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Eligibility for Individual Case Services

Legal Representation

The individual with the disability is our client.

Under our federal enabling statutes, Disability Rights NJ is authorized to provide legal representation to individuals with disabilities. Only individuals with disabilities are eligible for our legal assistance, and consistent with NJ’s Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys, our policy is to speak directly with our client, the individual with the disability, both at intake and through the course of legal representation.

We have limited exceptions to this policy. We can speak to the parents of a minor child. Where the individual with a disability is eighteen (18) or older, we can also speak with legal representatives, for example a legal guardian or healthcare proxy, and will ask for documentation of that legal status during the intake process.

Eligibility Criteria 

• You are an individual with a disability as defined in the federal laws which fund our services

• You have a legal issue related to your disability (for example, discrimination or denial of services)

• Your legal issue falls within our goals and priorities, found here.

• We have sufficient staff resources

If we are able to provide legal representation to you, Disability Rights NJ will assign an attorney or advocate to your case, and together you will agree on the scope of representation, subject to our resources. Our legal representation spans a continuum from short-term legal advice primarily by telephone to extended legal representation in litigation, mediation, and administrative fair hearings.

To access our on-line intake form, click here.

Investigations of Abuse and Neglect

Under our federal enabling statutes, Disability Rights NJ has the authority to investigate incidents of abuse and neglect, including significant financial exploitation, of individuals with disabilities.

Reports of abuse and neglect may be made to us by anyone, including individuals with a disability, family members or loved ones, or providers and staff members. We can also receive these reports anonymously.

The scope of investigation we undertake will depend upon the facts of the report, our current priorities, and our staff resources. All reports received, regardless of our scope of service, will be directed to the proper oversight authority.

Disability Rights NJ has authority to conduct primary investigations, where we are the main investigator and operate independent of any other oversight authority, as well as secondary investigations, where we review the activities or investigation conducted by the oversight authority.

We also recommend that reports of abuse and neglect be made to the appropriate state oversight agency, information can be found here.

To access our on-line intake form, click here.

Our services are free and confidential.