeal hearing will be your only opportunity to present your case, you should bring any evidence or witnesses that support your case.
Witnesses with firsthand knowledge are very important in your appeal presentation. Hearsay, or second-hand information, is not as valuable as direct evidence.
You can also submit relevant written documentation to support your case. Such documents typically would be from the period of employment or related to the issue under appeal. The administrative hearing officer will determine how and whether your evidence will be considered.
If you choose to bring documentation, you must bring copies for the hearing officer and the opposing side.
What if I'm unable to get a witness or document for my case?
The department can issue a subpoena to compel an individual's participation or to produce evidence either party desires.
An Application for Issuance of Witness Subpoena can be filed at any local SC Works center. On the application you must provide a name, address, telephone number and the specific reason you are requesting a document or a witness’s participation. Subpoenas cannot be served on addresses outside of South Carolina.
The chief administrative hearing officer or his/her designee determines whether a subpoena will be issued on a case by case basis.
How will I find out the result of the appeal hearing?
The administrative hearing officer will mail a written decision based on the evidence and testimony collected during the hearing. This decision will be mailed to the addresses on record of all parties involved.
What If I disagree with the hearing officer's decision?
If you disagree with the hearing officer's decision you have the right to appeal to the appellate panel.