Know Your Rights

People with disabilities who are living in institutions and shared living spaces – such as state psychiatric hospitals, adult foster care homes, nursing homes, and others – have rights. Disability Rights Michigan is dedicated to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities especially those in institutions. It’s important to know your rights!

 These rights include:

  • The right to fair legal treatment when entering an institution or shared living space;
  • The right to give informed consent about their care;
  • The right to be a part of decisions about their life;
  • The right to fight decisions that violate their rights;
  • The right to receive care that is free from abuse and neglect; and,
  • The right to tailored discharge planning when leaving an institution or shared living space.

Generally, you have the right to move freely. It is important to know your rights to be free from restraint and seclusion, which is not permitted generally and can never be used as a form of punishment or threat.

  • Disability Rights Michigan:  Restraint & Seclusion
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Below are resources on your rights in institutions and shared living spaces.

How To File A Complaint

File a Recipient Rights Complaint
If you feel your rights have been violated while receiving mental health services, you can file a Recipient Rights Complaint. Information on how to file a Recipient Rights Complaint is below.

  • Disability Rights Michigan: ORR Complaints & Appeals
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If you feel your rights have been violated while living in an Adult Foster Care (AFC) home, nursing home or other shared living space, you can file a complaint with the State of Michigan. Information on how to file a complaint is below.

File a State of Michigan Complaint About a Licensed Adult Foster Care (AFC) Home
AFC Complaint Form

File a State of Michigan Complaint About a Nursing Home or Health Facility
How to file a Nursing Home/Health Facility Complaint

Complaints can be filed in three different ways:

  1. Online with the State of Michigan
    Online AFC Complaint
    Online Nursing Home/Health Facility Complaint
  2. Through a phone call to the State of Michigan
    856.0126 to file a complaint about an AFC home.
    882.6006 to file a complaint about a nursing home or health facility.
  3. Or mailing or faxing a paper form to:Adult Foster Care (AFC) Complaints Mailing Address:Bureau of Community and Health Systems
    Children and Adult Licensing – Complaint Intake Unit
    611 W. Ottawa, 1st Floor
    P.O. Box 30664
    Lansing, MI 48909
    Fax: 517.284.9739
    Paper Form

    Nursing Home and Health Facility Complaints Mailing Address:
    Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
    Bureau of Community and Health Systems – Health Facility Complaints
    P.O. Box 30664
    Lansing, MI 48909
    Fax: 517.335.7167
    Paper form

If your complaint concerns abuse or neglect of a child or an adult, you can call Protective Services at 855.444.3911.

If you are seeking legal help, you can look for lawyers using the Michigan State Bar Find a Lawyer tool.

If you do not have enough money for a lawyer, you can call your local legal aid office for options.

This information is a service of Disability Rights Michigan (DRM). It provides general information, based on the law at the time we wrote it, and is not legal advice. You do not have an attorney-client relationship with DRM. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. If you would like more information about this topic or would like to receive this information in an alternative format call DRM at 800.288.5923.

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