Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

PO Box 40124
Olympia, WA 98504-0124

Division Chief: Natalie King, Senior AAG

Overview: The Social and Health and Services (SHO) division represents five state agencies in their missions to provide benefits, protection and care to some of our state’s most vulnerable and disenfranchised residents. The division’s 26 attorneys and 39 professional staff provide legal services, advice and representation to the Department of Social and Health Services’ many programs and functions, including mental health services and the state psychiatric hospitals; adult protective services; home and community services for elderly and disabled individuals; service to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities; income assistance; revenue recovery and child support; vocational rehabilitation; and the Special Commitment Center.  We provide legal services to Health Care Authority programs, such as public employee benefits, school employee benefits, Medicaid and other medical assistance programs, alcohol and drug rehabilitation and behavioral health. Other clients include the Health Benefit Exchange, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Services for the Blind.

Legal Highlights: Division litigation ranges from federal court class action cases involving thousands of individuals to administrative appeals involving a single individual. Recent cases include a challenge to Washington’s long-term care benefit program (the first program of its kind in the country) and a challenge to the adequacy of the state’s mental health services. Other examples of cases include: contract disputes with medical providers and managed care organizations; appeals related to eligibility for certain medical services; lawsuits brought by legal advocacy organizations on behalf of Medicaid recipients and disabled individuals; complex civil rights challenges by residents of the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators; civil and felony commitment hearings and trials; guardianship petitions on behalf of vulnerable adults; and appeals of vulnerable adult abuse or neglect findings.

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