Skip to main content

How to Appeal a Decision

An appeal is a request to review a recent decision that denied, terminated, or reduced service. If you have applied for, have received, or are currently receiving benefits/services from an assistance program in Health & Human Services and you are dissatisfied with how your application or benefits/services are/were handled, you may follow the process for filing an appeal.

Request for an Informal Review by Permit Holder or Applicant:

If a permit holder or applicant disagrees with a decision of the local health department on the interpretation, application, or enforcement of the rules, the permit holder may:

  1. Request an informal review; or
  2. Initiate a contested case in accordance with G.S. 150B.

The permit holder or applicant is not required to complete the alternative dispute resolution prior to initiating a contested case in accordance with G.S. 150B.

When a petition for a contested case is filed, the informal review process shall terminate.

If the permit holder requests an informal review, the request shall be in writing and shall be postmarked or hand delivered to the local health department within 7 days of notice of the decision giving rise to the review. The request shall state the issues in dispute. If the decision giving rise to the informal review was conducted by the Environmental Health Supervisor, the Environmental Health Regional Specialist assigned to that county or area shall conduct the local informal review. As soon as possible, but at least within 30 days of receipt of the request, the person conducting the review shall contact the permit holder or applicant, provide that permit holder or applicant an opportunity to be heard on the issues in dispute and issue a written decision addressing the issues raised in the appeal. Copies of the decision shall be mailed to the permit holder or applicant and to the State Health Director. That decision shall be binding for the purposes of future inspections of the establishment or site, unless modified through the formal appeal process or by the State Health Director.

The permit holder or applicant may appeal the resulting decision in writing within 7 days of receipt of the Environmental Health Division’s decision. The appeal must include a copy of the decision and must be postmarked or hand delivered to Buncombe County Health and Human Services Environmental Health Division and the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services within 7 days.

Within 35 days of receipt of the 2nd appeal, the State Review Officer will hold a conference. Notice of the time and place will be provided to the permit holder and the Environmental Health Director. Within 10 days of that conference, the Review Officer will issue a written decision.

Environmental Health Formal Appeals:

To pursue a formal appeal, you must file a petition for a contested case hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings within 30 days of the date of the action you are appealing. The petition for a contested case hearing must be filed in accordance with the provision of North Carolina General Statutes 130A-24 and 150B-23 and all other applicable provisions of Chapter 150B.

If you file a petition for a contested case hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, you are required to serve a copy of your petition to the Office of General Counsel, NC Department of Health and Human Services.

To get a copy of a petition form, you may write the Office of Administrative Hearings or call the office at (919) 733-0926 or visit the OAH web site at www.oah.state.nc.us/form.htm

Office of Administrative Hearings
6714 Mail Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-6714
Office of General Counsel
NC Department of Health & Human Services
2001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2001

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS):

An opportunity for a fair hearing must be provided to any household "aggrieved" by any action of the county Department of Social Services or coupon-issuing agency which affects the participation of the household in Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). A State Hearing Officer from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will hold a hearing in accordance with North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 108A-79.

Each FNS client is informed on the application of their right to a hearing, of the method by which a hearing may be requested, and that their case may be presented by a FNS client or representative, such as a legal counsel, a relative, a friend, or other spokesperson. In addition, whenever the FNS client expresses disagreement with a county department action, they must be reminded of the right to request a fair hearing. If an individual or organization is available that provides free legal representation, such as Pisgah Legal Services, the FNS client must also be informed of the availability of their services.


Work First:

  1. The applicant recipient or personal representative may request the hearing verbally or in writing.
  2. The applicant recipient or personal representative may request a local hearing or a state hearing.
  3. Local hearings are held within 5 days of the client’s request. A designated Hearing Officer conducts the hearing.
  4. If the applicant recipient or personal representative is not satisfied with the result of the local hearing, they still may request a state hearing.
  5. Clients are encouraged to have legal representation and are routinely referred to Pisgah Legal Services.

Medicaid:

  1. The client or personal representative must sign and date the appeal request form which is included with the denial or modification notice regarding benefits.
  2. The client or personal representative may request a local hearing or a state hearing.
  3. Local hearings are held within 5 days of the client’s request. A designated Hearing Officer conducts the hearing.
  4. If the client or personal representative is not satisfied with the result of the local hearing, they still may request a state hearing.
  5. Appeal requests forms are sent to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) within 30 days of the date the notice was mailed.

