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.

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 the Division of Legal Services by calling (605) 773-3305.

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

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.

Retaliation

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.