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Client Assistance Program

What does CAP do?
Client Assistance Program provides information and advice to the public on vocational rehabilitation services and Independent Living Center services. We assist consumers of those services in resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, appeals, and legal remedy.

What is the most common service that CAP provides?
Advice to consumers, family members, or service providers on how to work with DVR. We explain what information DVR needs to be able to approve services. We explain the DVR process and how the planning process should go. We give suggestions on how problems have been solved.

Will DVR or the Independent Living Center staff person know I called CAP?
No. Not unless you give us permission or ask us to contact them on your behalf. Information and advice from CAP is completely confidential. To help you clear up a misunderstanding, we will ask for verbal permission to contact the staff person. To resolve a dispute or deal with an appeal, we require a signed release of information form.

Can CAP help me sue DVR or an Independent Living Center?
No. CAP can help you resolve a dispute with DVR or an IL center. CAP can assist you with an appeal when DVR denies a service or closes your case. CAP cannot assist you to sue an agency or individual staff members for monetary damages.

What is legal remedy?
If CAP assists you with an appeal against DVR and loses the appeal because the Hearing Officer failed to follow the Rehabilitation Act, CAP can fund the services of an attorney to seek a Judicial Review of the decision. A Judicial Review seeks to have the judge overturn the decision of the Hearing Officer and grant you the service you were seeking.

If CAP did not assist you with the appeal, CAP will review the decision and facts in the case to determine the merit. If your case has merit, we will negotiate with DVR to come up with an employment plan that is acceptable to both you and DVR.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

What does DVR do?
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists people with disabilities achieve their employment goals. This can include preparing for a new job, advancing to a more appropriate career, or assisting a person to keep their current job.

Who does DVR work with?
DVR works with individuals who have a disability that interferes with their ability to get or keep a job. DVR works with individuals who want to work and have voluntarily chosen to work with DVR.

Who is eligible for DVR services?
DVR can only work with individuals who meet the eligibility criteria, which is:

  • To be eligible for DVR, a person must have a disability that limits their ability to get a job that matches their abilities and skills.
  • The person must require DVR assistance to address the disability related limitations.

Who is not eligible for DVR?

  • A person who does not have a disability.
  • A person who does not want to work.
  • A person with a disability that does not affect their ability to work.

Is anyone automatically eligible for DVR?
Yes. People on SSI or SSDI who want to work are eligible. (SSI and SSDI are Social Security Disability benefit programs.)

Does DVR have a waiting list?
Yes. When DVR does not receive enough funding from the state and federal government, it must operate a waiting list. Currently, there are thousands of names on the waiting list, but that should not stop you from applying. It is not a first come, first serve waiting list!

DVR must serve people with the most significant disabilities first. So people's names are placed on the waiting list in 3 categories.

  • Category 1 is people who have 3 or more significant (severe) limitations caused by the disability.
  • Category 2 is people who have 1 or 2 significant (severe) limitations caused by the disability.
  • Category 3 is people who have no significant (non-severe) limitations caused by the disability.

Names in Category 1 go to the top of the list and may not have any waiting time. Names in Category 2 will usually have to wait. Names in Category 3 should seriously consider if it is worth waiting, unless Congress chooses to put more money in the DVR program budget.

Independent Living Centers

What does an Independent Living Center (ILC) do?
An independent living center provides information about the resources and services in your community that can assist a person with a disability to live more independently.

What are the core services that each ILC must provide?

  • Information & Referral
  • Advocacy
  • Independent Living Services
  • Peer Support

Can an Independent Living Center provide other services?
Yes. An ILC is a private, non-profit agency that will seek funding to provide services to meet the most critical needs in their area.

Some ILC agencies provide personal care, some are experts in housing or transportation, others provide benefits counseling.

Which disabilities do Independent Living Centers work with?
An ILC works with people of all ages and all disabilities. ILC staff have expertise in the areas of independent living that are important to people of all disabilities.

What does consumer controlled mean?
The law that funds the core services of Independent Living Centers requires that 51% of the Board of Directors must be people with disabilities. This is done to insure that people with disabilities have majority control in decision making.

Why would I contact an Independent Living Center?
As a parent of a child with a disability, an ILC staff person can tell you about resources and services in your community that may benefit your child.

As a young person with a disability, an ILC staff person can tell you where to network with other young people with disabilities with shared interests.

As a newly disabled adult, an ILC staff person can refer you to agencies, can provide information, can answer your questions about living an active and productive life with a disability.

As an elderly person, an ILC staff person can recommend services and devices that will help you remain in your home. Some centers have loan closets to provide walkers, transfer boards, or other devices that make it easier to remain at home.

Contact Information

Información en Español (Information in Spanish)
Hais txog ua lus Hmoob (Information in Hmong)
Postal Address 
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture,
Trade, and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive P.O. Box 8911
Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8911

Phone / TTY: 608-225-5070
Fax: 608-224-5069

CAP Email (Linda Vegoe): linda.vegoe@wi.gov
Webmaster Email (Wendy Felton): wendy.felton@wi.gov