The Client Assistance Program (CAP) helps individuals who have concerns or difficulties when applying for or receiving rehabilitation services funded under the Rehabilitation Act.
CAP can help individuals who are enrolled in DRS programs and services by:
Explaining rights and responsibilities throughout the rehabilitation process.
Helping clients communicate concerns to DRS staff and helping staff to understand needs and requests of program participants.
Giving information about rehabilitation programs and services.
Explaining DRS policies and procedures.
Providing advocacy when a service has been denied or if clients are unhappy with a service provided.
Arranging for legal services when necessary to represent clients in a formal appeal.
Providing information about employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
CAP can resolve concerns by talking with you and rehabilitation staff. However, you always have the right to request a formal appeal hearing regarding decisions made about your services by DRS staff.
The CAP staff are experienced vocational rehabilitation professionals.
They work for CAP because they believe in consumer empowerment, iniformed choice, and advocacy. They strive to make CAP a place where individuals can comfortably contact someone for assistance if there are conflicts or misunderstandings between themselves and DRS.
They feel strongly that information and education about consumer rights and responsibilities in the rehabilitation process is key to success.
As CAP professionals, they know the DRS program down to the details. The possess an in-depth understanding of important laws and policies including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), Federal Regulations, Title I of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), State Regulations and DRS Policies and Procedures.
They have specialized training in conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation and advocacy.
The staff will try to help people resolve disagreements at the lowest level, but will assist in appeals requests and court actions.
Above all, CAP professionals are committed to helping the consumer express their point of view so that he/she can reach their chosen work or independent living goal.
The CAP staff is committed to timely, responsive service.
1. Contact CAP by phone or TTY, e-mail or written correspondence.
2. The CAP representative will obtain basic information from you, which is confidential.
3. The CAP staff will encourage you to discuss the nature of your concern.
4. The staff will ask you what you would like CAP to do to solve the problem.
There are many ways CAP can help solve problems:
CAP will encourage you to maintain a positive relationship with DRS. This is so you can continue your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) and work toward your goals.
Once the issue is resolved to the extent possible, the CAP case record will be closed and you will be notified in writing. The record can be opened again if needed.
CAP can often help resolve concerns by talking with you and rehabilitation staff. However, you always have the right to request a formal appeal ("Fair Hearing") regarding decisions made about your services by DRS rehabilitation staff.
To request a Fair Hearing you must submit a written request within 30 days of the Division's decision or action with which you disagree. Send your request to the Regional Supervisor of your local VR office or:
Your request must include:
- Your name, address, and phone number
- A brief statement of your reasons for appealing the action or response you are requesting from the Division
- Your signature or signature of your authorized representative
If you wish, CAP can assist you in writing the appeal request.
Your hearing will be scheduled through the Division of Appeals and Hearings. A hearing will be held within 60 days before a hearing officer who is not an employee of DRS.
Prior to the appeal hearing, you and DRS staff may agree to participate in mediation. Mediation can be scheduled only if both parties agree. If differences are resolved to both parties' satisfaction through mediation, a formal hearing may not be required.
Empowerment, independence, and self-reliance are important principles in rehabilitation services.
Every step along the way think of ways to take charge of your program and to complete tasks that are important to your success.
- Keep a DRS folder and ask for copies of important paperwork.
- Keep a calendar and mark appointment dates and times.
- Take notes during meetings.
- Keep track of phone calls with dates and times.
- File e-mails for reference.
Stay in contact with DRS staff:
- Tell your DRS counselor about any changes in your situation or program.
- Ask questions.
- Identify needs and ask for help if you don't feel that you are getting it.
Expect to be an active partner:
- Find out about the pros and cons of all your options.
- Identify your needs and interests.
- Make informed choices (know the consequences of your choices).
- Help define your responsibilities (ask if you are not sure).
Handle problems and concerns constructively:
- Allow reasonable times for returned phone calls.
- Focus on issues. Extreme anger or emotions can interfere with getting what you need.
- Politely contact the office supervisor if you are having difficulties with the rehabilitation counselor.
You have the right to get help from the Client Assistance Program.
Click below to Contact CAP.