District Attorney Review:

The reporter has 5 working days, from receipt of the decision of the department not to petition the court, to notify the prosecutor that they are requesting a review.

Unfavorable Preplacement Assessment:

The individual/family has 10 days, from receipt of the unfavorable preplacement assessment, to notify the Division Director that they are requesting a review of the unfavorable preplacement assessment.

Review of Selection of Adoptive Parents:

If the guardian ad litem disagrees with the selection of adoptive parents, or the foster parents want to adopt the juvenile and were not selected as adoptive parents, the guardian ad litem or foster parents shall file a motion within 10 days of the department's notification and schedule the case for hearing on the next juvenile calendar.

Responsible Individual Petition:

Within 15 days of the receipt of notice of the identification as a responsible individual, a petition for judicial review may be filed with the district court of the county in which the abuse or serious neglect report arose. The petition shall be filed with the appropriate clerk of court's office with a copy delivered in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the director who determined the abuse or serious neglect and identified the individual as a responsible individual.

The petition for judicial review shall contain the name, date of birth, and address of the individual seeking judicial review, the name of the juvenile who was the subject of the determination of abuse or serious neglect, and facts that invoke the jurisdiction of the court. Failure to timely file a petition for judicial review constitutes a waiver of the individual's right to a district court hearing and to contest the placement of the individual's name on the responsible individuals list.

How to File a Complaint or Give Feedback

Need to file a complaint or give feedback? Contact HHS by mail, online, by phone, or anonymously.

General HHS Complaints or Feedback


Public Health Division

Public Health, Clinical Services, Environmental Health, or Nurse Family Partnership:

If a citizen does not want to submit feedback directly to BCHHS by comment card, online survey, in person or over the phone, they can report concerns to NCDHHS. NCDHHS will investigate client complaints referred to them directly by clients or concerned citizens. The NCDHHS customer service center for public health can be reached at (919) 855-4800.

WIC Program

If a complaint is made to a WIC Staff Member, that staff member must write up the complaint and submit it to the State WIC Director. If a member of the public does not want to speak with local WIC Staff regarding their concern, the staff member will provide the contact information for the State WIC Director or the USDA Director. The State WIC office can be reached by phone at (919) 707-5800.

Social Work & Economic Services / Public Assistance

Citizens can report concerns to NCDHHS. NCDHHS will investigate client complaints referred to them directly by clients, County DSS or concerned citizens. The NCDHSS customer service center can be reached at (919) 527-6340.

Non-Discrimination Statement

USDA Programs (WIC, E&T, SNAP)

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Complaint Form, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA via mail, email, or fax.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
program.intake@usda.gov
Fax: (202) 690-7442

Other Programs

If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex (including sex stereotyping and gender identity), or religion in any programs or activities that HHS directly operates or to which HHS provides federal financial assistance, you may file a complaint.

To voice a concern or file a complaint, please contact the Compliance Officer.

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights or the North Carolina Office of Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, or by mail or phone.

Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of when you knew that the act or omission complained of occurred. OCR may extend the 180-day period if you can show "good cause".

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, DC 20201
1-800-368-1019;
1-800-537-7697 (TDD)
Carlotta Dixon, MHS, CPM
Section Chief of Program Compliance
Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator
Title VI-Civil Rights Coordinator
NC Division of Social Services
325 North Salisbury Street
MSC 2401
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699

Privacy and Security Concerns

HIPAA privacy regulations establish a number of individual rights for patients with regard to their health information, including the right to file complaints concerning a covered component’s compliance with the regulation. You may file a complaint if you believe your protected health information has been improperly used or disclosed.

To voice a concern or file a complaint, please contact a Compliance Officer.

You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in writing or online. Complete instructions for filing a complaint may be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

Locate & Contact

Health & Human Services

Contact

Compliance Officer
P. (828) 250-5208

BCHHS Administration
35 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801
P. (828) 250-5500
F. (828) 250-6235

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mailing Address

Health & Human Services
PO Box 7408
Asheville, NC 28802

Email Us



HHS Customer Survey

Tell us how we're doing! Complete our customer satisfaction survey.