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:
- An individual must have a physical or mental impairment;
- The impairment must result in a substantial impediment to employment;
- An individual must be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of employment outcome;
- 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, the individual 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.