Welcome to the California Department of Social Services

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File a Complaint

  • Your Rights Under California's Welfare Programs This brochure describes your rights and explains what you can do if you have a program or discrimination complaint in any of the numerous programs listed in the brochure beginning on page 2.
  • How to file a complaint against alicensed care facility .
  • Foster Care Ombudsman . For Children in Foster Care placement, the Foster Care Ombudsman assists foster children with their concerns and complaints. The Foster Care Ombudsman will also review complaints involving Child Welfare Services agencies.
  • File a complaint with the Social Security Administration .
  • Make a complaint about a public assistance program .
  • File a complaint about your public assistance case or application for benefits. The Public Inquiry and Response Bureau (PIAR) handles complaints for most public assistance programs administered by each county's department of human/social services except for Medi-Cal, GA/GR, and CMSP. You may file your complaint using the following methods:
    • Click on the following link, select "All Other" as your message category and type your complaint in the Comments/Suggestions box. Contact Us
    • Write your complaint and mail it to:
      California Department of Social Services
      Public Inquiry and Response Bureau
      P.O. Box 944243
      MS 8-4-23
      Sacramento, CA 95814
    • Call PIAR on its toll-free telephone line at 1-800-952-5253. (This number is for use by applicants and recipients of public assistance programs or their authorized representatives with case or program related inquiries/complaints or to request state fair hearings. Callers using this toll-free number for other purposes will not be transferred to another phone number.)
    • Hearing impaired persons may contact us at 1-800-952-8349. Hearing impaired persons may contact us at 1-800-952-8349.
  • File a complaint about MEDI-CAL: Contact either your county department of human/social services or call EDS at (916) 636-1980. There is no toll-free telephone number.
  • File a complaint about GENERAL ASSISTANCE (GA)/GENERAL RELIEF (GR) or the County Medical Services Program (CMSP). Contact your county department of human/social services , by selecting your county, and then clicking on the appropriate county agency that administers public assistance programs.
  • File a complaint about a COUNTY EMPLOYEE. Contact the director's office in the county where the person is employed. To find the address of the appropriate county department of human/social services , select the county, and then click on the appropriate county agency that administers public assistance programs.
  • File a complaint about DISCRIMINATION. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the CDSS Civil Rights Bureau at crb@dss.ca.gov .