Adopted by the Las Animas County Board of Commissioners 02/21/2023
As a recipient of Federal Financial Assistance, Las Animas County Department of Human Services (LACDHS) is responsible for providing core services to assist and support Colorado’s most vulnerable individuals and families so they can meet their basic needs and be treated with respect and dignity. The Las Animas County Department of Human Services has a civil rights plan to ensure that all eligible individuals receive equal access to program services and information. LACDHS shall administer Medical Assistance programs in such a manner that no person will, on the basis of race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, creed, political beliefs, or disability, be excluded from participation, be denied any aid, care, services, or other benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in such program. Aid, care, services or other benefits includes all forms of assistance, including direct and vendor payments, work programs, social services, and information and referral services.
LACDHS shall not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, creed, political beliefs, or disability:
- Provide to an individual any aid, care, services, or other benefits that are not equally accessible to individuals based on their protected class status;
- subject an individual to segregation barriers or separate treatment in any manner related to access to or receipt of assistance, care services, or other benefits;
- restrict an individual in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving aid, care, services, or other benefits provided under assistance programs;
- treat an individual differently from others in determining whether he or she satisfies any eligibility or other requirements or conditions which individuals must meet in order to receive aid, care, services, or other benefits provided under Medical Assistance programs;
- deny an individual an opportunity to participate in programs of assistance through the provision of services or otherwise, or afford him or her an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under programs of assistance;
- deny a person the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning or advisory body that is an integral part of the program.
No discrimination on the grounds of race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, creed, political beliefs, or disability is permitted in relation to:
- the use of physical facilities;
- intake and application procedures;
- caseload assignments;
- determination of eligibility;
- the amount and type of benefits extended by LACDHS to Medical Assistance program recipients.
LACDHS shall assure that other agencies, persons, contractors and other entities with which it does business are in compliance with the above prohibition of discrimination requirements on a continuing basis. LACDHS staff are responsible for being alert to any discriminatory activity of other agencies and for notifying the State Department concerning the situation.
The State Department, through its various contacts with agencies, persons, and referral sources, will be continuously alert to discriminatory activity and will take appropriate action to assure compliance by the offender. If corrective action is not taken by LACDHS, the State Department will notify the agency of termination of payments and association in regard to recipients or applicants. LACDHS, on notification by the State Department, will also terminate payments to or association with any agency, person, or resource being used which has been found to continue discriminatory activity in regard to applicants or recipients.
An individual who believes he or she is being discriminated against may file a complaint with LACDHS, the State Department, or directly with the federal government. When a complaint is filed with LACDHS, the Director is responsible for an immediate investigation of the matter and taking necessary corrective action to eliminate any discriminatory activities found. If such activities are not found, the individual shall be given an explanation. If the person is not satisfied, he or she is requested to direct his or her complaint, in writing, to the State Department, which will be responsible for further investigation and other necessary action consistent with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which are hereby incorporated by reference into this rule.
Upon receipt of a complaint alleging discrimination by LACDHS due to race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, creed, political beliefs, or disability, the State Department shall explain the Medical Assistance programs non-discrimination policy to the individual. If there is insufficient information as to the nature or other detail concerning the complaint, the State Department shall contact LACDHS in writing to obtain such information. Copies of the letter shall be sent to the complainant. LACDHS shall reply in writing.
- State Department Determines Action Non-Discriminatory
If the State Department determines LACDHS action is not discriminatory and the applicant/recipient disagrees, the applicant/recipient has the right to appeal the case to the State Department. This appeal shall be filed in accordance with the appeal rules as described in the "Protections to the Individual," 9 CCR 2503-6Section 3.609.94.
- State Department Determines Action Discriminatory
If it is found that LACDHS practice or action is discriminatory, the State Department shall initiate a corrective action per section 1.020.11 to assure that any and all discriminatory practices are permanently terminated.
LACDHS mandates ALL staff, new and existing, to complete an Anti-Racism and EDI training offered by Paychex Flex, which is the department’s training system. More specialized training when an instance of founded discrimination occurs will be provided to staff when appropriate.
Additionally, ALL staff within the Division of Economic Securities are required to complete the State Training on Civil Rights and Non-Discrimination as outlined in 10 CCR 2505-5 1.020.3.b. All LACDHS staff appointed to fulfill duties relating to the administration of Medical Assistance and who have direct contact with applicants and members, or supervise staff that have direct contact, shall complete, on an annual basis, trainings related to Civil Rights and Non-Discrimination. This training is provided by the Staff Development Division (SDD). 100% of county staff must complete the required training on an annual basis. Failure to complete the training annually may result in loss of access to the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS).
