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Advocating and advancing the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities

 

Formal Client Grievance/Complaint Procedure and Form

Who Can File a Formal Grievance

Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) is the official protection and advocacy system for New Jersey designated to assist individuals with disabilities. Clients or prospective clients of DRNJ’s services, as well as family members or legal representatives have the right to file a formal grievance if dissatisfied. This better ensures that people with disabilities will have full access to the protection and advocacy system.

Matters for Which You Can File a Grievance

1) Denial of Service - You can file a grievance if:

  • You requested legally-based advocacy services from DRNJ but were told you were not eligible for help;
  • You were denied a requested service from DRNJ;
  • You were receiving help from DRNJ that ended or further help was denied for reasons with which you disagree;
  • You believe that you did not have full access to the services of the program.

Family members and legal representatives can also file a grievance in the interest of the client or prospective client with a disability.

2) Customer Service Concerns or Compliance Issue – You can also file a grievance if you have customer service concerns about the service you received from DRNJ or if you believe that DRNJ is not in compliance with the federal laws that create the protection and advocacy system. Persons with disabilities, family members and legal representatives can also file a grievance in regard to this purpose.

How to File a Grievance

Step 1 – Communicate directly with the DRNJ Employee

Prior to filing a grievance, if possible or applicable, please discuss your concern with the DRNJ employee with whom you have been working. It is typically better and more productive to proactively work directly with the DRNJ employee about your grievance. If you are not satisfied with the response, feel free to continue to Step 2.

Step 2 – Complete the Grievance Form – Management Review

Your grievance should be made in writing or by other reasonably accommodated means of communication. You may use the grievance form or contact DRNJ for assistance.

Your grievance will be reviewed by the appropriate manager/supervisor at DRNJ. The DRNJ management-level member may contact you with additional questions or to obtain more information about your concern. The manager will provide a response regarding your grievance in writing within 30 days of receiving the final information or documentation from you.

Step 3 – Review by DRNJ Executive Director

If you are not satisfied with the result of the management review under Step 2, you may seek a review by the Executive Director/designee within 30 days of the manager’s written decision. This appeal should be made in writing or by other reasonably accommodated means of communication. The Executive Director/designee may contact you with additional questions or to obtain more information about your concern. The Executive Director/designee will provide a response to your grievance in writing within 30 days of receiving the final information or documentation from you.

If your complaint is about a customer service concern, the Executive Director is the final reviewer of your complaint. The only exception is if your original complaint is a customer service concern about the Executive Director, then you may appeal to the next step.

If your complaint is about a denial of service, concern about full access to the services of the program, or DRNJ’s compliance with federal rules or laws as the protection and advocacy system, you may appeal your decision to the next step.

Step 4 –Appeal to the DRNJ Board of Directors

If you are not satisfied with the result of the Executive Director's review, and your matter is not a customer service issue, you may seek review by the DRNJ Board of Directors within 60 days of the Executive Director/designee's written decision. This appeal should be made in writing or by other reasonably accommodated means of communication. The Board Chair or his/her designee may contact you with additional questions or to obtain more information about your concern. The Board Chair will provide a response to your grievance in writing within 60 days of receiving the final information or documentation from you.

This is the final level of appeal.

Reasonable Accommodations

DRNJ will provide reasonable accommodations to ensure effective communication. If you need assistance in filing a grievance, please contact DRNJ.

Please note that under federal law, DRNJ must keep your information confidential.

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New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities


Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
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Legal Disclaimer

DRNJ is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides services to all persons with disabilities regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, ancestry or disability. Any concerns regarding the agency’s compliance with these non-discrimination efforts may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director.

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