You may request an Administrative Review, Mediation or a Fair Hearing. These are outlined below. If you need to appeal an MRC decision, you may request the necessary form from your MRC counselor.
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) of the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is always available to assist you in advocacy and representation in disputes with MRC. Advocates can be reached at 617-727-7440.
What is an Administrative Review?
An administrative review is an informal meeting with you and advocates of your choice (CAP advocate, family member, and/or friend), your counselor and his/her supervisor. An Administrative Review Officer who is an MRC employee from outside your geographical area is assigned to assist you and your counselor in resolving the disputed issue. If no amicable resolution is reached, the Administrative Review Officer will make a decision based on information presented by you and your counselor. If you are unhappy with the Administrative Review Officer's decision, you have the right to appeal. You may proceed to either mediation or a Fair Hearing.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, confidential and flexible process that helps disputing parties to fashion their own agreements. Both you and the agency must agree to this process. An impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates a discussion between you and your counselor in order to assist you both in resolving the dispute. The mediator is a trained professional provided through the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution. If you and your counselor are successful in resolving the dispute, the mediator will write a settlement agreement. If you agree with the contents of the settlement agreement, the mediator will ask you and your counselor to sign it. If the mediation is unsuccessful you may proceed to a Fair Hearing.
What is a Fair Hearing?
A Fair Hearing is a formal process whereby an Impartial Hearing Officer, not an employee of MRC, hears the dispute. The participants at the Fair Hearing include you, advocates of your choice, your MRC counselor and other MRC staff individuals of his/her choice and the Fair Hearing Officer. The Fair Hearing Officer will listen to testimony and take in the evidence. The Fair Hearing is tape-recorded and the Fair Hearing Officer will make the decision. The decision of the Fair Hearing Officer is final. If you disagree with the decision, you have 30 days from receipt of the decision to file an appeal in Superior Court of the Commonwealth.