Office for Civil Rights
Download Guide from The Office of Civil Rights
What is Title VI?
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) is a Federal law that
protects persons from discrimination based on their race, color or national
origin in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
For example, if you are eligible for Medicaid or other health or human
services provided by agencies or organizations that receive Federal government
funding, those entities cannot deny you access to their programs or activities
because of your race, color or national origin.
Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ensures that
entities that receive Federal financial assistance comply with Title VI
as well as other civil rights laws.
Some of the institutions or programs that may receive Federal assistance
and be covered by
Title VI are:
- Hospitals and health clinics
- Medicaid and Medicare agencies
- Alcohol and drug treatment centers
- Extended care facilities
- Public assistance programs
- Nursing homes
- Adoption agencies
- Day care, mental health and senior citizen centers
Forms of illegal discrimination
A recipient of Federal financial assistance may not, based on race, color
or national origin:
- Deny services, financial aid or other benefits provided as a part of health
or human services programs.
- Provide a different service, financial aid or other benefit, or provide
them in a different manner from those provided to others under the program.
- Segregate or separately treat individuals in any matter related to the
receipt of any service, financial aid or other benefit.
- Fail to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access by limited English
proficient (LEP) persons to the recipient’s programs or activities.
How to file a complaint of discrimination with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
If you believe that you or someone else has been discriminated against
because of race, color or national origin by an entity receiving financial
assistance from HHS, you or your legal representative may file a complaint
with OCR. Complaints must be filed within 180 days from the date of the
You may send a written complaint or you may complete and send OCR the
Complaint Form available on our webpage at www.hhs.gov/ocr. The complaint
form is also available on our webpage in a number of other languages under
the Civil Rights Information in Other Languages section.
The following information must be included:
- Your name, address and telephone number.
You must sign your name on everything you write. If you file a complaint
on someone’s behalf —
e.g. spouse, friend, client, etc. — include your name, address,
telephone number, and statement of your relationship to that person.
- Name and address of the institution or agency you believe discriminated.
- When, how and why you believe discrimination occurred.
- Any other relevant information.
If you mail the complaint, be sure to send it to the attention of the regional
manager at the appropriate OCR regional office. OCR has ten regional offices
and each regional office covers specific states. Complaints may also be
mailed to OCR Headquarters at the following address:
Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW.
H.H.H. Building, Room 509-F
Washington, D.C. 20201
To learn more:
Visit us online at www.hhs.gov/ocr
Call us toll-free at 1-800-368-1019
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Language assistance services for OCR matters are available and provided
free of charge. OCR services are accessible to persons with disabilities.