RSA-227 - Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report


General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameIllinois Department of Human Services
AddressDivision of Rehabilitation Services
Address Line 2100 S. Grand Avenue 1st Floor
Zip Code62762
E-mail Address
Website Address
TTY 217-524-7552
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameIllinois Department of Human Services
AddressDivision of Rehabilitation Services
Address Line 2100 S. Grand Avenue 1st Floor
Zip Code62762
E-mail Address
Website Address
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorCathy Meadows
Person to contact regarding reportCathy Meadows
Contact Person Phone217-875-9106

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act148
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA1
3. Other information provided1,540
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)1,689
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)658

B. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines B1-B3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)30
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year102
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)132
4. Individuals (from Line B3) who had multiple case files opened/closed this year. (In unusual situations, an individual may have more than one case file opened/closed during a fiscal year. This number is not added to the total in Line B3 above.)0

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 29

D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files

Choose one primary reason for closing each case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served to account for those unusual situations, referred to in Line I.B4, when an individual had multiple case files closed during the year.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor35
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)10
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual18
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)9
5. Individual chose alternative representation1
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution10
7. Appeals were unsuccessful2
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP17
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

1 Client did not return the release of information form

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual65
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented18
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party7
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office2
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other9
11. Other (please explain)

Release of information form not returned or lost contact

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under15
2. 22 - 4053
3. 41 - 6462
4. 65 and over2
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)132

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female60
2. Male72
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)132

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race5
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American30
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White65
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown32

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)9
2. Other visual impairments8
3. Deafness6
4. Hard of hearing2
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments22
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness24
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation18
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)17
12. Neurological disorders2
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions2
15. Digestive disorders4
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)6
20. All other disabilities9
21. Disabilities not known2
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)132

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program31
2. Clients of VR Program100
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program1
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act0

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only128
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only2
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources2
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information18
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor50
3. Conflict about services to be provided87
4. Related to application/eligibility process9
5. Related to IPE development/implementation23
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems3
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related2
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

Choose one primary CAP service provided for each case file/service record.

1. Information/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational76
3. Negotiation19
4. Administrative/informal review5
5. Alternative dispute resolution1
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing2
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative


Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report (Form RSA-227)


a. Type of agency used to administer CAP: The Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is the agency designated by the Governor to receive Rehabilitation Act (Act) federal funds to administer the Client Assistance Program (CAP). CAP is internal to the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program and is organizationally part of the DRS Director’s office. DRS is part of the Department of Human Services (DHS). CAP is physically separate from all DRS offices.

CAP provides individual case advocacy, systems advocacy, information and referral, outreach and training throughout the state. CAP advocates for clients of DRS, and the 23 Centers for Independent Living. CAP contracts statewide legal services to provide clients with an option for legal representation. They can provide the full range of CAP services, in addition to legal representation in court.

CAP also provides services to individuals with disabilities who have concerns with the DRS Home Services Program (HSP). HSP provides personal attendant services that enhance independent living. Since HSP advocacy is not funded under the Act, HSP data is not included. The DRS HSP program funds the CAP staff that work on HSP cases, so their expenses, budget and number of person-years are not included in this report.

b. Sources of funds expended:

Source of funding Total expenditures spent on individuals Federal funds $434,908.00 State funds $0.00 All other funds $136,408.00 Total from all sources $571,316.00

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Category Current Fiscal Year 2011 Next Fiscal Year 2012 Wages & Salaries $539,749.00 $365,400 Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) Included above Included above Materials/Supplies $0 $100 Postage 0 Telephone $12,475.00 $11,000 Rent $19,000 Travel $13,184.00 $12,000 Copying 0 0 Bonding/Insurance 0 0 Equipment Rental/Purchase $908.00 $1500 Legal Services $5,000.00 $20,000 Indirect Costs 0 Miscellaneous $1,000 Total Budget $571,316.00 $430,000

d. Number of person-years: Type of position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years Professional Full-time 4 100% 4 Clerical Full-time 2 100% 2

All positions with the Illinois CAP are full time. Three of the professional positions are advocates, who are located throughout the state. One professional position is the CAP Manager. An Administrative Assistant position and a clerical position are located in Springfield, where the main 800-phone line is located.

e. Summary of presentations made:

Expos and Fairs: Resource Fair, Chicago State University 150 Resource Fair, Daley Community College 250 Job Fair, Westside Technical Institute, Chicago 130

Consumer/Parent Groups/Providers: ICRE Wood BBS training facility in Chicago/Bureau of Blind Service students 18

DRS Staff: Rockford DRS staff 15 Supervisor’s meeting 25 Elgin DRS staff 16 Arlington Heights DRS staff 14 New Employee Orientation 25

