Frequently Asked Questions about Vocational Rehabilitation
What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program?
The Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation program assists eligible persons with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining quality employment.
What does it mean to be a person with a disability?
A person with a disability is someone with a physical or mental impairment, which creates a barrier to employment, and who needs VR services to reach successful employment.
What age do you have to be to receive VR services?
VR generally serves people of working age and has programs in some high schools that help students with disabilities transition from school to work, further education or training.
Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for services?
No, but you are required to have a valid work permit.
5. How do you know if you are eligible for services?
A VR counselor will work with you to determine if you are eligible for services.
How do I receive services?
Once you have been determined eligible for services, your VR counselor will obtain as much information as possible about your previous work, education and training, interests, capabilities, rehabilitation needs, and your employment goals. You may work with a rehabilitation facility to gather further information to help determine the best employment for you.
You and your counselor will develop a plan of action known as your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The plan lists your desired employment outcome, the steps and services needed to reach that outcome, and assessment criteria used to determine your progress in reaching that outcome. Your plan will list many of your responsibilities, and these will vary depending upon the type of service. At all stages throughout your VR program, you will be provided vocational information and guidance allowing you to make informed choices regarding your vocational plan.
What services are available for an eligible person to receive?
VR provides a wide range of services. You and your counselor will determine which services are required to help you become employed. Some of the services that may be provided include:
- vocational exploration to determine what services are required for you to become employed
- guidance in choosing suitable employment
- individual counseling during the rehabilitation process
- time-limited physical or mental restoration services that can assist you in obtaining employment
- assistive devices (such as artificial limbs, wheelchairs or hearing aids) that increase your ability to work
- vocational training to prepare you for employment. This could include tuition/fees as well as books/supplies for education in a college, university, trade school, community rehabilitation program or on-the-job training program
- transportation costs necessary for you to participate in a training program
- job-related tools and licenses for you when you are ready to go to work
- help in developing job-seeking skills
- assistance in finding you a job
Who pays for VR services?
Depending upon your income and resources, you may be required to pay for some or all of the costs of the services.
9. How long will I receive services?
Services will usually continue as long as you are progressing toward your goal in your IPE. After you become employed, VR will provide follow-up services for at least 90 days.
10. What is the Client Assistance Program?
Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services operates a Client Assistance Program (CAP) that provides several services, including assistance with legal, administrative or other measures to protect your rights under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CAP can also provide information about other agencies and programs in Missouri that offer rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities.
You may contact CAP at:
Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services
925 South Country Club Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109-0352
12. Do I have the right to appeal a decision made in my VR case?
You have the right to appeal any time you do not agree with a decision about your rehabilitation services made by your counselor or by anyone else with VR.
For example, if you are told you are not eligible for VR services, you may appeal that decision. If you do not agree with the plan your counselor develops with you, you may appeal that decision. Also, if your counselor wants to change your plan and you do not agree with the change, you may appeal that decision.
First, tell your counselor you would like to appeal. If the counselor explains the reason for the decision and you still do not agree, you may request to speak with the supervisor of the VR district office that is handling your case. You may, however, request a formal review at any time.
Formal reviews will be held within 60 days of the request. Requests should be made by contacting the coordinator of development and consumer affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also have the right to request mediation on the issue or to contact CAP to assist you. If you wish to pursue mediation, contact the coordinator of development and consumer affairs at email@example.com.