What Are My Rights?

The rights of individuals with disabilities are the same as for all citizens. Every Individual, unless legally determined otherwise, should be considered capable of exercising his/her full range of constitutional, statutory, and civil rights. Individuals with disabilities are also guaranteed additional, specific rights. These include:

  1. The Right to Privacy:
    1. You have the right to be alone when you want to, including when toileting, when having phone conversations with family or friends, or when simply in the mood.
    2. Your bedroom is a restricted area and others need to respect your space by asking your permission to enter.
    3. Your mail, email, and phone conversations are private, and should not be seen or heard by others unless you agree.
    4. Your possessions belong to you and are not the property of anyone else in your home. You can lock them up and carry a key if you so desire. If you are unable to do so, someone will assist you.
  2. The Right to Individuality:
    1. You have the right to decide what is important to and important for you and to receive support to follow your dreams.
    2. You have the right to practice the religion of your choice.
    3. You have the right to be treated with consideration and respect, and with full recognition of your dignity and Individuality.
    4. You have the right to not always be part of a group, but to engage in activities on your own or only with someone to assist you.
    5. You will be considered for services no matter what your race, creed, or religious beliefs.
  3. The Right to Dignity:
    1. You have the right to humane care and protection from harm
    2. You have the right to not be used as a human subject in research projects.
  4. The Right to Community:
    1. You have the right to become part of your community, to make friends, and gain skills that will help you towards the life outcomes that you desire.
    2. You have the right to receive the medical, mental health, and other support services that you need in the least restrictive environment.
  5. The Right of Choice:
    You have the right to choose:
    1. The services that you will receive
    2. The companies and that will provide those services
    3. The outcomes and goals that are important to you
    4. The people who will comprise your Individualized Support Team
    5. When you will give informed consent
    6. When you want to authorize information about you to be released to people outside of your support team, the time limit for the release, and what you would like to release.
  6. The Right of Confidentiality:
    1. All your records are kept confidential and are protected by public law and federal and state guidelines.
  7. Right of Access:
    You have the right to access:
    1. Your records
    2. Information that you need to make decisions
    3. Attorneys or other persons that can help you if you need legal representation
    4. Self-advocacy support services
    5. Advocacy support services
    6. Your personal funds and property
  8. The Right to be heard:
    1. Individuals may voice complaints and concerns to have their issues handled efficiently, responsively, and investigated and resolved in a timely manner.
    2. Individuals have the right to appeal a decision for which; they do not agree or have been denied, as outlined through the appeal process
    3. Individuals have the right to contact and consult with legal counsel and private practitioners of one’s choice, at one’s expense.
  9. Freedom from Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation:
    You have the right to be free from physical, mental, emotional, financial, sexual, and any other form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, including:
    1. Actions that are painful to you, which includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Forced physical activity
      2. Hitting
      3. Pinching
      4. Anything that hurts or is offensive to you
      5. The use of electric shock
      6. Anyone causing you to have physical pain
    2. Seclusion, or keeping you isolated or separate from everyone
    3. Emotional or verbal abuse, which means that someone says something to you that:
      1. Causes you to be afraid that someone will hurt you because of what you say or do
      2. Causes you to be afraid that you will be confined or restrained
      3. Causes you to experience emotional distress or embarrassment
      4. Cause others to be angry with you, or to treat you without respect causes you to react in a negative manner
    4. A practice that keeps you from having any of the following unless your doctor orders it:
      1. Sleep
      2. Shelter
      3. Food
      4. Drink
      5. Physical movement for extended periods
      6. Medical care or treatment
      7. Use of the bathroom
    5. Work or chores for someone else without pay unless:
      1. The person you work for has a certificate from the United States Department of Labor authorizing the employment of workers with a disability at special minimum wage rates
      2. You are working in your own home cleaning or taking care of your home and yard
      3. You want to perform volunteer work in the community

How will my Direct Care Provider Help to protect my Rights?

All MHCS employees are trained to understand and protect the rights of the individuals we serve. MHCS
Has adopted the following policies and procedures that help to protect your rights:

