CT Bureau of Rehabilitative Services -- New Haven Office
Thu, 2011-02-03 17:52 — Anonymous
Our mission is to create opportunities that enable individuals with significant disabilities to work competitively and live independently. We strive to provide appropriate, individualized services, develop effective partnerships, and share sufficient information so that consumers and their families may make informed choices about the rehabilitation process and employment options.
The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services has three components: the Vocational Rehabilitation Program; Disability Determination Services; and the Independent Living Program.
I. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The goal of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is to assist individuals with significant physical and mental disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Through the provision of individualized services, persons with disabilities who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation are supported in planning for and achieving their job goals.
To be eligible for the VR program, an individual must have a significant physical or mental condition which poses a substantial barrier to employment, and must require VR services in order to prepare for, find and succeed in employment. For more information on the vocational rehabilitation program:
In Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2008, 1,437 consumers entered competitive employment as a result of receiving VR services.
The vocational rehabilitation program serves persons with all disabilities except legal blindness. Individuals with legal blindness are served by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind; their website is located at www.besb.state.ct.us.
The vocational rehabilitation program is supported by a combination of state and federal funds. To learn more about the vocational rehabilitation program, go to www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/RSA/.
II. Disability Determination Services
The Bureau’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) unit is responsible for deciding eligibility for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) programs. These programs provide cash benefits to individuals who are unable to maintain employment due to the severity of their disabilities.
In FFY 2008, DDS processed approximately 35,000 claims for Social Security disability benefits. To reach Disability Determination Services, call 1-800-842-8320. To apply for benefits or inquire about the status of your application, go to http://www.ssa.gov/.
Individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits have increased incentives to work while maintaining some or all of their benefits. Benefits Counseling is available to assist individuals to assess the impact returning to work will have on their disability benefits. More information on work incentives programs is available by contacting the Connect to Work Center.
The Medicaid for Employed Disabled program allows persons with disabilities to be employed without risking eligibility for needed medical services through the Medicaid program. The program also allows certain individuals to keep other services they must have in order to remain employed.
III. The Independent Living Program
The Bureau’s Independent Living (IL) program provides comprehensive independent living services, through contracts with Connecticut’s five community-based independent living centers (ILCs). These centers offer four core independent living services:
- peer support;
- information and referral;
- individual and systems advocacy; and
- independent living skills training.
The guiding principle of independent living is the integration of the person with a disability to the fullest degree possible into the community of choice.
In addition to providing the four core independent living services, staff of Connecticut’s independent living centers work with the Bureau’s vocational rehabilitation counselors to address creatively the needs of individuals who are seeking employment as part of their goal of self-sufficiency.