State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Informed Choice in the Illinois Vocational Rehabilitation Process
You have the right to make informed choices in the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process
Application and Eligibility Determination for DRS Services
You are eligible if your disability is stopping you from getting or keeping a job that uses your skills and abilities.
You require DRS services to learn how to adjust to your functional limitations so that you are able to work.
Order of Selection
Because of limited funding, DRS must decide how to help people. DRS assists people with the most severe disabilities first. After an assessment is completed you will be informed if you are eligible and if you meet the order of selection and can be served now.
- Bring your disability information to DRS or sign a release of information form so DRS can get disability records.
- Ask DRS to pay for a disability evaluation if you do not have complete or current disability information.
Timeframe: 60 days
Gathering Information about your Disability and Jobs
Questions to Answer
- How can limitations caused by the disability be addressed?
- Do you know what type of job(s) you can do? Do you know what types of jobs match your skills and abilities?
- If you receive disability benefits, will your job goal pay you enough money to replace your benefits?
- Do you need your disability assessed by an expert who can answer your questions?
- Find the answers to these questions and share the answers with the DRS counselor.
- Work with your DRS counselor to find the answers.
- Meet with the Community Work Incentive Coordinator to determine how going to work might affect your government benefits.
Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
The IPE lists the Services you will Receive from DRS:
You and the DRS counselor need to agree on the IPE. You need to agree on your job goal and what you and DRS need to do together to help you reach your job goal.
Questions to Answer
What will you need to do to address the limitations of your disability?
What will you do to learn the skills needed for your job? (e.g., attend school, training program, learn on the job)
Do you need new assessments to answer these questions?
- Write your plan (IPE) with your counselor. You can ask other people to help with this process.
- Work with your DRS counselor to find the answers to the questions.
- Select the varying service providers who can provide the services needed in your plan.
Timeframe: 90 days
Employment and Follow Up
Looking for a Job
You are ready to apply for jobs or change jobs if your current or former job is not appropriate for your skills.
Do you know how to use community resources to be able to find a job?
Do you need help from a Job Placement person to help you find a job and prepare for interviews?
Job Follow Up Activities
If you have problems learning the new job, please contact your DRS counselor immediately.
- Once you get a job, you can extend the 90 day follow up period if you are having problems on the new job.
- If you have problems learning your new job or have any issues or concerns involving your new job, please contact your DRS counselor immediately.
Case Closure - End of DRS Services
When DRS Services End:
DRS will not close your case until after you and your counselor discuss ending your DRS services and closing your case. This is typically done 90 days after you start working.
Reasons to Close your Case:
- You are working and satisfied with your job.
- Your disability or personal problems are keeping you from working with DRS at this time.
- If you fail to cooperate and don't follow through with services.
- If your DRS counselor cannot find you.
- You are satisfied with case closure and don't need any additional DRS help at this time.
- You can reapply to DRS at any time in the future when/if your situation changes.
- You can discuss your concerns with the Counselor or Office Supervisor.
- You can discuss your concerns with a representative from the Client Assistance Program.
Timeframe: 90 days
- For Information about resolving problems, answering questions or help with the appeal process of the Division of Rehabilitation Services call the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at 1-800-641-3929 (Voice) or 1-888-460-5111 (TTY)
- on how to be involved in a grassroots advocacy organization call the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois (CCDI) at 1-800-433-8848 (Voice/TTY)
- on the Americans with Disabilities Act call the DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TTY)
- on assistive technology or low interest loans call the Illinois Assistive Technology Project at 1-800-852-5110 (Voice/TTY)
- about community accessibility for Illinois residents who are deaf or hard of hearing call the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) at 1-877-455-3323 (Voice/TTY)
- about reporting abuse or neglect call the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-368-1463 (Voice/TTY)
- on how to contact your local Center for Independent Living call the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL) at 1-800-587-1227 (Voice/TTY)
- on how working will effect your Social Security or other government benefits call the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) at 1-800-807-6962 (Voice) or 1-866-444-8013 (TTY)
- To review the Administrative Rules go to the DHS website: http://220.127.116.11/docs/rules/index.htm
Call or visit your Illinois Department of Human Services DRS office or Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your local IDHS/DRS office or FCRC. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your office is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:
You may speak to a representative between 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
For answers to your questions, you may also write:
Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762
Visit our web site at: www.dhs.state.il.us
Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.
DHS 4158 (R-09-09) DRS Informed Choice
Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.