[nfbmi-talk] anyone see problems w this?

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Feb 21 12:23:43 UTC 2011

What to do when your MRS/MCB Counselor says "NO"


What to do When Your MRS/MCB Counselor says, “NO”


By Andrea Rizor, Employment Advocate


Many customers think they are without recourse when Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) or Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB)makes decisions they

disagree with. Have you been denied eligibility for MRS or MCB services? Has it been longer than 60 days for an eligibility decision and you don’t know

why? Were you denied a request for a new counsel or denied an individualized plan for employment goal or a service? Have you been denied acceptance into

Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) or Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center (MCBTC)? There are steps you can take to make sure

this decision was appropriate. If you are unhappy with decisions made by MRS or MCB, you have the right to appeal.


If you feel the reason why MRS or MCB made the decision or denial is wrong, you can try to resolve the disagreement administratively (by contacting the

supervisor, filing a complaint, and/or consulting with the Client Assistance Program (CAP)). Many times this route is successful; however, you should know

what other steps are available to you.


So what is an appeal? An appeal (request for a hearing) is a process where you are asking for a formal change to an official decision – challenging a decision

made by the local office. You are essentially asking a third party to review your case in order to resolve the dispute.


Why file an appeal? Many people file an appeal after attempting to resolve the disagreement administratively but feel that things are taking too long (dragging

out) or feel that it’s going nowhere. MRS has an incentive to try and resolve the matter internally once an appeal is on the table and will, therefore,

have staff from other offices review the disagreement to make sure their decision follows policy. If no agreement is made, however, the hearing in front

of an Administrative Law Judge will be held within 60 days of your appeal request. There is no cost to you, the customer. Each agency has its own procedure

when it comes to appeals. Here are some important things to remember when filing an appeal.


A few things to know about writing an MRS appeal:


1.   The appeal letter must be written and signed.


2.   The appeal letter should be dated.


3.   The appeal letter should be brief.


4.   The appeal letter must specify that you wish to appeal the particular denial. The first sentence should include: “I would like to appeal MRS’ decision

to….” If this is not clear, MRS may think you are simply filing a complaint and your appeal will not be processed.


5.   If you receive a letter back saying that the request cannot be processed, make sure to follow up with the hearings manager to find out why.


6.   The appeal letter must be mailed to:


                 Jaye Porter, Director

           P.O. Box 30010

           Lansing, MI 48909


Any time you are dissatisfied with a decision made by MCB, you can request:


1.   Informal Administrative Review (conducted by MCB administrator)


2.   Formal Fair Hearing (conducted by an Administrative Law Judge)


3.   Mediation (conducted by Michigan Supreme Court Community Dispute Resolution Program)


      There is no cost to you, the customer. To make a request you must call or send a letter to the MCB Hearings Coordinator:


                 Michigan Commission for the Blind

           P.O. Box 30652

           Lansing, MI 48909


1. If you choose an Informal Administrative Review, an MCB administrator will be assigned to review your case and will make recommendations for possible

resolution. The review must be completed within 10 days and a decision must be delivered within another 10 days. This decision does not deny or delay your

right to a Fair Hearing.


2. If you choose a Fair Hearing, it will be conducted within 60 calendar days of the request. The judge will deliver his/her report within 30 calendar days

of the completion of the hearing. You have 20 days to request a review of this decision and it must be in writing to the MCB Hearings Coordinator.


3. If you choose Mediation, it will be conducted within 20 calendar days of the request. If agreement is made, a written copy will be received within 20

days of agreement. Entering into the Mediation process will not deny or delay your right to a Fair Hearing.




Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service




More information about the NFBMI-Talk mailing list