Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What kind of rehabilitation do you do?

DOR provides Vocational Rehabilitation Services to Californians with disabilities who want to work. Our services include employment counseling training and education, mobility and transportation aids, job search and placement assistance. For more information, please see our Consumer Information Handbook (in Rich Text Format)

What kind of disabilities do you help with?

We serve people with all types and categories of disability.

What age do you need to be? Do you have programs for children?

Typically, we serve people of working age. We do not have programs for young children however we do have programs in some high schools that help seniors transition from school to work or college.

Do you serve Workers Compensation Clients?

If you become disabled as a result of your job, you will receive services through California's Workers Compensation system, which is separate from our department. The Department of Industrial Relations can assist you with workers compensation information.

Do I have to live in California to be eligible?


Do I have to be a California resident to be eligible?

Residency is not a requirement for eligibility for DOR services however, many of the kinds of programs and services we use, such as classes at State Universities, do have a residency requirements. For ease of access to programs and services, we suggest consumers to become residents.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to be eligible?

You do not need to be a citizen, however, you do need to have a valid work permit.

I live in another state and am receiving vocational rehabilitation services. Can I transfer my case to California? Do you cover any moving costs? Can I open a case in California before I move?

We do not accept transfers of cases from other states. You need to be living in California before we can open your case however, if you did have a case opened and active in another state, it may make the process smoother. We may be able to help you continue on toward your original employment goal, however you will need to go through the standard application and assessment process and will be subject to any waiting list criteria we may have. It's a good idea to have copies of your medical records and any pertinent documentation from your out-of-state case to help with your assessment. We cannot cover any moving costs.

I am an inmate scheduled for parole in the near future. Can I apply for services before I am released? Don't you supply tools for jobs as part of a program for recent parolees?

You will need to wait until you have been paroled before you can apply for services. Part of the application requires that you be available for the assessment process. As with any DOR case, you will need to have a documented disability and the disability is an impediment to your employment and our services would benefit you in your search for employment. DOR no longer provides tools as a specific service for a parolee, however if you are found eligible and you are in a disability category we are serving, you may receive rehabilitation services as part of an overall employment plan described in the Consumer Information Handbook (in Rich Text Format). Some of those services may include the purchase of tools.

What is this about a waiting list?

For more information, go to the DOR Order of Selection Statement

How do I get services?

You need to become a consumer of DOR in order to receive services. Also, the services we provide are part of a detailed rehabilitation plan developed by the consumer and counselor based on the client's specific needs and employment goals.

How do I apply?

For information on how to apply, go to the Am I Eligible to Apply for VR Services

How long will it take to get a job?

Each case is very individualized, based on a consumer's needs and goals. Also, there is a waiting list for services. Based on medical information and other assessments, applicants fall into one of three categories, most severely disabled, severely disabled and disabled. If you are assessed as being in a category we are serving, you may have little or no wait before receiving rehabilitation services. If you are in a category we are not serving, it could be several months. You will periodically receive notification from DOR with an update on the categories we are serving and the status of the waiting list.

After you are a consumer, it can take a few weeks to several months or years depending on the number and level of services you need to get job ready and find employment.

I need information about my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

DOR has an Disability Access unit that provides basic information on the ADA. Its primary purpose is to give information and training to State Government agencies. It is not an enforcement entity. The U.S. Department of Justice has an excellent web site that details rights, remedies and enforcement of the ADA.

I am currently having difficulty with my DOR case. What options do I have? What are my rights?

DOR has several options for consumers who are having difficulty with their case and need assistance. Please see our "Resolving Disputes" page for more information. DOR's Rights and Remedies Attachment (in Rich Text Format) can help you learn your rights. DOR's Rights and Remedies Attachment is also available in PDF. (For more information about the accessible PDF documents on this website, please view our "About PDF" page.)

Do you provide housing? Medical Services? Vans?

DOR only provides vocational rehabilitation services. We do not provide any housing services.

If you are a consumer, and within your plan for employment it is determined that you need some special medical service or transportation to access or participate in vocational rehabilitation services, then we may provide it.

We do not have a van program for individuals. All transportation needs are met as part of an overall consumer case plan. Vans are the most expensive transportation option for consumers. If there is another, equally reasonable and less expensive method, such as public transportation or special transit, that is the method we use.