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How to File a Complaint for Suspected Elder Abuse & Neglect

by Jeffrey Asher, Estate Planning Expert
June 29, 2012

Question: I find that my mother’s health deteriorated when she went from the hospital to the rehab center, which she since has left. I thought she wasn’t receiving the care she needed there and I was concerned about neglect and abuse. How and to whom do I file a complaint?

Answer: In New York State, complaints about nursing homes (and rehab centers, which are usually located within a nursing home), should be directed to the NYS Department of Health, Division of Residential Services (DRS). The DRS is responsible for investigating complaints and incidents for nursing homes in New York State. Complaints must be in writing and the DRS has a Nursing Home Complaint Form which you can fill out and submit online here –
Additionally, you can download the Form, either as a fillable Microsoft Word Document or in Portable Document Format (PDF). Both forms, when completed, can be submitted by e-mail to, or faxed to 518-408-1157, or mailed to
NYS Department of Health
Mailstop: CA/LTC
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York  12237
If you are unable to go online, or unable to submit your complaint by using the Nursing Home Complaint Form , then you may contact the Nursing Home Complaint hotline at 1-888-201-4563. The Nursing Home Complaint hotline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, but calls will be answered by a live person only between 8:30 AM to 4:45 PM, Monday through Friday. Calls outside of these hours/days will be taken by a voicemail system.
All complaints will be reviewed by the DRS and an investigation will occur.
Secondarily, complaints against a nursing home may be directed to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the NYS Attorney General’s Office. The MFCU investigates and prosecutes allegations of abuse and neglect of residents in facilities paid to provide nursing and/or personal care services to our elderly and disabled residents, including allegations of misappropriation of patient funds. You can contact the MFCU by calling the New York State Attorney General’s Office at (800) 771-7755.

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Jeffrey Asher is a prominent Trusts & Estates and Elder Law attorney in Westchester County and New York City. Mr. Asher concentrates primarily in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, and Special Needs Planning. Mr. Asher provides comprehensive legal services, tailored to meet your specific needs.

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