What is Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)?
Vocational Rehabilitation is a state program that provides individualized vocational rehabilitation and supportive services to assist eligible individuals with disabilities to get and keep jobs compatible with their skills and abilities.
Who is Eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation?
To be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation services from your states rehabilitation department you may have to meet the following criteria:
- Be an individual with a disability, i.e. an individual who has a physical or mental impairment which constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment,
- Be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in achieving an employment outcome; and
- Require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment.
To determine your eligibility, the VR Counselor will need information about you that may include medical, psychological, and educational reports as well as your work history. We recommend that you bring any information of this type you have in your possession with you to your initial meeting with DRS. This can help speed up the process of determining your eligibility for services. If current information is not available from existing records, your VR Counselor may ask you to have an examination designed to provide the needed information. If this is required many states will cover the cost of the examination and any other expenses incurred because of the examination.
If you are currently a Social Security disability recipient, you are automatically determined to have a significant disability. If you are interested in obtaining employment, you are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. However, individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits are not automatically entitled to VR services. Individuals must expect to achieve an employment outcome as a result of receiving VR services.
Your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
Once you have your Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) developed you will be on your way(these vary state to state). Your IPE is the blueprint for achieving your vocational objective, which when attained will help you work and live as independently as possible. This is usually developed with assistance from:
- a qualified state vocational rehabilitation counselor;
- Your state division of rehabilitation;
- A private vocational rehabilitation counselor who is not employed by the state; or (an out of pocket expense)
- With assistance from other resources within the community. (Not covered by your rehabilitation agency)
In the development of your IPE, you have a number of choices and decisions you must make in order to complete your IPE.
- What is your desired employment outcome or the type of job you want to obtain?
- When do you expect to obtain your employment outcome?
- What are the criteria by which your progress in achieving your employment outcome will be evaluated?
- What vocational rehabilitation services are needed to achieve your employment outcome?
- What service providers will provide the vocational rehabilitation services?
- What are your responsibilities in fulfilling your IPE?
- What are the responsibilities of your states rehabilitation agency and those of any other agency assisting you?
- What are the costs of the vocational rehabilitation services and who is paying for the services?
Your agency is required by Federal law to assure that the annual reviews occur and are approved by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by that agency. Vocational/ Other Training Services
These services may be provided to help you gain the specific knowledge and skills required to perform the job indicated on your IPE. Training for employment can be obtained at our career school.
See your State Agency for details and requirements that are specific to your area. For state-specific information regarding Vocational Rehabilitation funding, please visit the link located next to your state of residence. Please note, upon clicking a link below, you will leave our website.