Legal Services

SDDSS Grievance Procedure Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The South Dakota Department of Social Services had adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations (45 C.F.R. Part 84), implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended (29 U.S.C. 794) and the U.S. Department of Justice Regulations (28 C.F.R. Part 35) implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. 12131-12134). Section 504 states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified disabled individual... shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.." The ADA states in part that "no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits or the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity."

The laws and regulation may be examined by the:

Director of DSS Division of Legal Services, Section 504/ADA Coordinator
700 Governor’s Drive
Pierre SD  57501
605-773-3305 
DSSinfo@state.sd.us

1. A complaint should be in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the action alleged to be prohibited by the regulations.

2. The person filing the complaint has the right to representation by another person or by an attorney.

3. A complaint should be filed in the office of the Section 504/ADA Coordinator within a reasonable time after the person filing the complaint becomes aware of the action alleged to be prohibited by the regulations.

4. The 504 ADA Coordinator, or his/her designee, shall conduct such investigation of a complaint as may be appropriate to determine its validity.  These rules contemplate informal but thorough investigation, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.

5. The 504 ADA Coordinator shall issue a written decision determining the validity of the complaint no later than 30 days after its filing.

6. The 504 ADA Coordinator Section 504/ADA coordinator shall maintain the files and records relating to all complaints filed hereunder. The Section 504/ADA coordinator may assist persons with the preparation and filing of complaints.

7. The right of a person to prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Section 504/ADA complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the filing of a complaint with the South Dakota Division of Human Rights.  Utilization of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.

8. These rules shall be liberally construed to protect the substantial rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards and assure the South Dakota Department of Social Services' compliance with Section 504, the ADA and their respective implementing regulations.