Are individuals with developmental disabilities eligible for VR services?

Yes. (Please refer to the answer for the question "How does VR determine whether or not a farmer is eligible?")

How does VR determine whether or not a farmer is eligible?

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.

How long does it take to know if a customer is eligible for services after submitting the application for services at VR?

VR counselors have to determine eligibility of applicants within 60 days of receiving the application. The formal application is received at the first meeting with the VR Counselor. It is assumed that all necessary records are available with the VR counselor during this period. Any necessary evaluations will be authorized (no cost to the customer) and completed within this time. VRCs strive to complete eligibility as soon as possible. The period can only be extended due to reasons beyond anybody's control and with consent from the customer.