What Does the DOR Do?
The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) assists Californians with disabilities to obtain and retain employment and maximize their equality and ability to live independently in their communities.
We do this by tailoring our services to each individual to ensure a greater chance of success.
A vocational rehabilitation team works closely with each job seeker to establish the best combination of services and resources necessary to prepare for, find and retain employment.
What Services Does the DOR Offer?
DOR services may include:
Career assessment and counseling
Job search and interview skills
Independent living skills
Career education and training
What DOR Programs Can Individuals Participate in?
The DOR offers the following programs:
Can I Start Receiving Services Right Away?
The answer depends on your priority category and available resources.
When the DOR does not have enough money to serve all eligible applicants, the law requires the DOR to use a process called Order of Selection.
Once you have been determined eligible, you will be given a disability priority score, called a Priority for Services Determination. This score places applicants into priority categories, which are used to ensure that persons with the most significant disabilities are served first.
There are three priority categories:
most significantly disabled (priority category 1)
significantly disabled (priority category 2)
all other eligible individuals determined to be disabled (priority category 3)
Eligible individuals not currently being served are placed on a waiting list.
What Happens If I'm Placed on a Waiting List?
While you are on the waiting list, the DOR will provide you with information and referrals to other services that may help you reach your employment goal until you receive DOR services.
The DOR will also:
notify you every 90 days as to which category is being served
notify you as soon as funds are available, and when you will be served based on your application date.
What If I Don't Want to Wait?
Included in your periodic notification of priority categories will be form DR 68D - Wait List Notice.
To remain on or be removed from the waiting list, you must fill out the form, print, sign and mail it to your assigned counselor at your local DOR office.
I'm Dissatisfied with Some Decisions Related to My Services. How Do I Solve This Problem?
To the extent possible, you should try to resolve your disagreements at a local level with your counselor or the Rehabilitation Supervisor.
If your concerns are still not resolved to your satisfaction, you can request an Administrative Review of the situation by the District Administrator.
An advocate from the Client Assistance Program (CAP) can help you request and prepare for an Administrative Review. They can also represent you at the review.
What Do I Do If I Disagree with the Administrative Review Decision?
If you do not want to have an Administrative Review, or having had one, if you are dissatisfied with the action or decision of the Administrative Review, you may request a Fair Hearing.
Requests for a Fair Hearing must be made in writing and:
submitted within one year after a DOR decision or action that you disagree with.
filed with the DOR within 30 days of your receiving the Administrative Review decision.
Once your request for a fair hearing is received, you will get a response within two weeks indicating if your appeal has been accepted. If it has, a hearing will be scheduled within 60 days, unless you agree to a delay.
When you receive notification that your case has been accepted, you will get a hearing confirmation form that provides detailed instructions.
You will need to prepare a detailed, written summary of the decision / action taken by DOR that you are appealing. Explain why you believe the decision / action was incorrect and what corrective action you are seeking. Copies of any evidence that supports your position need to be included with the confirmation form.
At the hearing, you may:
appear in person
present only written information
be accompanied by a representative or other advocate of your choice
A decision will be made within 15 days after the hearing. If you are not satisfied with the Fair Hearing decision, you have the right to file a petition, within six months, with the California Superior Court to review the matter.
How Would Mediation Help Me Solve Disagreements?
Mediation is another option for resolving disputes between you and the DOR.
The goals of mediation are:
to fully describe both sides of the dispute
to explore options for resolving the problem, and
to reach mutually satisfying solutions.
If both you and the Department agree to mediation, a qualified, impartial mediator is available, at no cost to you, to help you and the Department find solutions.
An advocate from the Client Assistance Program (CAP) can help you request and prepare for mediation. They can also represent you at the mediation meeting.