Your Right to Appeal

Your Right to Appeal: Printer Friendly Version

IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ ALL THE INFORMATION

Who is eligible for services? As a Missouri resident, you may request services from the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities for yourself or for persons for whom you are legally responsible, (minor children, disabled adults, etc.). Only a person with mental retardation or another developmental disability is eligible to receive services from the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. If you are requesting services, the division must offer evaluation and counseling services to determine whether you are eligible for services. If you or your ward are eligible for services, the division must, within the limits of available resources, offer services that are needed, appropriate, and are prescribed by an individualized plan.

Services will not stop during your appeal. If you are currently receiving services, the department will not reduce or end services to you or your ward while an appeal is in progress.

Things to Remember. . .

What happens if you are found to be ineligible for services or for continued services? If you have been notified by a regional office that you or your ward are ineligible for services or ineligible for continued services, you may appeal the decision. You must appeal within 30 days after you receive written notice that you are ineligible.

To the Regional Office Director If you disagree with the decision, you may notify regional office intake or case management staff that you want your case heard by the regional office director. You will receive written notice that the regional office has received your request to appeal. You may present any information that relates to the appeal in a meeting with the regional office director or a regional office representative in order to resolve differences. You will receive the regional office director's decision on your appeal within ten working days after your appeal is received.

To an Appeals Referee If you disagree with the decision of the regional office director, you may, within 30 days after receiving that decision, notify regional office intake or case management staff that you want an appeals referee to hear your case. You will receive written notice that the regional office has received your request for an appeal hearing. The appeals referee will be an employee of the Department of Mental Health, but not of the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. The referee will notify you in writing of the date, time, and location of the hearing. That notice will be given to you at least 30 days before the hearing and no more than 60 days after you first requested the hearing. You may receive, without charge, documents that relate to your appeal. The documents shall be furnished to you within five (5) working days after you request the documents. You or your representative have the right to inspect Department of Mental Health records that relate to your appeal. The appeals referee will base his or her decision only on information presented at your hearing. The regional office director must convince the referee that the regional office's denial of services was correct. During the hearing, you, your representative, or the regional office director may speak, present witnesses, submit additional information relating to your appeal, and question witnesses. The referee will record the hearing. That tape will be kept for one (1) year after the hearing and will be available for review by you or your representative. Within 30 days after the hearing, you will receive written notice of the referee's decision.

To the Department Director If you disagree with the referee's decision, you may request that the decision be reversed or changed or appealed to the Director of the Department of Mental Health. Within 30 days of receiving the decision, you must submit to either the department director or the regional office director a written notice of your intent to appeal. Within 30 days of the decision, the referee may reverse or change the initial appeal decision at the request of you, your representative, or the regional office director. If you appeal to the department director, you, your representative, or the regional office director may present new evidence or comment on and object to the hearing decision within ten (10) working days of your notice of appeal. The department director will consider evidence contained on the tape recording of the appeals hearing and other evidence presented. Within 20 working days after receiving notice of your intent to appeal, the department will notify you and the regional office director of the department director's decision. That notice will be the final decision of the Department of Mental Health.

To the Circuit Court If you disagree with the decision of the director of the Department of Mental Health, you may appeal to the Circuit Court, according to Chapter 536 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo.) You may receive, at your expense, a written copy of the tape of the appeals hearing for purpose of appealing to the court. If the court or the department determines that you are indigent, the copy will be made available at no charge.

What happens when a person is eligible for some services but not for a specific service? The appeal steps are the same as for appealing eligibility for all services except that you must first appeal to the case management supervisor before appealing to the facility director. You must appeal in writing or orally within 30 days after being notified that you are ineligible for the specific service. You may present any information relating to your appeal. The case management supervisor may meet with you and any staff to discuss the decision. Within ten (10) working days from the time you present your information to the case management supervisor, you will receive the decision and reasons for it. If you want to appeal the decision of the case management supervisor, the full appeal process is available to you.

Appeal steps at a glance The regional office notifies you whether you are eligible to receive services. If you are not eligible and you wish to appeal the decision, you must do so as follows.

Within 30 days . . .
...you must notify the regional office if you wish to appeal.
Within ten days...
...the regional office director will notify you of the decision on your appeal.
Within 30 days . . .
...you must notify the regional office that you want an appeals referee to hear your case.
Within 60 days . . .
...after you request it, a hearing before an appeals referee will be held.
At least 30 days . . .
...prior to the hearing, you will be notified of the date of your hearing.
Within 30 days . . .
...after the hearing, you will be notified of the referee's decision.
Within 30 days . . .
...you must notify the Department of Mental Health director that you wish to appeal.
Within ten days . . .
...you must submit all evidence to the director.
Within 20 days . . .
...you will be notified of the director's decision on your appeal.

The director's determination is the department's final decision on your case, but you may appeal to the circuit court.