Other: Opportunities for Access, CIL in Mt. Vernon 15 f. Involvement with advisory boards:

CAP is a member of the Illinois State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The SRC meets quarterly with the Director of DRS, and various administrative staff to receive updates, discuss current issues, work on the needs assessment and the State plan. CAP is assigned to work with a committee on Transition issues.

g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations:

Latino Population

One advocate is fluent in Spanish, and she provides CAP services to clients who primarily speak Spanish. She raises concerns and issues affecting the disabled Latino population in Illinois. She also advises on best practices for agencies to communicate and reach this minority group. Working with the DRS staff is an ongoing endeavor to ensure these clients are aware of their rights, and rules and regulations are adhered to. She worked with DRS to ensure a new manual included material written in Spanish.

She brings awareness of the need for professional interpreters for the Latino clientele. She has found that when DRS field staff need to speak with Spanish speaking only clients, they often utilize a bilingual staff person from their particular offices. In most cases the quality of the translation is below standards and both parties are not completely informed. Professional interpreters are trained to interpret both languages effectively, accurately, and also follow the specific protocol for the service. This is an ongoing effort.

h. Alternative dispute resolutions:

DRS rules incorporate the availability of mediation to clients. DRS has an Administrative Rule requiring that every client who requests an appeal be informed of the availability of the mediation process and the informal resolution process. In addition to the counselor’s role of informing clients of their rights, the Administrative Hearings Unit sends a letter to clients who have requested an appeal, informing them of their appeal rights, the mediation process and how to contact CAP. CAP follows the mandate to resolve issues at the lowest possible level.

i. Systemic advocacy:

• Problem: DRS Administrative Rules on the Appeal Process combines both VR and other DRS programs, including how Impartial Hearing Officers are chosen. The current rule does not specify that Hearing Officers for the VR program are to be jointly approved by the Director and the State Rehabilitation Council. Steps Taken: CAP wrote and spoke to DRS administrative staff about adding clarification to this rule. VR Response: DRS agreed to change this rule to require that Hearing Officers for VR are jointly approved by the Director and the SRC. Update: Rule change is still in the lengthy process; however, the Hearings Unit is abiding by these requirements when assigning Hearing Officers. This rule still has not been changed.

j. Interesting cases: Case One Client contacted CAP because DRS denied her request for a van modification. The counselor stated that she denied it because the client was no longer driving and thought she could use public transportation to get to her job. Although she no longer drives, the client is not on a bus route, so her husband drives her to work. There was also a financial analysis issue of her being over the Standard Budget Allowance, that would not have allowed DRS to pay for the modification and a disagreement on which bills could be considered Unusual Allowable Expenses. Unusual Allowable Expenses are deducted from the amount the client has to pay for their services. CAP met with the counselor, Supervisor and client for an Informal Resolution Conference. CAP found that the client needed a new wheelchair, and that the amount paid by the customer could be considered an Unusual Allowable Expense. At the end of the meeting, the supervisor instructed the counselor to consider all out-of-pocket expenses related to the customer’s disability and to recalculate her Financial Analysis. The outcome was that the customer only had to pay $3000 towards the van modification.

Case Two A client called CAP because his VR case was being closed even though he had not obtained permanent employment with benefits yet. He had already requested an appeal. The counselor felt she could close the case because he had a seasonal job mowing lawns and light maintenance during the summer months and had worked 90 days.

CAP spoke to the supervisor, who agreed that the case should remain open. We also asked that a new counselor be assigned to his case, which was granted. The appeal was withdrawn and CAP discussed the Severe Disability Option with the new counselor, which helps people with disabilities have priority in the hiring for state jobs. The new counselor followed up on this and a few months later, the client obtained a permanent maintenance job with benefits.

Case Three Client contacted CAP about a flyer they received from DRS about the ARRA funded Community College Initiative. This initiative was offered for a limited time to provide help with expenses at a Community College, without applying the DRS Financial Analysis. He was told by his DRS counselor that they could not help him. CAP looked into the case and found that DRS could pay his tuition for both summer and fall semesters, and contacted the counselor. DRS agreed to pay the tuition for this student. It was later announced that DRS would continue this initiative using VR funds, so CAP contacted this client to inform him. He is contacting his counselor for help with spring semester, and will again contact CAP if needed. Client was very excited to receive this information.

k. On-line information/outreach:

CAP’s web page is within the State of Illinois DHS site at This past year, 30 email requests were received for information about vocational rehabilitation services, client rights, the appeal process, or how to contact an advocate.



This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:21-Dec-11
Name of Designated Agency Official:Cathy Meadows
Title of Designated Agency Official:Client Assistance Program Manager