State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation Services
1. What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program?
Every state gets money from the federal government to help people with disabilities who want to get or keep a job. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) uses this money to run the VR program to help people get or keep a job.
2. What is a "Person with a Disability?"
This is someone who has a physical or a mental disability that makes it hard for a person to work and the person needs help from DRS to get or keep a job.
3. Who Can Qualify for VR Services?
You can qualify if you have a disability and need services from DRS to get or keep a job.
4. What is a Ticket to Work?
If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may get a Ticket to Work from Social Security. You should talk to a DRS counselor about why the ticket should be given to DRS.
5. How Do You Apply?
You need to call a DRS office where someone will help you apply. Your records from doctors, schools, past jobs or other programs will help DRS. When this is done, a counselor will look at all the information to see if you qualify.
If the counselor needs more information, DRS may pay for it. Counselors should do all of this in 60 days unless they cannot get the records or office visits soon enough.
6. What Happens after You Qualify?
You work with a counselor to see what services you need to get or keep a job. The counselor will help you write a plan of services. You have a right to make decisions and choices.
7. What Kind of Services Can DRS Provide?
DRS can provide counseling and guidance, information and referral and job placement assistance. There are other services that you may qualify for to help you get or keep a job.
8. Do You Have to Pay for VR Services?
Sometimes you have to help pay for services. It depends on your income. The counselor will let you know if there is a need to pay. You do not have to use your SSDI or SSI to pay for services. However, you must pay your own normal living expenses.
9. What Are Comparable Services and Benefits?
Counselors will help you find out if you qualify for other programs or services. Some programs are Medicaid, scholarships, work study programs or other benefits. The counselor can help you apply for these services.
10. How Does DRS Make Sure You Are Satisfied with Services?
You have the right to disagree with services. You should first try to work it out with the counselor or with the counselor's supervisor. If this does not work, you can file an appeal. You can get information how to appeal from your counselor or local office. You can ask for help from the Client Assistance Program at any time.
11. What is the Client Assistance Program?
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) can help you discuss concerns you may have about your case.
Client Assistance Program at Equip For Equality
20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60602-4811
12. How to Get More Information about DRS?
The addresses and telephone numbers of the local DRS offices are usually in the phone book under "State Government." Or, contact:
Bureau of Field Services
PO Box 19429
Springfield, IL 62794-9429
(217) 782-2004 Voice
(888) 440-8982 TTY
Bureau of Blind Services
809 Commercial Drive
Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 785-3887 Voice