Disability Rights Montana (DRM) strives to provide quality services to people who contact the agency for assistance. The following grievance policy is an opportunity for people to express their dissatisfaction and have their complaints investigated.
How to file a complaint about Disability Rights Montana
If you have a complaint, or you think Disability Rights Montana is not treating you fairly, you may file a grievance.
If you are a client of Disability Rights Montana (DRM) or are asking for help from DRM, you have the right to file a grievance if you are not satisfied with the services you are getting. For example, you may file a grievance if you believe DRM:
- Did not provide you with effective services
- Wrongly denied you help
- Did not follow their policies or procedures
In addition, if you have received or are receiving mental health services and you feel that DRM is not following federal protection and advocacy laws for people with mental illness, you may file a grievance. If you are a family member or the representative of such a person, you also may file a grievance. The individual with a grievance (grievant) may be represented during the grievance process by an advocate, attorney, or another person nor employed by DRM. The grievant will notify DRM of the representation in advance of the grievance proceedings.
How does DRM provide services to clients?
DRM provides some help to any person with a disability who asks for assistance. Because of limited funds, sometimes this might be a referral or an answer to a question. DRM cannot provide an attorney or advocate to help with every person’s legal problem or situation. Therefore, every year DRM decides what major categories of problems it can help with. These categories are called annual priorities. You may get a copy of these by calling the DRM office or visiting our website.
DRM does not discriminate in its programs, activities and services. It is DRM’s policy to provide services to all people without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, gender, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from military service, or citizenship status.
How can you file a grievance about DRM?
You can file a grievance in writing or by phone within sixty (60) days of the action or decision that you are complaining about. Grievances must be directed to the executive director and be submitted in wiring, recorded on tape, received orally, or submitted via email. If you need help in filing a grievance, any DRM staff person can assist you with this process. When you file your grievance, you will need to give DRM this information:
- Your name, address, and phone number where DRM can reach you. Let DRM know the best way to communicate with you. For example, if you need large print or if you prefer email communication, let DRM know.
- If the grievance is on behalf of a family member, give that person’s name, address and phone number. Tell how you are related to that person and if you are that person’s legal representative such as a parent of a minor or a guardian.
- Why are you filing the grievance? What did DRM do or not do? When did this happen? If the grievance is about how DRM operates its programs, describe your concern.
- What do you want DRM to do now? What would you like to see happen?
- What deadlines should DRM know about, especially those that are in the near future?
Submit your grievance by mail or phone.
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
Helena, Montana 59601
406-449-2344 or 1-800-245-4743
Call between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Give your grievance information to the intake specialist on the phone.
How will my grievance be reviewed?
DRM tries to address all grievances by talking with you about your issue. Your grievance may go through levels of review to find a solution.
First, submit the complaint to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will review the grievance, and will make a decision within thirty (30) days. You will receive this decision in writing. If you are unhappy with the Executive Director’s decision, you can appeal this decision within thirty (30) days to the Board of Directors.
Then, the appeal is sent to the Board of Directors and the president. DRM will provide the grievant with the contact information of the President of the Board of Directors. The grievance will be reviewed, and will make a decision within thirty (30) days. You will receive this decision in writing. All decisions of the Board of Directors are final. If the grievant wishes additional action, they may do so at their own expense.
The Board of Directors may consider the following information about your appeal:
- The information that you gave when you filed your grievance
- Any attempts to resolve the grievance
- Information learned during the investigation of the grievance
- Any information that you provided when you appealed to the Board of Directors
All individuals involved in reviewing your grievance will keep your information confidential.