Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors determine the eligibility for services based on three criteria:
• An existing physical or mental impairment for the applicant. A few examples are arthritis, degenerative disc disease, cognitive impairment, depression, mood disorders, congenital disabilities, acquired impairments, or work-related injuries that caused impairments.
• The physical or mental impairment results in a substantial impediment to employment.
• The consumer can benefit from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services and that these services are required to prepare for and obtain gainful employment.
The determination of eligibility is based on but not limited to objective information such as medical reports, functional capacity evaluations, and/or psychological evaluations. With permission from the consumer VR will either obtain existing records or provide authorization for necessary evaluations. The documentation of substantial vocational impediments requires that the VR counselor have knowledge and understanding of the work performed by the consumer. (For a farmer with disabilities, this is an opportunity to educate the VR counselor by explaining the tasks and duties of their work and how the functional limitations of the impairment impede their performance.) The provision of vocational rehabilitation services will be related to the functional limitations of the impairment and/or the stated employment goal. The services should be necessary to obtain and retain the stated employment goal.