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race, color, national origin)
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (disability)
- Section 508 Amendment of the Rehabilitation act of 1973 (disability)
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; state and local government services (disability)
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (age)
- Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (added sex discrimination in health care programs)
- Nondiscrimination Provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Federal Block Grants)
- Community Services Block Grant (race, color, national origin, sex) Remaining Block Grants (race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, religion)
- Social Services Block Grant
- Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant
- Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness Block Grant
- Preventive Health and Human Services Block Grant
- Community Mental Health Services Block Grant
- Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (sex)
- Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, religion)
- Food Stamp Act of 1977 (As Amended Through P.L. 108-269, 2004)
- Nondiscrimination Compliance Requirements in the Food Stamp Program, Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture
- Bilingual Requirements in the Food Stamp Program, Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture
- FNS Instruction 113-1, Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement - Nutrition Programs and Activities, Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture (2005)
- Equal Opportunity for Religious Organizations in USDA Regulation
- Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA)
Las Animas County Department of Human Services designates Michael Aragon, Director to serve as the Agency’s Civil Rights Contact, Agency point person on civil rights matters.
Contact Person Michael Aragon
Relay English: 800.676.3777 Español: 800.676.2490
Las Animas County Department of Human Services Policy for equal opportunity in service delivery
It is the policy of Las Animas County Department of Human Services to make sure that program benefits and services are made available to everyone and provided to all eligible individuals without discrimination, in compliance with civil rights laws. The State of Colorado Nondiscrimination statement is posted in the main lobby area, as well as on the LACDHS website at the Department of Human Services web page.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services employees, services, programs, benefits and policies adhere to the State of Colorado Dept. of Human Services (CDHS) and Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) nondiscrimination policy. The following policy is posted in the Main Lobby of LACDHS, as well as linked in its’ website at the Department of Human Services web page.
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) complies with applicable federal and state civil rights laws and does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, creed, political beliefs, or disability in employment, admission or access to, treatment or participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs, services and activities, whether carried out by the department directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which it arranges to carry out its programs, services and activities.
This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to these statutes at Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 80, 84, and 91 and Title 28 CFR Part 35, regulations of the State of Colorado issued pursuant to these statutes at Title 24 Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) Parts 4, 6, 8 and 34, Title 10 Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR) Section 8.100 and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. Additionally, this statement is in accordance with Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, 42 U.S.C. § 18116.
LACDHS will not discriminate against applicants, clients or members of the public because of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, creed, religion, political beliefs, disability or public assistance status. “Sex” includes sex stereotypes and gender identity under any medical or health program receiving federal financial assistance, such as Medical Assistance, CHIP programs, health clinics, insurance companies and state health insurance exchanges. Las Animas County Department of Human Services employees, programs and policies must also allow physical and program access for people with disabilities.
This civil rights policy covers Las Animas County Department of Human Services’ full range of services, programs and benefits, including but not limited to, access to information about services, eligibility determinations and intake, admission procedures and treatment. The policy applies to the agencies and providers receiving federal and state funds under contracts, licenses and other arrangements with Las Animas County Department of Human Services. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) also applies to the work of Las Animas County Department of Human Services and the agencies carrying out the work of Las Animas County Department of Human Services.
Some state laws provide greater protections than federal law. In these cases, Las Animas County Department of Human Services will follow state law.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services and all of its services, programs and benefits are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, including people with hearing loss, low vision and other sensory disabilities.
To avoid disability discrimination, Las Animas County Department of Human Services will:
- Notify the public about the rights and procedures for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Designate and ADA Coordinator and maintain a complaint procedure.
- Make sure that its buildings are physically accessible for people with disabilities.
- Assist individuals with disabilities to apply and qualify for benefits based on their eligibility.
- Provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including accessible formats, to ensure effective communication with people with disabilities.
- Provide services, programs and benefits that are accessible to and usable by qualified people with disabilities.
Physical access includes:
- Convenient off-street parking designated specifically for people with disabilities.
- Curb cuts and ramps between parking areas and the Las Animas County Department of Human Services buildings.
- Level access into the first floor of Las Animas County Human Services buildings with elevator access to all other floors.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services will make reasonable modifications to its policies, procedures or practices when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless Las Animas County Department of Human Services can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the services, programs or benefits.
