Consistent with the Public Aid Code, DHS does not discriminate against a person because of:
- Religious faith
- Political beliefs
- Marital status
- Protected age group
- National Origin
Give information on our nondiscrimination policy to:
- clients or anyone who applies for benefits; or
- any group or persons wanting to do business with DHS; or
- anyone who asks about our programs or policies.
When a person applies, or when requested, explain the nondiscrimination policy to them. A person or family meeting our program rules has the right to receive benefits from us.
Staff should be careful not to intimidate or discourage anyone - citizen or noncitizen - from applying for benefits for themselves or their family members.
Nondiscrimination rules that apply to vendors receiving direct payment from the Department are contained on all direct billing payment forms. The vendor implies compliance with the Department's nondiscrimination rules when they sign the direct billing form.
Any person who believes they have been discriminated against by DHS, its employees, or any group, vendor, or person acting on behalf of DHS, may file a complaint. The complaint may be filed by a client, an applicant, a client/applicant representative, or a DHS employee. It must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.
A written complaint may be sent to:
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office, Department of Human Services; or
- Illinois Department of Civil Rights; or
- Family Community Resource Center Administrator (LOA) of the office serving that area.
In addition, SNAP clients can file a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The 180-day time period for filing may be extended by USDA.
The EEO investigates complaints of alleged discrimination received by DHS, and notifies the complainant of the results of the investigation.
The complainant has the right to:
- present evidence, including documents and witnesses prior to the decision;
- have representation;
- have an impartial decision maker;
- appeal the decision to a higher level;
- receive a written response; and
- have the complaint resolved within the established timeframes (180 days, unless an extension is needed).
The complainant is notified by EEO of any action DHS intends to take. DHS may extend the investigation period, if needed. The complainant is notified in writing of the extension.
Appeal of Findings
If the complainant does not agree with the findings or has added information that they feel would affect the outcome of the findings, they may file a written appeal within 10 workdays of the date they receive the notice.
The complainant files the appeal directly with the Chief EEO Officer, Springfield. The Chief EEO Officer submits the appeal to the DHS Appeals Officer (EEO). The Appeals Officer reviews the original findings and the appeal. The complainant is notified in writing of the appeal decision.