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Defense Office Of Hearing And Appeal
 
The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) is the major section of the Defense Legal Services Agency. It administers the hearings and appeals program for the Social Security Administration and handles administrative appeals from decision of the Department's bureaus and offices, primarily decisions of bureaus. It provides hearings and issues decisions in personnel security clearance cases for contractor personnel doing classified work for all DoD components and 20 other Federal Agencies and Departments. It also conducts personal appearances and issues decisions in security clearance cases for DoD civilian employees and military personnel. It settles claims for uniformed service pay and allowances, and claims of transportation carriers for amounts deducted from them for loss or damage. It helps you search for a decision which may have similar factual or legal questions to those in your appeal. Moreover, it conducts hearings and issues decisions in cases involving claims for DoD School Activity benefits, and TRICARE/CHAMPUS payment for medical services; and functions as a central clearing house for DoD alternative dispute resolution activities and as a source of third party neutrals for such activities. It provides an independent forum for the fair, impartial, equitable, and timely resolution of disputes. In addition, it is responsible for holding hearings and issuing decisions as part of the Social Security Administration's process for determining whether or not a person may receive benefits.

Defense Office of Hearing and Appeal directs a nationwide field organization staffed with Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who carry out unbiased de novo hearings and create decisions on appealed determinations involving survivors, disability, retirement and supplemental security income. Through the Appeals Council, DOHA also reviews ALJ evaluation on appeal by claimants or on its own motion and issues the final agency decision on such cases.

DOHA has several elements: the Director, an Appeal Board, Administrative Judges, Department Counsel, Security Specialists, the Claims Division including the Claims Appeals Board, and Support Staff. DOHA has its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia and maintains field offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California and Columbus, Ohio. The Director, Appeal Board, Administrative Judges, a small cadre of Security Specialists, the Claims Division, and Support Staff reside at headquarters. The Los Angeles office has Administrative Judges, Department Counsel and Support Staff. The Boston office has an Administrative Judge. The Columbus office has Security Specialists, an Attorney-Adviser, and Support Staff.
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