Your Vocational Rehabilitation Appeal Rights

You have the right to appeal decisions made on your case by the Department of Human Services - Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). If you have a problem or a concern with any action DRS has taken, we suggest you discuss it first with your counselor prior to filing an appeal as many times the issue can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. If you choose to appeal, you must file your appeal within 30 days from the date you received notice of the decision.

File your appeal by writing to:
IDHS Hearings Coordinator, Bureau of Administrative Hearings

69 W. Washington St., 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602
(800) 435-0774 Voice, (877) 734-7429 TTY, (312) 793-3387 Fax

To file or manage an appeal online, go to

Include an explanation of why you disagree with the decision made and what services you want from DRS. If you are in need of an accommodation (e.g., an interpreter, large print, Braille, etc.), make sure you indicate that on your appeal request. Also, include your name, address, phone number, and your counselor's name and office location. MAKE SURE YOU SIGN YOUR REQUEST FOR AN APPEAL.

After making your appeal request, you have three options on how to proceed - the Informal Resolution Conference, Mediation, and/or Formal Hearing. IT IS UP TO YOU HOW TO HANDLE THE APPEAL. You can do all three steps, two steps, or only one, but if you choose to do more than one step, you must go in the order listed below.

Informal Resolution Conference

A review of the decision with the goal of mutually resolving the issue being appealed. To request an informal resolution conference, contact your counselor's supervisor. If this does not resolve the issue, you may request the Mediation Process, or proceed with the Formal Hearing.


Request this process by contacting the DHS Hearings Coordinator or your counselor's supervisor. A mediator will be assigned by the Hearings Coordinator and will try to help you reach an agreement with DRS. If successful, the mediator will put the agreement in writing. Information learned during mediation is confidential and cannot be used against you later.

Formal Hearing

If your issue has not been resolved, you may proceed with a Formal Hearing. Both you and your counselor must provide a written summary of evidence (a brief description of information you will present and a list of individuals you wish to speak) to the Hearing Officer and your counselor at least 3 days prior to the hearing. During the Formal Hearing, the Impartial Hearing Officer will hear the facts of the case and make a written decision about your case within 30 days.

Your appeal must be heard within 60 days of your request and your planned services will continue throughout the appeal process.

You have the right to see and/or have a copy of information from your case file released to you as is allowed by confidentiality guidelines.

You can present any information you wish during any stage of the appeal process and you can have anyone you want represent you. NOTE: DRS does not reimburse the cost of private legal assistance.

You may contact your counselor for further information. For help in requesting your appeal or for possible representation, contact the Client Assistance Program at Equip For Equality at 855-ILCAP-25 (855-452-2725) or