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Appeal Policy

METS Appeals Policy
Revision July 2016

Policy: The ADA establishes a civil right to paratransit for individuals who are prevented, because of a disability, from using the regular fixed route city bus service. Because complementary paratransit is deemed to be a civil right, inappropriate denial of eligibility and service is prohibited. Persons who have been denied eligibility and/or service have the right to have their cases reviewed by use of the Appeals Process.

Procedure: The METS’ Mobility service defines a fair and effective review, and appeal process as required by the ADA regulations, which is in the interests of all parties. Because ADA paratransit eligibility is established as a civil right, The METS’ Mobility service has a special obligation to ensure that “due process” is observed.

Decisions to deny ADA paratransit eligibility and/or transportation are to be reviewed in the first instance by the Mobility Manager or a designated person familiar with the requirements of the ADA and its operation in the system. The initial determination to deny should be well documented.

If the decision to deny eligibility or service is confirmed, a notice of denial will be sent to the applicant and will include the reasons for the denial, and the procedures that may be utilized to appeal the decision. (The procedure is outlined below.) These notices will be sent to the applicant in a format that can be utilized by the applicant (e.g., a Braille letter to the applicant who utilizes Braille).

The individual has the right to appeal the Determination in writing. The appeal must be in writing and filed within sixty (60) days following receipt of the initial determination. Send written requests for an appeal to Charles Farmer, The Mobility Manager, 601 John St., Evansville, IN 47713.

During the appeal time, subsequent new requests for a determination of ADA paratransit eligibility will be considered at any time, since the functional impairments associated with an individual’s disability may be expected to change over time.

Individuals who have been denied eligibility, had restrictions placed on their eligibility or had service suspended have the right to appeal these decisions. They have the right to appeal before a person or office other than those who made the initial determination. They have the right to be heard in person and to have necessary support, such as a sign language interpreter, and to present information, witnesses, and arguments in support of the appeal. The individual has the right to be represented by an individual of their choice. The representative need not be a lawyer and might appropriately include an independent living or rehabilitation counselor, or other such professional.

Individuals who have been denied eligibility or who have had restrictions placed on their eligibility and who file a written appeal request will be heard by an independent appeals board consisting of three members. Members will be drawn from a pool of volunteer representatives consisting of local social services agency employees, consumers and members of the medical profession and/or functional mobility professionals.

The final decision on appeal shall be issued in writing or accessible format by the Mobility Manager or the Mobility Office Administrator within thirty (30) days following completion of hearings.

During the initial application process, no service will be provided while the appeal is being heard. However, if an appeal for eligibility has not been decided within thirty (30) days, presumptive eligibility will apply until a final decision is reached. If you are a current Mobility rider, service will be provided during the appeals process.

There are certain circumstances under which an individual, otherwise eligible for ADA paratransit, may be denied service. A person, whose behavior threatens or has threatened the safety of paratransit personnel or other customers, may be denied service. Persons who demonstrate a consistent pattern of missing scheduled paratransit trips, “no-shows”, may lose their eligibility for a reasonable, specific period of time. Such temporary suspensions of eligibility, as well as loss of eligibility because of violent, illegal or seriously disruptive behavior, may be appealed through the administrative procedure outlined above.

In case of a temporary suspension because of excessive “no-shows”, the appeal must be filed prior to the specified date of suspension and suspension will not begin until the appeals process is complete.

Full documentation of the process is essential. The determination made upon appeal will, like the initial determination, need to be in writing (and in an appropriate medium, if requested) and will state the basis for the determination. The denial of ADA paratransit eligibility can become the subject of a civil rights complaint and ultimately be reviewed by the courts.

Should the individual have questions or comments regarding how to file an appeal, they may contact the METS’ Mobility office at (voice) 812-435-6188 or TDD/Hearing Impaired - please use Relay Indiana 1-800-743-3333.