Legal Services

Discrimination Complaints

It is the policy of the South Dakota Department of Social Services
(DSS) to make sure applications for program benefits and
services are made available to everyone and are approved to all who meet program eligibility standards. Staff, programs and policies must not discriminate against clients or applicants for services because of race, color, sex, age, disability, religion or national origin.

DSS must also provide fair and equal access to all of its programs and services for people with disabilities; including both physical access to buildings and access to programs and services. It is a
violation of the DSS Nondiscrimination Policy when inequitable
practices, based on the above mentioned factors, occur in
the delivery of services.

Some of these practices are:

  • Denying services or benefits;
  • Failing to provide appropriate interpreter services;
  • Limiting access to services because of inaccessible facilities;
  • Failing to make reasonable accommodations to allow full
    participation of people with disabilities in all programs, activities and services.


As a recipient of Federal financial assistance and a State or local governmental agency, the Department of Social Services does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the ground of race, color, or national origin, or on the basis of disability or age in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, activities, or services, whether carried out by the Department of Social Services directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which the Department of Social Services arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to these statutes at Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 80, 84, and 91, and 28 CFR Part 35.

In case of questions, please contact:

Director of DSS Division of Legal Services, Section 504/ADA Coordinator
700 Governor’s Drive
Pierre, SD  57501
(605) 773-3305

Discrimination Complaints

If you have reason to believe that DSS has discriminated against you, please complete the discrimination complaint form attached to this publication and mail it within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. You can also contact:

Director of DSS Division of Legal Services, Section 504/ADA Coordinator
700 Governor’s Drive
Pierre SD  57501

In accordance with state and federal laws, you may also file a
complaint with the following agencies:

  • South Dakota Division of Human Rights: (605) 773-3681
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (for discrimination in administering the SNAP (Food Stamp Program)):write to Food and Nutrition Services, Mountain Plains Regional Office, Civil Rights Coordinator, 1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 903, Denver, CO 80204-3585
  • Office of Civil Rights
    Jocelyn Samuels, Director
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
    Room 509F HHH Bldg.
    Washington, D.C. 20201

Filing a complaint with DSS does not preserve the timeframe for filing a complaint with any of the agencies listed above. You must contact each agency to determine their specific timeframe.


State and federal laws along with DSS policy prohibit retaliation. Any
person, who has filed a complaint or assisted in the investigation of a complaint, shall not be intimidated, threatened, coerced or discriminated against. Complaints of this nature must be filed within 180 days of the alleged retaliatory act.

To access a complaint form, view the Discrimination Complaint Form.

To speak to someone about filing a discrimination complaint, please call 605-773-3305.