Civil Rights

The Fresno County Department of Social Services (DSS) has a Civil Rights Coordinator to handle your complaints of discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, medical condition, genetic information, mental disability, physical disability, religious creed, marital status, domestic partnership, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or age. This list does not reflect all protected bases and does not guarantee that all of these bases are protected in every situation. If you feel that a DSS employee, contracted vendor, or program has discriminated against you, then please contact the DSS Civil Rights division at the number above. The DSS Civil Rights staff will investigate your claim of civil rights violations just as if it occurred at one of our facilities or by one of our employees.

Where You Can File a Civil Rights Complaint

DSS Civil Rights Coordinator/Investigator
205 W. Pontiac Way
Clovis, CA 93612

Appeal Rights

For all programs, if you disagree with the County's decision (including if the county did not investigate your complaint), you may appeal to the California Department of Social Services Civil Right Section within 30 calendar days of the letter from Fresno County DSS Civil Rights.  To appeal this decision, contact: 

California Department of Social Services Civil Rights Section
744 P Street, M/S 9-7-041
Sacramento, CA 95814

CalFresh Program:

If you disagree with the County’s decision regarding discrimination in the CalFresh program based on race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, you may appeal to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You must do so within 90 days of receiving the letter from Fresno County DSS Civil Rights. To appeal this decision, write to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Mail Stop 9140
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 1330, South Building
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410


All Other Public Assistance Programs:

For programs other than CalFresh, you have the right to file a civil rights complaint based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal or by mail or phone. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the date of discrimination. To file your complaint, contact:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Ave., S.W., Room 1330, South Building
Washington D.C. 20201


Your Rights

Know Your Rights Under California Welfare Programs Pamphlet

Front page of the Know Your Rights Under California Law Pamphlet front cover with a picture of the state of California and stylized people in front of it

This pamphlet describes your rights and explains what you can do if you have a complaint. The information is for persons applying for, receiving, or who have received aid or services. The pamphlet:

  • Spells out your rights as an applicant/recipient;
  • Specifies that multilingual services are available;
  • Lists the TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf);
  • Explains the steps you can take if you do not agree with the action of your application or services;
  • Explains the State Hearings process;
  • Outlines actions you can take for discrimination complaints; and,
  • Identifies state and federal contacts.

PUB 13

English | Arabic | Armenian | Cambodian | Chinese | Farsi-Dari | Hindi | Hmong | Japanese | Korean | Lao | Mien | Portuguese | Punjabi | Russian | Spanish | Tagalog | Thai | Ukrainian | Vietnamese |

PUB 13 Large Print


Audio of the PUB 13 for Visually Impaired


Reasonable Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities as well as others with serious health limitations.

If you have a disability that makes it hard for you to apply for benefits or meet program requirements, you have the right to request and receive extra help without the need to give us your medical papers/proof of your condition.

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the Fresno County Department of Social Services (DSS) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.

Let us know if you need assistance with:

  • Reading documents and forms
  • Filling out forms
  • Getting documents we need
  • Changes to program rules and work requirements
  • Making appointments
  • Other reasonable accommodations and modifications

Disabilities may include problems with:

  • Walking, sitting or standing
  • Reading, learning or understanding
  • Speaking, hearing or seeing
  • Being around crowds
  • Memory loss
  • Dealing with emotions


How to File an ADA complaint

If you feel you have been discriminated against because you did not receive the help you need due to a disability, you may file an ADA Complaint.
Your complaint can be filed in-person, by letter, by telephone or email:

DSS Civil Rights

PO Box 1912 Fresno, CA 93718-9888

Phone: (559) 600-2996




Rights Under the Medi-Cal Program

The California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) oversees the Medi-Cal program.  Use the following links to learn more on the DHCS website:


Complaints About Medi-Cal Providers

If you believe your civil rights have been violated in the Medi-Cal program, by a doctor, nurse, hospital or managed care company (Health Net or Blue Cross), then you should call the Ombudsman’s office. The ombudsman’s number is 1-888-452-8609. They can also be reached by email at