The Las Animas County Department of Human Services will take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with people with disabilities and companions with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. To ensure effective communications, Las Animas County Department of Human Services will provide auxiliary aids and services, including accessible formats, so that people with disabilities can receive services, programs and benefits and participate in them in the same way as people without disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services include qualified readers, writers and interpreters who convey information effectively, accurately and impartially using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
To determine what types of auxiliary aids or services are necessary, Las Animas County Department of Human Services will give primary consideration to the requests of people requesting the auxiliary aid or services unless it would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or benefit or cause an undue administrative or financial burden. If this happens, Las Animas County Department of Human Services will find another equally effective auxiliary aid or service.
To access any of the Auxiliary Services LACDHS offers, please contact our Auxiliary Services Coordinator (ASC) is responsible for providing effective interpretation or arranging for a qualified interpreter when needed. The ASC can be contacted at:
LACDHS Economic Security ASC
219 S. Chestnut Street
Trinidad, CO 81082
For Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
LACDHS utilizes the following interpretive services for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Sign Language Network, Inc.
PO Box 25102
Colorado Springs, CO 80936
Communicating by Telephone with Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
LACDHS provides TDD services in-house, provided by our phone management agency;
Elevate Unified Communications
615 N. Santa Fe Ave.
Pueblo, CO 81003
LACDHS utilizes relay services for external telephones with TTY users. We accept and make calls through a relay service. The state relay service number is 800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice) for Spanish 800-676-4290 (Espanol - TTY/Voz).
For Persons Who are Blind or Who Have Low Vision
Staff will communicate information contained in written materials concerning benefits, services, waivers of rights, and other economic security forms by reading out loud and explaining these forms to persons who are blind or who have low vision. Additionally, we offer a text to speech program to allow the client to independently listen to the forms online. We provide those with low vision, a visually impaired keyboard and other technology to make the process more independent.
The following types of large print, taped, Braille, and electronically formatted materials are available. These materials may be obtained by calling 719-941-7042.
Qualified readers; reformatting into large print; taping or recording of print materials not available in alternate format; or other effective methods that help make visually delivered materials available to individuals who are blind or who have low vision. In addition, staff is available to assist persons who are blind or who have low vision in filling out forms and in otherwise providing information in a written format.
For Persons with Speech Impairments
To ensure effective communication with persons with speech impairments, staff will contact LACDHS Economic Security ADA Coordinator Monica Guana at 719-941-7042, who is responsible to provide the aids and services in a timely manner:
Writing materials; typewriters; TDDs; computers; flashcards; alphabet boards; communication boards; and other communication aids.
For Persons with Manual Impairments
Staff will assist those who have difficulty in manipulating print materials by holding the materials and turning pages as needed, or by providing one or more of the following:
Note-takers; computer-aided transcription services; speaker phones; or other effective methods that help to ensure effective communication by individuals with manual impairments. For these and other auxiliary aids and services, staff will contact LACDHS Economic Security ADA Coordinator Monica Guana at 719-941-7042 who is responsible to provide the aids and services in a timely manner.
For Persons in Need of Foreign Language Interpretive Services
The Staff will assist those in need of foreign language interpretation services by utilizing LanguageLink, Inc.:
The ASC will utilize LanguageLink to coordinate any and all foreign language interpretive services. The client will be provided these services via phone.
You have the right to equal access to services, if you are an applicant, client or member of the public trying to gain access to human services program information or benefits. Las Animas County Department of Human Services has a civil rights complaint procedure that provides prompt and thorough resolution of civil rights complaints.
Civil rights complaints allege discrimination. You have a right to file a civil rights complaint if you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, creed, religion, political beliefs, disability or public assistance status. Sex includes sex stereotypes and gender identity discrimination that occurs in medical or health programs, insurance companies and state health insurance exchanges.
It is against the law for anyone who works for or contracts with Las Animas County Department of Human Services to retaliate against a person who files a complaint or who cooperates in the investigation of a civil rights complaint.
Conflict of Interest: If you feel that there may be or is a conflict of interest, which exists between the client and a staff member, you may report said conflict of interest to the Director, County Administrator, or the Las Animas County Board of County Commissioners to address the concern. Any of these individuals may work with the Las Animas County Legal Department to determine if a conflict of interest exists and how to best address it to move forward with any complaint.
To file a complaint, ask for the Agency’s equal opportunity policy, complaint resolution procedure and complaint form. Use the contact information below to file a complaint. You can also review the law and regulations that outlaw discrimination in the Civil Rights Contact’s office.
Michael Aragon, Director
Las Animas County Department of Human Services
219 S. Chestnut Street
Trinidad, CO 81081
TTY: English: 800.676.3777, Español: 800.676.2490
Las Animas County Department of Human Services will make appropriate arrangements to ensure the people with disabilities are provided reasonable modifications or effective communications, if needed, to participate in the complaint process. Reasonable modifications or effective communications include, but are not limited to, providing interpreters for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, providing taped cassettes and accessible formats for people who are blind or have low vision and assuring a physically accessible location for complaint proceedings. The Civil Rights Contact (or designee) is responsible for working with people who file complaints to make appropriate arrangements.