  1. Your direct care provider will actively monitor your status and work to protect your rights.
  2. Your direct care provider will communicate any changes in your well-being to the program administrator as needed.
  3. Your direct care provider will monitor your services and status to help ensure that you are free from unnecessary medications and physical restraints.
  4. Your direct care provider will ensure that your ISP is implemented.
  5. MHCS will take administrative or disciplinary action against, and dismissal of, any employee involved in the neglect, exploitation, or mistreatment of anyone that we serve.
  6. MHCS has written instructions for our employees to follow to report any real or suspected violations of their rights.
  7. MHCS has written instructions for our employees to follow in the case of a rights violation to inform:
    1. Adult Protective Services or Child Protection Services, as appropriate;
    2. Your legal representative, if you have one; any other person you want us to inform; the Bureau of Quality Improvement Services.
  8. MHCS has written instructions for our employees to follow for reporting reportable incidents to the BDDS.
  9. All employees of MHCS shall promote individuals’ rights, including:
    1. Providing you with humane care and protection from harm.
    2. Providing services that:
      1. Are meaningful and appropriate
      2. Comply with:
        • Standards of professional practice guidelines established by accredited professional organizations if applicable
        • Budgetary constraints
      3. Are in a safe, secure, and supportive environment
    3. Obtaining your written consent, or your guardian’s if applicable, before releasing information from your records, unless the person requesting a release of the records is authorized by law to receive the records without consent
    4. Processing and making decisions regarding any complaints you file within two weeks after MHCS receives the complaint.
    5. Informing you in writing and in a way that you can understand you’re your constitutional and statutory rights, using a form approved by BDDS and the complaint procedure established by MHCS
    6. Obtaining a signed “Acknowledgement of Rights” statement. This statement will be entered into your record to document that you have reviewed your rights.

What do I do if I Have a Complaint or Concern?

You have the right to file a complaint with MHCS at any time, and anyone else may file a complaint on your behalf. If you have a complaint about your services, or about the people providing your services, this is an appropriate way to let us know.

MHCS will never retaliate against you for filing a complaint, even if it is about our company. We will do a fair and thorough investigation of the situation, will talk to anyone who has knowledge of the event, and will review all related emails, letters, and files. We’ll then let you know our findings in a timely manner, and in the way in which you usually communicate.

Additionally, for some complaints, we may bring in an appropriate agency to let them know of the situation and obtain their input into how it should be resolved. Those agencies can include the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS), the Bureau of Quality Improvement Services (BQIS), Adult Protective Services (APS), and Child Protective Services (CPS).

You can file a complaint in person, on the phone, via email, through our website link, or by letter. You can tell your case manager or contact our Customer Service Department.

To reach our Customer Service Department, the contact information is as follows:


  • 2610 Jefferson Boulevard, South Bend, IN 46615
  • Telephone: 574-276-5026 24/7 hours.

Here are some reasons that you might file a complaint:

  1. Rights Violation: If you or someone on your behalf feels that your rights have been violated, we will investigate and respond to your complaint within two weeks in the way in which you usually communicate.
  2. Reportable incident: If you or someone on your behalf reports to MHCS that you have been abused, neglected, exploited, or otherwise mistreated, your direct care provider will take all necessary steps to assure your immediate safety. He or she will ensure that an Incident report is filed with BQIS within 24 hours of the report having been received, and will file all needed follow-up reports at seven-day intervals. The direct care provider will notify the program coordinator who will contact case management, conduct or participate in an investigation as needed, and notify APS and/or CPS to provide an additional level of oversight should the incident be of a nature that requires their intervention
  3. Systemic issues: If MHCS is notified that a provider is not behaving in accordance with established standards of practice, the program administrator will: first attempt to resolve the issue verbally with the provider in question; if no resolution is made, the administrator will put the issue in writing to the provider; if still no resolution is achieved, follow Miami Home Care policies to reach necessary discipline and conformance. Upon resolution, the program administrator will respond to your complaint in the way in which you usually communicate.
  4. Conflict Resolution: if you are not able to agree with one of the MHC providers staff regarding the best way in which to support you, the program director will contact your case and the case manager will decide for the team. The program director will let you know of the BDDS’s decision in the way in which you usually/ communicate.
  5. Complaint against MHCS Staff: If you share with us a complaint about your direct provider, an MHCS Representative other than the direct care provider will investigate the situation. We will share the results of the findings with you within two weeks of the date we receive your complaint, in writing and in the way, you usually communicate. If an Incident Report was filed as part of the investigation proves, we will also let you know the results of the BQIS decisions. If you do not agree with MHCS’s decision regarding how a complaint was resolved, we will notify the supervisor of the staff identified in the complaint or the MHCS Company CEO of the supervisor’s initial determination of findings. You will be notified of that second decision within two weeks, in writing and in the way, you usually communicate. If you are still not satisfied with the decision, the complaint or concern received will be forwarded to the MHCS compliance officer. We will let you know if their decision within 30 days of the date it was provided to them. We also do a format review of all complaints received at least annually and use the information used to determine trends, areas needing improvement, and actions to be taken toward systemic resolutions.

Learn More

If you want to know more about our services, feel free to contact us anytime.