Home » Adults » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vocational rehabilitation?

Vocational rehabilitation is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. DRS is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers by providing necessary vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals.

Who is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services?

You will be eligible if:

1. You have a disability and

2. Your disability interferes with your ability to prepare for a job, get a job, or keep a job and

3. You require vocational rehabilitation services to become employed or to stay employed.

If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your disability, you are presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services if you plan to become employed.

How do I apply for vocational rehabilitation services?

If you are interested in applying for vocational rehabilitation services, call your local DRS office. You will receive some initial information about vocational rehabilitation and an appointment will be scheduled for you. At this first appointment, you will meet with a qualified vocational rehabilitation professional to learn more about vocational rehabilitation, and we will start the process to determine eligibility.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

You should bring the following materials to your first meeting with a DRS counselor:

1. State-issued identification card or Driver’s License

2. Medical insurance card and/or Medical card

3. Contact information (address and phone number) for a contact person

4. Social Security Card or another official document to verify your Social Security Number

5. Medical records related to your disability

6. Educational records

7. Social Security Disability Award Letter (if applicable)

If you do not have this information, do not let that stop you from applying for services. We will help you obtain any necessary information.

How long does it take for my eligibility to be determined?

Vocational rehabilitation must make an eligibility decision within 60 days following the submission of a completed application. If the vocational rehabilitation counselor cannot make an eligibility determination within 60 days due to exceptional and/or unforeseen circumstances, the individual and counselor must agree to a specific extension of time.

Can vocational rehabilitation help me get a job?

Once you have applied for vocational rehabilitation services and have been determined eligible, a vocational rehabilitation counselor will work with you to help you identify a vocational goal and help you receive the necessary vocational rehabilitation services to assist you in reaching that goal.

What is an Employment Plan?

You and your counselor will work together to develop a cooperative plan of action focused on a specific job goal. This plan of action is called an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
This plan is designed to answer four major questions:

1. What is your job goal?

2. What steps do you need to take to reach this goal?

3. What services do you need to accomplish this goal?

4. How will you know when you’ve accomplished those steps?

Is there a charge for vocational rehabilitation services?

No, there is no charge for vocational rehabilitation services. However, consumers may be required to financially participate in certain services in their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Consumers are also required to take advantage of any insurance or other programs for which they may be eligible.

What types of services can vocational rehabilitation provide me?

A variety of services may be provided, depending on your needs, such as:

1. Evaluation and diagnostic services may be provided to determine eligibility and the services needed for a consumer to become employed.

2. Vocational counseling and guidance are provided directly by a vocational rehabilitation counselor during the consumer’s plan of services to accomplish a variety of objectives leading to successful employment.

3. Pre-employment transition services may be provided to students with disabilities and can include job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling for postsecondary education, workplace readiness training and instruction in self-advocacy.

4. Training services may be provided to meet the employment goal and may include vocational training, college or other academic training, personal and vocational adjustment training, job coaching, on-the-job training, job-seeking skills training, as well as books, tools and other training materials.

5. Rehabilitation technology services may include assistive technology devices, driver evaluation and education services, assistive technology services and rehabilitation engineering services to address barriers encountered by a consumer in obtaining or retaining employment.

6. Physical and mental therapeutic services may be provided to correct or substantially modify a consumer’s physical or mental condition.

7. Specialized services for individuals who are blind, deaf and deaf-blind may include orientation and mobility training, interpreter services, note-taking services and reader services.
Placement services may be provided to an individual with a disability to find adequate and suitable employment in his or her chosen field.

8. Support services such as maintenance, transportation assistance, personal care assistance and services to family members may be provided, if necessary.

Post-employment services may be provided to previously rehabilitated individuals when needed to maintain or regain suitable employment.

What are my responsibilities when working with vocational rehabilitation?

You and your counselor are partners in planning your program. The counselor will expect you to do all you can to help to prepare for a job. You should keep appointments, work hard on tests and in training, participate fully in the development of your Employment Plan, keep in touch with your counselor and discuss problems as they come up.

What are my counselor’s responsibilities?

Your counselor understands how disabilities can get in the way of working. It is your counselor’s responsibility to help you understand your strengths. Your counselor will help you decide on a job that builds on your strengths; give you information, options and support; and help you to receive the services you need to prepare for, get and keep a job.

What are my rights related to vocational rehabilitation?

In your vocational rehabilitation program, you have a right:

1. to a fair and complete evaluation to determine your eligibility.

2. to know why you are ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services if you are.

3. to confidentiality of your records.

4. to be a partner in the planning of goals and services.

5. to counselor involvement throughout your vocational rehabilitation program.

6. to appeal decisions through an administrative review.

What is the Client Assistance Program (CAP)?

Your rehabilitation counselor will explain your rights at various times during the vocational rehabilitation process. If you have been denied services and you disagree with that decision, you can file an appeal. If you need help preparing the appeal, you can call the Client Assistance Program (CAP) operated by Disability Rights of West Virginia.
Disability Rights of West Virginia
1-800-950-5250 (VOICE/TDD)

What is Order of Selection?

Order of selection is a process for prioritizing eligible individuals whom a vocational rehabilitation agency intends to serve based on available resources and capacity. Federal law requires a state vocational rehabilitation agency to implement an order of selection when it does not have enough money or staff to serve everyone who is eligible. The Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), requires that individuals with the most significant disabilities be served first.

If you have additional questions, please contact us by email or call 1-800-642-8207.