State Public Benefits Manual
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.
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
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.
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:
Brain injury case management and pre-vocational services.Other services provided include:
enrolled in the Medicaid spenddown program can use their HSP charges to
meet their spenddown for Medicaid coverage. See Chapter Four for a discussion
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES GENERAL/BLIND
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
E. HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED WAIVER PROGRAMS
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.
following waiver programs are currently in operation:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 childs 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.