Eligibility

Eligibility & Order of Selection

​CHANGE IN ORDER OF SELECTION:  Effective July 1, 2016

Order of Selection 

Not all individuals who are eligible will receive Vocational Rehabilitation services. 
 
Federal law requires the Vocational Rehabilitation program to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities first when there are not enough resources to serve everyone who is eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services. This means that individuals with the most significant disabilities are given a priority over those with less significant disabilities. This process is called an order of selection. 
 
If you have a less significant disability and fall within a category we cannot currently serve, you may request to have your case placed on a waiting list. Should funds become available you will be contacted to assess your interest in services. Even if funds are not available to serve you, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide information and referrals to other agencies that may assist you in meeting your employment needs. Below is the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation's Order of Selection. Currently, only individuals in category 1. All others are being placed on a wait list for services.

Priority Category

  • Category 1 - Eligible individuals who have the most significant disabilities. 
  • Category 2 - Eligible individuals with significant disabilities who have limitations in three major areas of functional limitations. 
  • Category 3 - Eligible individuals with significant disabilities who have limitations in two major areas of functional limitations. 
  • Category 4 - Eligible individuals with significant disabilities who have limitations in one major area of functional limitations. 
  • Category 5 - Eligible individuals with nonsignificant disabilities.​

The Eligibility Process

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation provides vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals with disabilities to assist with entry or re-entry into employment and productivity in the workplace and community. In order to receive services, an individual must meet eligibility requirements.
 
A vocational rehabilitation counselor will perform an assessment to determine eligibility for services. Once eligibility is determined, the counselor’s role is to provide information, resources, guidance and counseling, and choices related to an individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, capacities and abilities so the individual can prepare for and enter a job. This may require more assessment.
 
An eligible individual will work closely with the counselor who has specialized training and experience. The individual and the counselor will jointly develop an Individualized Plan for Employment. The Individualized Plan for Employment will list the vocational rehabilitation services that will be provided to assist the individual in reaching the individual’s vocational goal. ​
The determination of eligibility is an individualized process. All facets of eligibility have to be considered in each specific case to measure the impact of a disability on a particular individual’s ability to work.
 
There are four requirements for eligibility:
 
  1. An individual must a physical or mental impairment; 
  2. The impairment must result in a substantial impediment to employment; 
  3. An individual must be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment outcome; 
  4. An individual must require vocational rehabilitation services in order to obtain or maintain appropriate employment.

An individual must meet all four requirements to be eligible. It is the responsibility of a vocational rehabilitation counselor to determine an individual’s eligibility for services. The counselor will perform an assessment to determine if an applicant meets all four requirements.

An eligibility decision will be made within 60 days unless exceptional and unforeseen circumstances cause a delay. If the eligibility cannot be determined in 60 days, you and the counselor must agree to an extension of time.

There is no upper or lower age limit to be eligible for services, but an individual must be of employable age by the time services have been completed. There are no residency requirements for eligibility purposes, but an individual must be available to participate in rehabilitation services. Eligibility requirements are applied without regard to sex, age, race, creed, color, type of disability or national origin of the individual applying for services. ​