Client Assistance Program

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally funded program that provides information, assistance and advocacy to people with disabilities who are applying for or receiving services under the Rehabilitation Act. Programs under this Act include Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Independent Living Services (ILS) and Projects with Industry. In Maine, the CAP is administered by C.A.R.E.S., Inc., an agency independent from state government. There are no fees for CAP services.

How Can the Client Assistance Program Help?

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The purpose of the Client Assistance Program (CAP) is to inform, advise and represent Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) applicants and consumers.

The CAP assists those who are seeking services available under the Rehabilitation Act. C.A.R.E.S., Inc. administers the CAP in a manner that empowers people with disabilities to fully understand and exercise their rights to services. CAP strives to assure that people with disabilities are allowed to make informed choices throughout the vocational rehabilitation and independent living process and are treated with dignity and respect.

The CAP can help by providing information on the services available, including the time frames for these services and by explaining the federal regulations and state rules. When there is a difference of opinion between the consumer and VR, the CAP can get directly involved.The CAP is required to resolve disagreements using informal methods, to the maximum extent possible, before resorting to administrative or legal remedies.

Examples of CAP activities include:

  • Providing support and assistance to consumers so they may advocate for themselves;
  • Providing information and referral to other programs and resources;
  • Reviewing case records and talking with counselors, supervisors, community rehabilitation providers and others involved in the VR case;
  • Helping to develop strategies to resolve disagreements through negotiation;
  • Representing clients at mediations or fair hearings; and
  • Providing information on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Your Rights as a CAP Applicant or Client

  • To be treated with dignity and respect.
  • To be provided with understandable information regarding services available from each program.
  • To be involved in the selection of your vocational and/or independent living goal(s) and services providers.
  • To be given services in a timely manner.
  • To be informed of the Client Assistance Program’s services.
  • To request a change of counselor.
  • To exercise your right to question and/or appeal any adverse decision.

Information Resources

The following documents detail information about the Client Assistance Program (CAP):