Compact with Texans
The Compact with Texans describes the department’s services, principles and the process for filing complaints and requesting information. For the purposes of this document, "customers" are defined as: consumers, clients, family members, advocates, taxpayers, public officials, service providers, community based organizations, media, other agency representatives and other interested parties.
Older Texans and persons with disabilities will be supported by a comprehensive and cost-effective service delivery system that promotes and enhances individual well-being, dignity and choice.
The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) mission is to provide a comprehensive array of aging and disability services, supports and opportunities that are easily accessed in local communities.
Our key responsibilities to the citizens of Texas include:
- Working in partnership with consumers, caregivers, service providers and other stakeholders.
- Developing and improving service options that are responsive to individual needs and preferences.
- Ensuring and protecting self-determination, consumer rights and safety.
DADS provides and contracts for long-term care services and supports to eligible older Texans and to children or adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. DADS also regulates facilities and agencies and credentials staff working in facilities and agencies.
Access and Intake Services
DADS access, intake and assistance services are provided through Local Authorities, Area Agencies on Aging and DADS regional and local staff.
Local Authorities (LAs): Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and cognitive disabilities enter DADS services through LAs, which determine eligibility for IDD services, ensure services are provided to eligible consumers, and may provide services directly. Each county in Texas has a designated LA. Consumers may find the LA serving their county at: www.dads.state.tx.us/services/contact.cfm.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs): Twenty eight (28) AAAs provide access to information, resources and assistance to Texans 60 years and older. Services provided through AAAs include information, referral and assistance, care coordination, caregiver support, benefits counseling and legal assistance. Consumers may call a toll free number, 1-800-252-9240, to be connected directly to the AAA serving their county of residence. Information and the location of each AAA are at: www.dads.state.tx.us/services/contact.cfm.
DADS Regional and Local Staff: Individuals who need long term services and supports, other than those accessed through LAs or AAAs, contact DADS staff in regional and local offices across the state. Medicaid and non-Medicaid funded community services, including assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing or preparing meals, or nursing services, are provided in an individual’s home or small group setting. For a description of DADS programs and services, go to: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/budget/#reference.
To determine the location and phone number for a DADS office, visit the DADS website at: www.dads.state.tx.us/services/contact.cfm.
State Supported Living Centers
Services are provided in facilities, including nursing and assisted living facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs).
If you are concerned with the treatment of someone living in a state supported living center (SSLC), call 1-877-323-6466 to speak to an independent ombudsman who can help. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, please use the relay service provider of your choice to contact our office. The State of Texas offers Relay Texas, which can be reached by dialing toll-free 7-1-1 or 1-800-RELAY TX (1-800-735-2989).
You can also send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a confidential fax to 512-438-4085.
Suspected cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation in the SSLCs should be reported directly to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.
Each state supported living center has an assistant independent ombudsman onsite to help residents, family members, staff, guardians (LARs) and others who have concerns about the centers.
And the ombudsmen truly are independent. They are not part of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) or the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
DADS Regulatory Services enforce licensing, certification and credentialing requirements for facilities and agencies providing long-term services and supports, as well as staff in facilities and personnel working for contracted agencies. Additional information about Regulatory Services is at: www.dads.state.tx.us/business/ltcr/index.html
General information about DADS services is available by calling 211.
As a Texas Health and Human Services department, we commit to providing high quality services in a professional and ethical manner. In order to do so, we will:
- Treat our customers with courtesy and respect;
- Ensure access to and provision of services is fair and equitable;
- Implement new and creative approaches to improve quality of services;
- Operate based on our customers’ overall needs and feedback;
- Provide understandable information in a variety of formats;
- Ensure sound management of programs and funds;
- Work in cooperation with customers;
- Protect private information and share public information in accordance with applicable laws.
Texans can expect to receive high quality services from all Texas Health and Human Services departments. To meet this expectation, we will:
- Process applications and respond to contacts accurately and within required timeframes;
- Employ courteous and knowledgeable staff;
- Respond appropriately to language or other special needs;
- Expand access to information and services, such as by Internet and phone;
- Provide services in safe facilities and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For complaints and other inquiries about DADS programs and services, contact DADS Consumer Rights and Services at:
DADS Consumer Rights and Services
Texas Relay 711
Or contact them at:
Consumer Rights and Services
Mail Code E-249
701 West 51st Street
P. O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
Customer complaints and requests for information are immediately assessed and prioritized according to federal and agency program regulations and rules. Most requests for information are responded to immediately. If there is a delay in responding, you will receive an interim response to explain the delay and provide information on when to expect a response to your inquiry. Complainants wishing to remain anonymous may do so.
The Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman investigates complaints in nursing and assisted living facilities and advocates to protect residents’ health, safety, welfare and rights.
Texas Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman
Customer Service Representative
Comments and ideas for improving DADS customer service can be sent to Allison Lowery, Director, Center for Consumer and External Affairs, the agency’s customer service representative. She can be contacted at any of the following:
DADS Center for Consumer and External Affairs
701 West 51st Street
P. O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
TTY: Texas Relay 711
Health and Human Services Ombudsman
For further assistance, contact the Office of the Ombudsman. Office of the Ombudsman refers and responds to calls and correspondence, working closely with health and human services agencies' leadership, management and program staff.
HHSC Office of the Ombudsman
Mail Code: H-700
P. O. Box 13247
Austin, Texas 78711-3247
Phone Toll-free: 1-877-787-8999
Fax Toll-free: 1-888-780-8099
Reporting Waste, Abuse and Fraud
HHSC, Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for investigation of waste, abuse and fraud in health and human services programs. OIG provides oversight of HHS activities, providers, and recipients through compliance and enforcement activities designed to identify and reduce waste, abuse, or fraud; and improve efficiency and effectiveness within the HHS system.
To learn more about the types of waste, abuse and fraud that the Inspector General investigates please visit: www.hhs.state.tx.us/OIG/aboutUs/Types.shtml.
To report fraud, waste or abuse, please call toll-free, 1-800-436-6184, or use the online reporting form at: www.hhs.state.tx.us/OIG/Fraud_Report_Home.shtml.
Updated: September 15, 2014