Work Incentives Working Group

State Public Benefits Manual

Returning to Work:
Questions and Answers for People Recieving SSI and/or SSDI

 

State Public Benefits Manual

CHAPTER EIGHT
OFFICE OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES (ORS)

Introduction

If you have a client who wants to get an education, training, or other assistance to return to work, or if your client needs personal attendant services in her home, you should refer her to the Office of Rehabilitative Services (ORS) (formerly referred to as "DORS"). ORS also is responsible for oversight of the Centers for Independent Living in Illinois. These centers are a good resource for clients who need assistance with independent living skills, self-advocacy skills and other resources.

Psychiatric Specialists are available in all ORS offices. These specialists are vocational rehabilitation counselors with specific training in serving the employment and independent living needs of persons with psychiatric disabilities. Contact the ORS office directly to ask for the specialist, or call the central office number: 1-800-275-3677 for the nearest ORS office.

A. HOME SERVICES PROGRAM

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) administers the Home Services Program (HSP), a Medicaid waiver program, which offers individuals with disabilities who are at risk of premature or unnecessary institutionalization, the alternative of in-home care when the cost of home care does not exceed the cost of a health care facility.

**Note** The customers of the Home Services Program are primarily persons with physical and cognitive disabilities. Persons with these disabilities and concurring mental illnesses are served by the program.

The HSP provides the following major services:

  • Personal Assistants (PA), who are selected, employed and supervised by the individual and who help with household tasks and personal care;
  • Homemaker Services that offer personal care by trained and professionally supervised personnel for customers unable to direct a PA; and
  • Home Health Services such as nursing care and physical therapy prescribed by a physician and typically provided by a private nursing agency; and

Brain injury case management and pre-vocational services.Other services provided include:

  • Home delivered meals
  • Adult day care
  • Assistive equipment
  • Home remodeling
  • Electronic home response
  • Respite and diagnostic services
  • AIDS case management

Persons enrolled in the Medicaid spenddown program can use their HSP charges to meet their spenddown for Medicaid coverage. See Chapter Four for a discussion of spenddown.

B. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES – GENERAL/BLIND

ORS employs Rehabilitation Counselors, Coordinators and other Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) professionals in 51 local offices throughout the state to provide direct services to VR customers. Counselors determine eligibility, work closely with customers to establish suitable vocational goals and develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to carry out the appropriate array of services.

***Eligibility: An individual is eligible for the VR program if he or she has a physical or mental disability that results in a substantial impediment to employment, and needs vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in or retain gainful employment.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • training
  • medical services
  • physical and/or mental restoration
  • physical and/or occupational therapy
  • educational assistance
  • assistive devices
  • counseling and guidance
  • evaluation and diagnostics
  • basic adaptive skills
  • placement
  • follow-up and post-employment services.

DHS ORS has special services for customers who have visual impairments. Besides the services described above, the VR-Blind program offers adaptive skills for blind and visually impaired persons, mobility instruction, and Braille training. The Small Business Enterprise or Vending Facility Program provides training to prepare individuals with the skills needed to manage a small business. Blind individuals who have passed a seven-month training program provided by VR-Blind staff are served by this program.

The Supported Employment Program provides competitive work in an integrated work setting for individuals with severe disabilities who: (1) have not worked, or have worked intermittently in competitive employment; (2) have been determined by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to have a reasonable expectation of achieving employment with services; (3) need ongoing support services; or (4) can work in a supported employment setting. Federal funds provide intensive training for the first 18 months to achieve stability and then General Revenue funds provide extended support services if and as needed.

The Customer Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally mandated program to serve people with disabilities who want, or who are receiving services from ORS. Eligibility requirements are that the person has a disability and has a problem with receiving services from the VR or Home Services programs. The CAP number is 1-800-641-3929 (V/TTY).

C. CHILDREN'S RESIDENTIAL AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

The Department provides residential and educational services to children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 at three state-operated schools, one in Chicago and two in Jacksonville.

The Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (ICRE-R) in Chicago provides an educational and related programs in a residential setting for approximately 45 students age 6 to 21 who: (1) have severe physical disabilities and associated chronic health conditions; and (2) through the application and evaluation process are determined to be able to benefit from very specialized programming.

