About Consumer Rights and Services
Consumer Rights and Services (CRS) receives complaints about the treatment of older Texans and people with disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities. They also can answer questions about Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) services and supports.
Consumer Rights and Services is made up of three units:
- Consumer Rights Intellectual Disability (CRID), including the Surrogate Decision-making Program, Complaint Intake Call Center, and
- Professional Review Unit
CRID is staffed by consumer rights representatives who specialize in complaints about:
- local authorities (LAs),
- the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) program,
- the Texas Home Living (TxHmL) program, and
- rights and issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities.
CRID representatives investigate and resolve rights complaints or refer complaints to the local authority. They also inform people with intellectual disabilities about their rights. You can find the rights handbooks by clicking here.
To speak with a consumer rights representative, call 1-800-458-9858 and select option 3 from the menu. The call is free. Effective Jan. 2, 2012, Consumer Rights and Services will pilot an expansion of Call Center Hours. Agents will be available to take live calls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The pilot will conclude on or before June 30, 2012. Voice mail messages are monitored between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central time, including weekends and holidays. Calls are returned on or before the next work day.
Surrogate Decision-making Program
The Surrogate Decision Making Program helps make sure that people who live in intermediate care facilities for persons with an intellectual disability (ICF/ID) have someone to consent to medical and other treatments on their behalf if they can't do so themselves.
The program staff make sure that a family member or a committee of trained volunteers make decisions about:
- major medical and dental treatment,
- administration of psychoactive medication, or
- the use of highly restrictive procedures.
Complaint Intake Call Center employees provide information about DADS long-term care services and community-based programs.
They also take complaints about:
- nursing homes,
- assisted living facilities,
- adult day cares,
- ICF/IDs (also called public and private group homes),
- state supported living centers,
- home health agencies,
- hospices, and
- personal assistance service providers.
The staff also accept self-reported incidents from facilities, home health and hospice agencies. Click here if you are a provider needing to self-report an incident.
Complaint allegations are entered into the agency's intake tracking system. Information entered includes:
- name and contact information of the person making the complaint,
- date the complaint was received,
- specifics of the complaint, and
- names of all people involved.
Complaint intake employees prioritize complaints according to federal and agency program rules and regulations and send complaints to DADS Regulatory or regional and local service employees for investigation.
Investigations by DADS are conducted according to state and federal rules and regulations. Regulatory Services investigations are unannounced. An investigation may consist of:
- records reviews, and
- interviews with the person making the complaint, residents, staff, family members or others.
When the investigation is done, DADS Regulatory Services or regional and local services staff notify the person who made the complaint of their findings. This is done in writing or over the phone.
Updated: January 15, 2013