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How to File a Discrimination Complaint

California county welfare departments may not discriminate against you on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, disability, marital status or age. This means that these agencies must provide the same aid, benefits and services to all individuals and groups, except as authorized by federal or state law or the Governor's executive order.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you may take one or all of the following actions:

  • You may talk with the county welfare department's Civil Rights Representative:
    State the basis of the discrimination (for example, age, race, sex), the specific allegation (who, what, when) and the resolution you are seeking.

    You have 180 days from the date the alleged discrimination occurred to make a complaint or request an investigation. If the representative fails to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you may request an investigation. The county will investigate the complaint and inform you of the outcome.

  • You may file a discrimination complaint with CDSS by email, writing or calling :

    California Department of Social Services
    Civil Rights Bureau (CRB)
    744 P Street, M.S. 15-70
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    or Call collect at : (916) 654-2107
    Email address: crb@dss.ca.gov

    TDD/TTY Users may call direct: (916) 654-2098 or collect by calling (800) 688-47486 or you may call via the California Relay Service operator at (800) 735-2929.

  • You may also file a discrimination complaint with the appropriate federal agency:

    If your discrimination complaint involves the Food Stamp Program , write to:

    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    14th & Independence Avenue SW
    Administration Building
    Washington D.C. 20250
    1-800-221-5689

    For all other discrimination complaints relating to any other public assistance programs, write to:

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    Office of Civil Rights
    50 United Nations Plaza
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    1-800-368-1019