- Civil rights complaints must be submitted to the Civil Rights Contact within 180 days of the date the alleged discrimination occurred.
- A complaint must be in writing and contain the name and address of the person filing it. Other important contact information is telephone number, relay number and email address. The complaint must state the problem or action alleged and the relief desired. If you need assistance with your complaint, the Civil Rights Contact will help you.
- The agency must conduct an investigation of the complaint. The investigation may be formal or informal, but it must be thorough and timely. People who have an interest in the complaint must have an opportunity to submit relevant evidence about the complaint. The County agency will issue a written decision on the complaint, to the complainant and the state department, within 30 days after its filing. The County will maintain the complaint records and files for three (3) years. Las Animas County Department of Human Services will track all complaints, outcomes and business practices changes instituted as a result of complaints. Complaints about program rules are not civil rights complaints and will be resolved through a different complaint process.
- The person filing the complaint may appeal the decision by writing to the Human Resources Manager within fifteen (15) days of receiving the written decision. The Human Resources Manager will issue a written decision, to the complainant and the state department, in response to the appeal no later than 15 days after the appeal is filed. This decision is final. This appeal process is not the same as filing a fair hearings appeal through the CDHS or HCPF appeals processes.
- The person filing the complaint must be informed that he/she can file a discrimination report directly with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights or the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the SNAP Program
To file a complaint directly with the US Department of Health and Human Services:
The US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights prohibits discrimination in its programs because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or religion. Sex includes sex stereotypes and gender identity discrimination that occurs in medical or health programs and clinics receiving federal financial assistance; these are programs such as Medicaid, CHIP programs, insurance companies and state health insurance exchanges under Title I of the Affordable Care Act. Contact the federal agency directly through their online portal at OCR Complaint Portal, by mail to: Centralized Case Management Operations; US Department of Health and Human Services; 200 Independence Ave, SW; Room 509F HH Bldg; Washington, DC 20201 or via email at OCRComplaint@hhs.gov
To file a complaint directly with USDA:
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc) should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Services at 800-877-8339 or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). Additionally program information may be made in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3207) found online at USDA Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, send an email to CR-Info@usda.gov or call 866-632-9992. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may use the Federal Relay Service 800-877-8339 or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). The form should be submitted by one of the following methods:
- Mail to USDA; Director, Center for Civil Rights Enforcement; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington DC 20250-9410
- Fax to 202-690-7442
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To file a complaint directly with the State of Colorado:
The person filing the complaint must also be informed of the right to file a discrimination complaint directly to the State of Colorado. Complaints can be made through any of the following channels:
Utilize the Colorado Civil Rights Division complaint process by completing the CaseConnect Civil Rights Form or contacting email@example.com. The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) is the State of Colorado’s authority for the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA)
Contact the Denver branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights at 1961 Stout Street, Room 08-148; Denver CO 80294-3538; 200-368-1019 (voice); 202-619-3818 (fax); 800-537-7697 (TDD); firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
You have the right to appeal the outcome of the investigation if you are not satisfied with the decision. To appeal, you must send a written request to review the outcome of the investigation within 15 days of receiving the written decision. Be brief and state why you disagree with the decision, plus any additional information that may apply. Send your request to the attention of the Human Resource Manager; 13 W 3rd Street, Ste 212; La Junta, CO 81050. The Human Resource Manager will review the information and render a decision within 15 days which will be final. This appeal process is not the same as filing a fair hearings appeal through the CDHS or HCPF appeals processes.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services is not an enforcement agency. It can investigate situations where policies prohibiting discrimination may have been violated. You are always free to file a discrimination complaint with other appropriate agencies, including enforcement agencies.
If you have questions or need help to file your complaint, the Civil Rights Contact can assist.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services has developed a form to assist complainants in filing a comprehensive complaint. It is available upon request and from the Las Animas County website.
Las Animas County Department of Human Services will administer its Civil Rights Plan by doing the following:
- Providing its comprehensive civil rights plan in the Agency reception areas in all locations. The plan is available to applicants, clients, members of the public, employees, volunteers and contractors.
- Posting the comprehensive civil rights plan on the Agency’s website.
- Review the comprehensive civil rights plan annually with all staff.
- Conduct annual SNAP civil rights training for appropriate staff.