Eligibility & Order of Selection


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 have 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, 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. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

Order of Selection ​​

​Order of Selection Brochure​​ Spanish Order of Selection Brochure​​

Not all individuals that 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 that 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 an individual has a less significant disability and falls within a category that is not currently served, the individual may request to have the case placed on a waiting list. Should funds become available the individual would be contacted to assess interest in services. Even if funds are not available to serve a category, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide information and referrals to other agencies that may assist the individual in meeting employment needs. Below is the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation's Order of Selection. 

Effective Thursday, October 1, 2020 all Priority Categories will be moved to eligible status and there currently is no waiting list. All categories will be provided the necessary rehabilitation services to meet individual vocational goals.​

Priority Category

  • Category 1 - Eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities that have limitations in three (3) or more major areas of functional limitations.​
  • Category 2 - Eligible individuals with most significant disabilities that have limitations in two (2) major areas of functional limitations.​
  • Category 3 - Eligible individuals with significant disabilities that have limitations in one (1) major area of functional limitations. 
  • Category 4 - Non-significant disability.

​​​Need​ more help? Contact us

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172 (V/TTY)

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