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Individual and Provider Rights/Civil Rights

Individual and Provider Rights is comprised of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Language Services.

Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)

The OAH is responsible for hearing cases on alleged, adverse actions against clients of the Department of Social Services.  These types of cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Denial, reduction or stoppage of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits;
  • Placement of a person’s name on the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry due to an Out of Home Abuse or Neglect (OHAN) indication;
  • Indication of a child welfare case for abuse and/or neglect, where there is no family court action.

A request for an appeal hearing must be made within the appropriate timeframe and in the appropriate manner for the hearing to be scheduled.

Hearings are heard by administrative hearing officers, who oversee all areas of the case, to include, ruling on any motions, listening to evidence, and writing the decisions on the cases they hear.  Case decisions are mailed to the parties, once a decision has been made. 


Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

The OCR is responsible for ensuring that the civil rights of our clients are not violated by DSS.  To further that purpose, Office of Civil Rights works to ensure that all of our programs are accessible to our clients.  We monitor Limited English Proficiency and accessibility compliance and conduct reviews of our county offices and cases for adherence to civil rights laws. The Office of Civil Rights also handles any discrimination claims, based on a protected class, brought by a client. Protected classes, as defined by federal law, include race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, and sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.


Office of Language Services

The Office of Language services is responsible for ensuring services for Limited English Proficient clients are procured and contracted through the appropriate channels as well as monitoring the resulting contracts. The Office of Language Services also qualifies candidates for bilingual positions by screening language proficiency, training, and testing candidates for interpreting in Spanish, and monitoring their performance when dealing with LEP clients.


Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.