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Client Assistance Program

  • What is the Client Assistance Program (CAP)

  • The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally funded program authorized under the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1973. University Legal Services administers the CAP program in the District of Columbia under contract with the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration (DC/RSA). The goal of CAP is to identify, explain, and resolve the problems residents of the District of Columbia may be having with the rehabilitation program as quickly as possible.

  • I. How Can CAP Help You?

  • CAP can provide the following services:

  • Explain the services and benefits available to you from the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Help you to resolve problems or disagreements you may have with DC/RSA so that you can get the services you need.
  • Help you to appeal a decision if you are dissatisfied with the denial of VR or with the type of services offered.
  • Refer you to other public or private agencies that may be able to help you if you are not eligible for VR services.

  • II. Your Role In the Process

  • As a client or potential client of the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the District of Columbia, you have certain rights and responsibilities. Your VR program can only be successful if you make an effort.

    A. Your Rights

    Freedom From Discrimination:
    If you have a physical or mental disability which limits you in your search for employment, you may be eligibile from DC/RSA. You cannot be discriminated against because of your race, religion, sex, age, or disability
    Diagnostic Services:
    You have the right to medical, vocational, and other evaluations to determine if you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.
    DC/RSA will no release any information in your file to CAP-ULS without your written and signed permission.
    If you do not agree with your DC/RSA counselor's recommendations or if you believe your rights have been violated or if you believe your case has been closed incorrectly, you have the right to appeal. CAP can assist you in this appeal process.

    B. Your Rights and Responsibilities

    Keeping Appointments:
    You must keep appointments you make with your counselor at DC/RSA. If you are unable to do so, be sure to call and notify your counselor. If you are in training or on the job, it is your responsibility to follow-p on your counselor's recommendations as best you can.
    Working With Your Counselor: It is your responsibility to stay in touch with your DC/RSA counselor. Call or see your counselor as soon as you have a question or problem. If you change your address or phone number, you must notify your counselor.
    Individualized Plan for Employment:
    Your rehabilitation plan is for your own benefit. You must participate in development and implementation the plan in order for it to be successful. You should keep records of all documents regarding your written plan which is called Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). You will be expected to help pay for services when you are able to do so. Keep your counselor aware of your employment plan goals.

  • III. Resolving Problems

  • You have the right to appeal if you feel you have been denied DC/RSA services unfairly or if you do not agree with your plan. However, you must follow all steps in the appropriate order. Following are the steps:

    A. Meet With Your Counselor

    If you don't agree with the way your case is being handled, talk it over with your DC/RSA counselor. Frequently, the two of you will be able to solve the problem. If you wish, a CAP staff person can advise you in this process and assist in negotiation.

    B. Administrative Review

    The administrative review process has two steps:
  • Meet With Your Counselor's Supervisor - After discussing your problems with your DC/RSA counselor, you can personally or through CAP talk it over with the supervisor of the counselor. The supervisor will look into your concern and inform you or CAP of the decision. If you still are not satisfied, you and CAP may request a review by a higher supervisor or the administrative staff all the way to the Administrator of the Agency.
  • Administrative Hearing - You or CAP can present your problem to a panel of the administrative staff of the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration. This should be presented in writing. Your counselor can help you with this or you can ask CAP to assist you. If you are dissatisfied with the results of the administrative hearing, you can request a fair hearing.

  • C. Fair Hearing

    A fair hearing is a formal procedure held before an impartial hearing officer of the Department of Human Services. The fair hearing is another opportunity to ask for a change in the way your case is being handled. CAP can ordinarily assist you in appealing your case.

  • IV. CAP Is Here To Help!

  • The Client Assistance Program is available to all applicants or recipients of the District of Columbia Rehabilation Services Administration.

    You should contact CAP if you:

  • are experiencing an undue delay in the processing of an application or services requested.
  • have been denied eligibility and do not agree with the denial.
  • have been denied services to which you feel you are entitled or your case has been closed on grounds you contest.
  • have problems with the DC/RSA program that you have not been able to work out with your counselor.
  • have questions regarding the services and benefits available from DC/RSA.
  • have problems with other agencies or training facilities that are preventing you from teaching your rehabilitation employment goals.

  • How To Contact CAP

  • To request assistance for yourself or someone you know, call Joseph Cooney at (202) 547-0198, ext. 116 or send an e-mail to The office is located at 220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130, Washington, D.C. 20002.


    ULS-CAP makes every effort to provide effective rights-related advocacy for meritorious cases. However, if any individual is not satisfied with CAP's actions, he or she has the right to bring a complaint to the Executive Director of ULS. A copy of the agency's greivance policy is available. This policy tells what must be done to file a complaint.

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