Bureaus and Departments
The Department of Rehabilitation Services is comprised of the following Bureaus and Departments:
Bureau of Disability Determination Services - The Bureau of Disability Determination Services unit is responsible for deciding medical eligibility for the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. These programs provide cash benefits and medical insurance to individuals who are unable to maintain employment due to the severity of their disabilities.
Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind - The Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) is the state’s lead Bureau for the coordination and provision of services to all Connecticut residents who are legally blind, or have significant visual impairments. These services include training and devices that help people who are blind function in the home and in the community independently; teaching children how to adapt to and learn in an environment - in and outside of school - that is designed for those with sight and; providing services that help people who are blind find work or keep their job after blindness has developed.
Bureau of Rehabilitation Services - The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services strives to create opportunities that enable individuals with significant disabilities to work competitively and live independently. Staff works to provide 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.
Bureau of Organizational Support - This centralized business unit supports all of the department's programs through fiscal and IT functions, including budget preparation and monitoring, accounting, vendor setup, accounts payable and receivables, asset management and Information Technology.
Human Resources - The Human Resources Division is responsible for providing technical guidance and support for all the employees of the agency. HR staff are involved in addressing issues which impact human resource management for the agency as a whole, through coordination of policy issues, involvement in labor relations activity and, in general, with the objective of ensuring that the quality of human resource service throughout the department remains consistent.
Legislative/Legal - Includes both the Legislative Liaison and the Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney acts as in-house counsel to the agency on a wide range of issues involving every aspect of the department’s work; researches, interprets, analyzes and applies complex and conflicting laws and regulations. The staff attorney acts as a hearing officer and represents DORS in formal administrative and public proceedings. The staff attorney acts as the primary contact for all Freedom of Information requests. The Legislative Liaison advises on and coordinates legislative proposals. They also provide advocacy and representation at the General Assembly on behalf of DORS. The Legislative Liaison currently serves as the Ethics Liaison for the agency as well.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides individual advocacy to residents of skilled nursing facilities, residential care homes and assisted living facilities. The State Ombudsman also advocates for systemic changes in policy and legislation in order to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of individuals who reside in those settings.
Public Information/Communications - The Public Information Office is responsible for all departmental communications. This includes media inquiries, social media and agency websites. The Public Information Office also acts as a backup for all Freedom of Information Act requests.
Strategic Planning and Operational Readiness- The Office of Strategic Planning and Operational Readiness works with agency leadership to develop and support the DORS strategic plan, helping to develop strategies and objectives for the achievement of agency mission and goals. They also prepare and update the agency’s Continuity of Operations Plan, ensure the agency is in compliance with FEMA and similar training requirements in the state, as well as working with senior DORS staff for appropriate agency responses to emergency situations.
State Unit on Aging - The State Unit on Aging administers federal and state programs that provide in-home services, meals, senior community employment, health insurance counseling, services for family caregivers such as respite care and other supportive services. Further, the unit provides oversight of and leadership for the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut.