Department of Social Services Appeals in North Carolina

Session type
General credits
Total credits
Credit status
Pending Approval
Cost notes

Free for LANC employees/volunteers, free for everyone else.


Program Overview:

It is the goal of the North Carolina Department of Social Services Appeal CLE to educate attorneys on the processes, procedures, and substantive knowledge necessary to effectively represent clients in appeals at their county Department of Social Services (DSS) office. This event is open to the public and ideal for attorneys interested in representing clients in eligibility appeals in programs administered by DSS. During this training, attendees will learn where to find the laws, regulations, and manual materials that govern appeals of public benefits programs administered by DSS and gain a greater understanding of beneficiary rights and responsibilities during the appeal process. Attendees will also learn the timeline, process, standard of review, etc. for appeals in programs administered by DSS and receive practical tips for handling appeals and representing clients in cases involving programs administered by DSS. The training will be beneficial for legal services attorneys, volunteer attorneys involved in Legal Aid’s Lawyer on the Line program, and benefits attorneys in private practice.



Douglas Sea is director of the Family Support and Health Care program at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. Sea received his B.A. and J.D. degrees with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked for Legal Services of the Lower Cape Fear in Wilmington, N.C., from 1981 to 1984 in public benefits and health law. Sea came to Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy as Benefits Team Leader in 1984 and is responsible for supervising legal work in the Family Support and Health Care Program, covering areas of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Social Security, SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, health care access and other benefits. He has participated in most of the class action public benefits litigation in North Carolina and is a recognized expert in benefits and health law and in complex litigation among legal services programs. An Ohio native, Sea became involved in legal aid because of his desire to do public interest/public policy work. He is a member of the Southeastern Public Benefits Training Advisory Group. His passion for this field is driven by the intellectually challenging and rewarding aspects of his work and the chance to impact many in need through systemic advocacy and mentoring young advocates. His interests outside of the office include singing with the Mecklenburg County Bar Revue and Opera Carolina