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

Illinois (ILLINOIS DEPT OF REHAB SERVS -- CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM) - H161A130014 - FY2013

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameIllinois Department of Human Services
AddressDivision of Rehabilitation Services
Address Line 2100 S. Grand Ave. East - P.O. Box 19429
CitySpringfield
StateIllinois
Zip Code62794
E-mail Address
Website Address
Phone217-524-7552
TTY 217-524-7552
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY
Fax217-558-4270

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameIllinois Client Assistance Program
AddressRCC - One College Park, Room W155
Address Line 2
CityDecatur
Zip Code62521
E-mail Addresscathy.meadows@illinois.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29978
Phone217-875-9106
TTY217-875-9106
Toll-free Phone
Toll-free TTY
Fax217-875-9797

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 Act185
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA6
3. Other information provided739
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)930
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)434

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)17
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year112
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)129
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. 25

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 favor60
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)4
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual5
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)7
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution15
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.1
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP9
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

3 - Lost contact, assisted client file complaint with CIL, found client did not have open case and chose not to pursue it

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual71
2. Application for services completed.1
3. Eligibility determination expedited1
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented15
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party9
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office4
8. Alternative resources identified for individual0
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other3
11. Other (please explain)

Client filed CIL grievance, client’s costs were reimbursed by DRS, medical evidence did not support client’s claim

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

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

1. 21 and under14
2. 22 - 4046
3. 41 - 6464
4. 65 and over5
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)129

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female61
2. Male68
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)129

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race9
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian2
4. Black or African American25
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White61
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown32

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)10
2. Other visual impairments7
3. Deafness10
4. Hard of hearing6
5. Deaf-blind1
6. Orthopedic impairments26
7. Absense of extremities3
8. Mental illness28
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)0
10. Mental retardation7
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)17
12. Neurological disorders2
13. Respiratory disorders1
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions1
15. Digestive disorders2
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive1
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)5
20. All other disabilities2
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)129

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program22
2. Clients of VR Program107
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program0
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 only127
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only2
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources0
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information4
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor66
3. Conflict about services to be provided53
4. Related to application/eligibility process15
5. Related to IPE development/implementation18
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems5
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related4
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/interpretational98
3. Negotiation4
4. Administrative/informal review0
5. Alternative dispute resolution1
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing1
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

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

III. NARRATIVE

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 22 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, who 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 $292,261 State funds 0 All other funds $22,000 Total from all sources $314,261

c. Budget for current and following fiscal years:

Category Current Fiscal Year 2013 Next Fiscal Year 2014 Wages & Salaries $260,772 $350,000 Fringe Benefits (FICA, unemployment, etc.) Included above Included above Materials/Supplies $100 Postage Telephone $5,015 $11,000 Rent $23,948 $24,000 Travel $2,316 $5,000 Copying $210 $250 Bonding/Insurance Equipment Rental/Purchase $1500 Legal Services $22,000 $22,000 Indirect Costs Miscellaneous $1,000 Total Budget $314,261 $414,500

d. Number of person-years: Type of position Full-time equivalent % of year position filled Person-years Professional Full-time 1 100% 1.33 Part-time .33 100% .33 Clerical Part-time (2) .66 100% .66

Three positions, CAP Manager, Administrative Assistant, and clerical are paid 1/3 time for VR. One VR Advocate is full-time. e. Summary of presentations made:

Expos and Fairs: Illinois School for the Deaf, Jacksonville 200 Job/Disability Resource Fair, Springfield 50 Job/Health Fair, Westside Technical Institute, Chicago 100

DRS Staff: New Employee Orientation 22 Statewide Supervisor’s Meeting 50

CIL Staff: Options Center for Independent Living in Bourbonnais 12

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.

g. Outreach to unserved/underserved populations:

Brochures and forms are available in Spanish. CAP has access to the Interpreter Bank, which covers all major languages. During this past year, CAP received 29 video relay calls and one TTY call.

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. During this year, the DHS Hearings unit made major changes as to who serves as hearing officers. Previously, they were contractual, but as of July 1, 2013, all hearing officers are ALJ’s, who are DHS State employees. The VR appeals are only a small percentage of these hearings. Steps Taken: CAP provided information to the Hearings unit as far as the Federal regulations that apply (34 CFR 361.57 (f), and brought this issue to the SRC. CAP consulted with our legal contractor, and their opinion was that the ALJ’s do meet the federal criteria for VR hearings as far as the definition (34 CFR 361.5 (b)(43), but that the remaining issue is 34 CFR 361.57 (f) and how to meet the requirement for the qualified impartial hearing officers to be jointly identified by the State Unit and the State Rehabilitation Council. The majority of DRS hearings are for the Home Service Program. There are around 20 ALJ’s. Since only small percentage of the DRS hearings are for VR, CAP would like to see the pool of ALJ’s for VR cases be limited to a few of the ALJ’s, who somehow can be identified and agreed to with the SRC.

i. Interesting cases:

Case One Client contacted CAP about the financial analysis conducted by DRS. She was in college and DRS had figured the amount they would pay and what she would have to pay for her own services according to their financial policy. The issue pertained specifically to a disagreement about what unusual allowable expenses should be deducted from the amount client would have to pay for. CAP’s legal contractor represented client for her hearing. DRS was ordered to provide an itemized list of each allowable expense and an explanation of why some expenses would not be allowed to be deducted. DRS did not provide this information, so another hearing was scheduled. The hearing was drawn out, but finally reached a conclusion where the client was reimbursed by DRS for over $2000 in expenses that she should not have had to pay. Case Two Client contacted CAP stating that DRS is not providing the technology she needs while in college. She is a senior at a state college, is visually impaired and needs equipment and software such as Jaws. She wants to prepare to go on to graduate school, but feels she is not getting her needs met. CAP expedited having her case transferred to a counselor with the Bureau of Blind Services, then later heard back from the client that she did not agree with the equipment her counselor wanted to obtain for her. CAP set up a meeting with the client, her school disability advisor, the DRS counselor and the DRS technology office. After a lengthy discussion, everyone came to an agreement that DRS would obtain the equipment and software that client requested for her to be successful in school.

Case Three Client contacted CAP stating she was dissatisfied with her current counselor and had questions about what DRS could pay for. She is enrolled in a summer jumpstart program at an out-of-state university for people who are deaf/hearing impaired. DRS had changed her counselors twice due to staffing changes. The current counselor tried to discourage her from attending this school even though her transition counselor had encouraged her to go to this school, and didn’t meet with her until two days before she was to leave for school. She had good grades and was doing well in school. CAP explained what services can be provided by DRS and contacted the DRS Assistant Bureau Chief about her complaints. Her case was then transferred to the counselor that she requested and had been recommended to her by another student. Her services are now progressing.

Case Four Client contacted CAP because after three years, he was not receiving appropriate job search assistance. He stated that his counselor was currently requesting that he sign a document that he didn’t want to sign. CAP found that this document was in connection with employment specialist with a community rehabilitation program (CRP). This specialist had been working with him but had not provided any job leads for him. He requested that his DRS counselor change to another CRP for placement. CAP found that the counselor had gone on medical leave and contacted the supervisor. The supervisor then completed a new IPE for him to work with another CRP for appropriate placement services.

k. On-line information/outreach:

CAP’s web page is within the State of Illinois DHS site at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29978. This past year, 75 email requests were received for information about vocational rehabilitation services, client rights, the appeal process, or how to contact an advocate.

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:20-Dec-13
Name of Designated Agency Official:Cathy Meadows
Title of Designated Agency Official:Manager, Client Assistance Program