Rehabilitative and Vocational Services
The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is an adult vocational rehabilitation agency that falls under the umbrella of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The purpose of DRS is to help individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain competitive employment. DRS counselors provide evaluation, vocational guidance and counseling, job development/placement, and follow-up services to eligible individuals. DRS collaborates with many community partners to offer a wide range of services.
Who is Eligible
Individuals with significant disabilities between the ages 16-64 are eligible to receive both rehabilitative and vocational services through the DRS.
DRS is there to assist people with disabilities in preparing for, finding, and maintaining quality employment that pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement. Their staff works closely with state, regional, and local employers, offering individualized placement services that bring employers and qualified employees together.
To Apply For
If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) program, call or visit your local DHS/DRS office or Family Community Resource Center (FCRC). 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. from Monday - Friday (except state holidays)
Under the Client Assistance Program (CAP), DRS offers Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
CAP is a federally funded program that is part of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Help you understand your rights and services from the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), or from Centers for Independent Living (CILs).
- Help you resolve problems or disagreements with your rehabilitation programs.
- Answer questions about rehabilitation services and CILs.
- Help you understand your responsibilities and what choices are available.
- Help you appeal a decision if you have been denied eligibility or if you are dissatisfied with your services.
- Refer you for legal representation, if necessary.
CAP services are free and confidential.
Know Your Rights in the Vocational Rehabilitation Process
Knowing how the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) process works will allow you to set goals that are realistic for your needs.
You Have The Right To:
- Apply for services.
- Receive services in an accessible place.
- Have an eligibility decision made within 60 days.
- Be fully informed about services provided by your counselor.
- Participate in the development of your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
- Make informed choices about the services you need and the service providers you want to use.
- Have your personal information remain confidential.
- Review and copy information from your case file.
- Appeal decisions regarding your services.
Know Your Responsibilities
It is your responsibility to make sure your needs are met. You need to understand how each decision can affect your plan to reach your vocational goals.
You Have A Responsibility To:
- Keep all appointments. If you cannot keep an appointment, contact the counselor to cancel the appointment and reschedule.
- Work with the counselor, and follow through with what you say you will do.
- Get written approval before you do something you want VR to pay for.
- Ask your counselor to explain anything you do not understand.
- Tell your counselor when a problem arises so he or she can help you.
- Request that communication be in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, tapes, or language other than English)
Contact CAP if:
- You have questions about services from a vocational rehabilitation program or a Center for Independent Living.
- You have been told you are not eligible and you disagree.
- You are having problems or delays in receiving services.
- You disagree with a decision made by the DRS or a CIL.
Links to Important Resources
For Rehabilitative Services available to disabled workers please click here to visit DRS's website for detailed information.