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Senior Administrative Law Judge - Public Assistance & Health Division

Washington State: Office of Administrative Hearings

Office of Administrative HearingsSenior Administrative Law Judge

Public Assistance & Health Division | Seattle Duty Station

Interviews are scheduled for August 8 & 12, 2022


IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14, state employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are offered this position, your vaccine status will be verified by Human Resources prior to determining a start date.


NOTE: The duties of this position may require some in-office work at an OAH facility.


About OAH:
The 1981 Legislature created OAH to offer Washingtonians an independent, fair, and neutral forum to hold administrative hearings on disputed matters referred by state and local government agencies.  Operating out of field offices in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane Valley there are approximately 130 Administrative Law Judges at OAH who preside over administrative hearings involving unemployment insurance benefits, child support, food assistance, medical benefits, business and professional licensing, and more.  Our referring agencies include the Employment Security Department (ESD), Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), Health Care Authority (HCA), Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and others. For more information about OAH, please visit our website at


Mission: To hear and independently resolve disputes between the public and state agencies with an impartial, quick, and easy to access process.

All people of Washington can meaningfully participate in their hearing and understand the result.



  • Fairness & Independence
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Respect
  • Performance Excellence
  • Integrity


  • Performance Excellence: We deliver high quality, timely work.
  • Convenience & Accessibility: We make it easy for people to do business with us.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Respect: We promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect.
  • Good Stewards: We are efficient, effective, and accountable.

OAH Offers:

  • Opportunity to serve as an independent, neutral, and impartial decision maker.
  • Satisfaction of knowing your work makes a difference.
  • Free CLE credits through comprehensive in-house trainings.
  • Comprehensive benefits package.


As a Senior ALJ you will:

  • Supervise a team of approximately eight administrative law judges (ALJs).
  • Use established performance management policies and best practices to effectively: provide written expectations, provide training, provide timely feedback (both positive, and constructive), appropriately document feedback, evaluate performance, create developmental opportunities for learning, take corrective action or disciplinary action including issuing oral or written reprimands; or recommending further disciplinary action to be taken by the appointing authority, in consultation with Human Resources and/or your supervisor, investigate and respond professionally to complaints formally or informally filed against ALJs.
  • Comply with and enforce all OAH policies, administrative and court rules, state ethics laws, and the OAH Code of Ethics.
  • In collaboration with Division Chief ALJs, Senior ALJ colleagues, Legal Administrative Managers, and other offices/units as appropriate, manage performance, workload, and cultural issues that arise.
  • Work with Senior ALJ colleagues and legal support staff to schedule and assign cases and other work to Lead, Line and Pro tem ALJs.
  • Process travel, leave, telework agreements, work schedules, timesheets, and perform other administrative functions for field office in accordance with agency guidelines.
  • Foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture of innovation, trust, and respect that welcomes feedback and collaboration, both within the assigned field office and between all other OAH offices and business units.
  • Make recommendations to Division Chief ALJs and Deputy Chief ALJs, and carry out management decisions for the field office and assigned caseload.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with others using a variety of communication methods, styles, and modes.
  • In coordination with Division Chief ALJs, liaise with agency representatives and their first-level supervisors.
  • Ensure all direct reports complete mandatory state and agency training.
  • Provide orientation to new employees.
  • Keep Division Chief ALJ and other supervisor(s) timely informed of work progress, significant developments, case status, and other issues.
  • Complete casework commensurate with level of experience, complexity of cases, and overall agency workload as determined by the Division Chief ALJ.
  • Monitor ALJ timeliness performance using reports and the case management system.
  • Make day-to-day decisions needed to maintain standard operations, including giving guidance to ALJs and legal support staff.  Communicate all emergencies or extraordinary situations that come to your attention to your supervisor and/or Headquarters.
  • Serve as a resource for OAH committees and workgroups, as assigned.
  • Maintain a thorough understanding of statutes, regulations, case law, and agency procedures relevant to assigned caseload(s) and keep current on new developments.
  • Preside over and rule on pre-hearing, hearing, and post-hearing matters in a fair and impartial manner.

The caseloads:

  • Health Care Authority (HCA)
    The HCA is a state agency with overall responsibility for providing medical coverage and services.  The HCA determines eligibility for health care coverage, long-term care, and in home care services, which are funded, in part, through Medicaid.  An ALJ holds hearings to determine an appellant’s financial and functional eligibility for coverage and services, participation rates for long-term care, and the amount of in-home care hours.  The Department is represented by an administrative hearing specialist through the Department of Social and Health Services or other contracting agency, while appellants are most often self-represented or represented by a family member.   Hearings may be telephonic, in-person, or by video conference (WebEx) and may be 30 minutes to three hours long.  Some travel may be involved.  HCA orders are initial decisions and are expected to be issued within 18 days of the close of record.
  • Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)
    The MAGI caseload is a subset of the HCA caseload, and consists of appeals from denials of Washington Apple Health benefits.  These denials are primarily due to the appellant exceeding the maximum income level for eligibility.  The ALJ first holds a prehearing conference to set a case schedule, including an evidentiary hearing date.  Evidentiary hearings take place via Webex, and are generally one to two hours in duration, depending on complexity.  The ALJ then issues an initial order within 60 days of OAH’s receipt of the hearing request.
  • Public Assistance (PA)
    The PA caseload is administered by the Economic Services Administration (ESA) of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).  Nearly one out of every four Washington residents turns to the DSHS ESA for assistance with cash, food, child support, disability determination, transition to employment, and other services known as “benefits” programs.  ALJs hold hearings to make determinations including, but not limited to: general eligibility, overpayments, and the correctness of departmental actions such as reduction, suspension, or termination of benefits.  In PA cases, the department is represented by administrative hearings specialists.  Hearings are scheduled for a duration of 30 minutes or more depending on the case type, involvement of interpreter services, and the complexity of the subject matter.  There are a wide variety of PA programs; thus, PA decisions can be either initial or final orders (depending on the applicable regulations).  ALJs are required to issue PA decisions as soon as possible but no later than 16, 21, or 60 days of the close of record, unless an earlier decision is required by regulation.


Applicants must have the following qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor degree or equivalent (if obtained out of the United States).
  • Active or judicial membership in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association (or any US bar association).
  • Minimum of five years of legal experience as a licensed attorney.

Preferred/Desired Education, Training and/or Competencies:

  • Expertise in the DSHS Public Assistance and Health Care Authority caseloads with the ability to train, mentor, and educate others on the caseload.
  • Adjudication experience.
  • Litigation experience.
  • Mediation experience.
  • Experience with subject matter of caseload(s) assigned.
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