The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) in Jacksonville provides a comprehensive educational program with emphasis of the development of independence and pre-vocational skills for approximately 100 students ages 3 to 21 for whom (1) a severe visual impairment is identified; (2) the local district recommends ISVI because the district believes the student would be better served or parents directly request admission; and (3) ISVI can provide an appropriate program to serve the student. ISVI also provides early intervention services for children from birth to three years.

The Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD), also in Jacksonville, provide elementary and secondary educational programs to approximately 300 students ages 3 to 21 for whom: (1) a severe hearing impairment is identified; (2) the local school district recommends as the most appropriate and least restrictive option or parents directly request admission; and (3) ISD can provide an appropriate program to serve the student. ISD also provides early intervention services for children from birth to three years.

D. CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are nonresidential, consumer-controlled, community-based not-for-profit organizations that provide systems advocacy to create options and choices for independent living. CILs provide services to individuals to help them in increasing skills and abilities for independent living and provide public awareness. Core services provided by all CILs include: advocacy, peer counseling, skills training, information and referral.
You may get more information on the CILs by calling the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL) at 1-800-587-1227.

E. HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED WAIVER PROGRAMS

The state offers several programs for persons with disabilities as an alternative to hospital and nursing facility care. These programs are paid for by the Illinois Department of Public Aid and administered by other government agencies. Applications for each program are made through the administering agency. There may be limited availability in some programs. These programs may be used to cover services not paid for by Medicaid and/or Medicare and typically cover housing, therapies, specialized equipment, and home health aide services.

The following waiver programs are currently in operation:

Supportive Living Program: DPA contracts with subcontracting agencies throughout the state to administer this program. Supportive Living Facilities are available to persons over 18 with disabilities and the frail elderly. SLFs combine housing, personal and health-related services for individuals who would otherwise be institutionalized in a nursing home.

DHS-ORS AIDS/HIV Program: Through DHS-ORS, persons with AIDS/HIV may receive homemaker services, personal assistants, nursing services, therapies, home-delivered meals, emergency home response, and home modifications.

Adults With Developmental Disabilities: DHS administers this program through subcontracting residential and developmental training agencies. This program allows adults with developmental disabilities to remain in their home or a home-like community residential setting rather than be institutionalized. Services available include residential training, developmental training, supportive employment, physical, occupational, and speech/language therapies and behavioral services, home modifications, and special medical equipment and supplies.

Department on Aging Elderly Program: This program is administered by DOA for persons 60 years and older who would otherwise be in a nursing facility and provides case management, homemaker services, adult day care services, emergency home response, and home-delivered meals.

DHS-ORS Physically Disabled: This program provides services to individuals under age 60 with physical disabilities and provides homemaker services through home health care agencies or individually-hired personal assistants, adult day care, nursing and therapy services, emergency home response, home-delivered meals, and environmental modifications.

DHS-ORS Traumatic Brain Injury Program: This program provides services to medically needy individuals with acquired brain injuries that occurred as a result of injury or disease rather than as a condition of aging. DHS-ORS contracts with case management agencies to provide homemaker services through home health care agencies or individually hired personal assistants, adult day care, nursing and therapy services, emergency home response, home-delivered meals, environmental modifications, speech, hearing and language services, and behavioral services.

University of Illinois Division for Specialized Care for Children Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent Children Program: This program serves medically fragile, technology dependent children under age 21. UIC DSCC administers this program and provides case management, private duty nursing services, home health aides, respite care in the child‘s home, environmental modifications, special medical equipment and supplies, and an independent Respite House which houses children for up to 14 days and provides technological support and nursing care.

 

BACK TO TOP

CHAPTER ONE
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY PROGRAMS

CHAPTER TWO
HOW TO WORK AND MAINTAIN SOME SSDI OR SSI BENEFITS

CHAPTER THREE
STATE ADMINISTERED BENEFITS

CHAPTER FOUR
HOW THE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS WORK

CHAPTER FIVE
MEDICARE

CHAPTER SIX
OTHER STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE CASH OR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

CHAPTER SEVEN
FOOD STAMPS

CHAPTER EIGHT
OFFICE OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES (ORS)

CHAPTER NINE

OTHER BENEFITS AND/OR PROTECTIONS