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Appeals Process

Appeals Process

An appeal is a process where a person requests a formal change to an official decision. The person making the request must officially do so in writing, usually within a certain time frame. In most cases, submitting additional or new supporting documentation when requesting an appeal is required.

The following is a brief outline of the appeals process. When faced with an unfavorable decision, the first step is to directly contact the person, district, or agency. If you're not satisfied with the result after going through a review process or re-evaluation, you may submit a complaint, request a reconsideration or a mediation. If that doesn't resolve the problem, you can file an appeal or due process.

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities – Below is a list of appeals procedures that can be found in the Supports Program Policies & Procedures Manual & Community Care Program Policies & Procedures Manual.

New Jersey Children’s System of Care, PerformCare
You can find the appeals process in PerformCare’s Youth and Family Guide.

  • Complaints- (page 27)
  • Reconsiderations- (page 28)
  • Appeals- (pages 28-30)

New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS)
Case Services Policy Manual, Chapter 1: Administration, section 1.11, Appeal Process and Procedures

Individual Education Plan (IEP)
Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE) in English

Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE) in Spanish 


  • Mediation/Due Process-  (pages 31-33)
  • Emergent Relief- (pages 34-37)
  • Complaint form- (pages 38-40)
  • Enforcement- (pages 41-44) 

Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP)
Parents and districts have access to a new program offered by the Department called facilitated IEP.  It has two main purposes, as follows:

  1. To promote student-centered IEP meetings that are conducted in a respectful and collaborative manner. and
  2. To maximize district-level capacity to develop student-centered IEPs and minimize state-level procedural protections and interventions resulting from ineffective IEP meetings.

How to File a Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
This YouTube video explains how students and their families can file complaints with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education. The OCR addresses complaints of discrimination based on race, color, national origin (Civil Rights Act of 1964), age (Age Discrimination Act of 1975), sex (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), and disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the ADA). Note that the OCR does not address special education issues under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Student Discipline Rights and Procedures: A Guide for Advocates
Published by the Education Law Center, this manual is designed to help parents and advocates represent students in discipline cases.

The manual is divided into two parts:

  • Part I discusses laws and procedures that apply to all students involved in a discipline case.
  • Part II discusses additional laws and procedures that apply to students with disabilities who are, or may be, eligible for special education

The information provided in this guide helps explain the laws affecting students' rights in school discipline cases and how to appeal them in New Jersey, but should not be taken as legal advice. If you have concerns about a student's discipline from the school, you seek appropriate legal advice from a licensed attorney.


Social Security Administration

Social Security offers many options to conduct business with them online including, filing for benefits, requesting a copy of your social security card and filing an appeal. You can also upload any necessary documents through its online portal. 


The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute

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