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Social Services Anti-Discrimination Policy

The Department of Social Services is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or discriminated against under any programs or activities administered on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, low-income, or limited English proficiency, as provided in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

As a recipient of Federal Financial Assistance, the Department of Social Services is required to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other statutes to ensure that services and benefits are provided on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Department of Social Services Title VI Designee is responsible to ensure that departmental programs, activities and benefits comply with the County’s Non-Discrimination Policy and to investigate all discrimination complaints made regarding its programs, benefits or activities. Suffolk County also provides assistance for individuals with Limited English Proficiency. Please visit the Language Access Plan page for more information on available language assistance services.

DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The Suffolk County Department of Social Service’s discrimination complaint procedure and investigative process is consistent with federal guidelines.

Any person who feels that he or she has been excluded from or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity, individually or as a member of any class of persons, on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, gender, or age, may file a written, signed, and dated discrimination complaint. A discrimination complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date the alleged discrimination occurred. Note, an anonymous Service Discrimination Complaint will not be accepted.

The Suffolk County Department of Social Services is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADAAA”), by ensuring that qualified individuals with disabilities, including applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Child Support, Medicaid, Family & Children’s Services, Adult Protective Services and Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) that are in need of a reasonable accommodation due to a disability have equal access to all benefits, programs, and services for which they are eligible, including those offered by other agencies operating on our behalf. For more information on how to make a reasonable accommodation request, please visit our ADA Information page.

The complaint and optional appeal procedures are as follows:

  1. Submit a written, signed, and dated Complaint form:
    • Complaint forms can be made available in different languages upon request.
    • To request a form in an alternative language pleases email: DSSTitleVIDesignee@suffolkcountyny.gov, or call (631) 854-9930.
    • Mail, email, or fax the written, signed, and dated Complaint form to the following address:
      Attention:
      Title VI Designee
      Karlesha V. Hewitt, Esq.
      Commissioner’s Office
      3085 Veterans Memorial Highway
      Ronkonkoma, N.Y. 11779
      Tel: 631-854-9930
      Fax: 631-854-9996

      DSSTitleVIDesignee@suffolkcountyny.gov
  2. Referral and Confirmation: Upon receipt, the complaint shall be forwarded to the Title VI Designee of the department responsible for the service, benefit, activity or program referenced on the Suffolk County Discrimination Complaint Form. The Title VI Designee shall mail a letter to the complainant confirming receipt of the Discrimination Complaint Form within 10 days of its receipt by the Department.
  3. Investigation: The Title VI Designee shall investigate the complaint. Investigations may include interviews with the complainant, appropriate witnesses, relevant Suffolk County personnel and contractors, if any. In most cases, the Title VI Designee shall complete his or her investigation within 60 calendar days after receipt of a completed Suffolk County Discrimination Complaint Form. If more time is required, the Title VI Designee shall notify the complainant in writing of the delay and the estimated time for completion.
  4. Departmental Determination: Upon completion of the investigation, the Title VI Designee shall mail a written determination, reflecting that the complaint is either Unsubstantiated, Reviewed with Recommendation, or Reviewed with Corrective Action, to the complainant.
  5. Appeal: If the complainant disagrees with the Departmental Determination, he or she may request reconsideration by submitting a written request for appeal within 30 calendar days following receipt of the Departmental Determination. The appeal request should be addressed to the Title VI Coordinator and the Department Head as designated in the Departmental Determination. The appeal request should be sufficiently detailed to contain any items the complainant feels were not fully understood or reviewed in the initial investigation.
    • Mail, email, or fax a written, signed, and dated request for appeal to the following address:
      Attention:
      DSS Commissioner
      Title VI Appeal
      Commissioner’s Office
      3085 Veterans Memorial Highway
      Ronkonkoma, N.Y. 11779
      Tel: 631-854-9930
      Fax: 631-854-9996

      DSSTitleVIDesignee@suffolkcountyny.gov

      With a copy to:

      Attention:
      Title VI Program Coordinator
      Rev. Roderick Pearson
      Office of Minority Affairs
      H. Lee Dennison Building
      P.O. Box 6100
      100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
      Hauppauge, NY 11788
      Tel: 631- 853-4738
      Fax: (631) 853-8271

      minority.affairs@suffolkcountyny.gov
  6. Final Determination Following Appeal: A request for appeal will trigger an automatic reconsideration of all investigation material and any additional information provided in the appeal request. The appeal will be followed by a Final Determination issued by the Department head in conjunction with the Title VI Coordinator. The Final Determination will either sustain or amend the original Departmental Determination.

Anyone who feels that he or she has been discriminated against is free to submit a complaint directly to the appropriate federal or state agency regardless of the existence or status of a Suffolk County Department of Social Services Discrimination Complaint, by mailing a complaint to:

Federal Coordination and Compliance Section - NWB
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(888) 848-5306 English and Spanish (ingles y español)
OR
(202) 307-2222 (voice)
(202) 307-2678 (TDD)

New York State Division of Human Rights at "how to file a complaint" or by contacting one of nine regional offices in New York State.

The Suffolk County office is located at:

State Office Building,
250 Veterans Memorial Highway,
Suite 2B-49
Hauppauge, New York 11788
InfoLongIsland@dhr.ny.gov
(631) 952-6434

If information is needed in another language, contact   (631) 853-4738

Si necesita información en otro idioma, llame al   (631) 853-4738

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901