​​Chapter 2.2 Contents:

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

When the full range of Vocational Rehabilitation services cannot be provided to all individuals determined eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, DRS (the VR agency) under the direction of the DARS commissioner and in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council, shall implement the Order Of Selection policy and procedure as is the state option under federal regulations. The State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services will indicate whether or not the VR agency is under an Order Of Selection (per Public Law 114-18 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.36 (c)). Effective July 1, 2004, DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection (See Policy 2: Section A1 of this chapter).  Priority categories may be opened and closed while DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection.

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[REVISED: 5/1/16]

If the VR agency status changes regarding Order Of Selection, the DARS commissioner or a designee shall provide written notification to all DRS field offices indicating the date on which to implement (or discontinue) the Order Of Selection. Guidance to VR counselors shall be available through the DARS Policy and Legislative Affairs Division and resource materials shall be made available.

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C. Individuals Jointly Served by DARS and the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI)

[REVISED: 12/3/18]

For individuals jointly served by DARS and DBVI, each agency will apply its own policies regarding Order of Selection. Please refer to Chapter 16, INDIVIDUALS JOINTLY SERVED BY DARS AND DBVI,, Policy 6.

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[REVISED: 7/1/12]

Order Of Selection procedure does not become effective unless DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection (for current agency status, see Policy 1: Section A of this chapter). The DRS referral and application policies and procedures shall continue to be in effect when the VR agency is operating under an Order Of Selection.

 
 

[REVISED: 4/17/17 ]

  1. Categories. 
    Criteria for these priority categories are consistent with federal requirements and prohibitions (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.36). If the agency is operating under order of selection, the priority categories, from highest to lowest, shall be:

    Priority I: An individual with a most significant disability in accordance with the DRS definition of most significant disability. See Chapter 3, DISABILITY CRITERIA, Policy 1, Section B.
     

    Priority II: An individual with a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in one (1) or two (2) functional areas and who requires two (2) or more substantial vocational rehabilitation services for at least six (6) months.
     

    Priority III: All other individuals determined eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation program.



  2. Assignment. 
    If DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection, the VR counselor shall assign individuals determined eligible to one of the priority categories, shall document the placement rationale in the case record, and shall explain to the individual through appropriate modes of communication (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57(e)) the placement and avenues to appeal the placement. Only those assigned to an open category will be served. For cases assigned to a closed category, see Policy 2: Section C of this chapter and for AWARE Delayed Status screen see Policy 2: Section D of this chapter.  

  1. The VR counselor must assign Priority I or II to individuals determined eligible for VR who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They are presumed (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(a)(3)) to have a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in one or more functional areas.

 

  1. The VR counselor must assign Priority I or II to individuals determined eligible for VR who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) as the disabled worker Claimant, or SSDI cash benefits as a disabled adult (at least 18 years of age) through the SSA Child Disability Benefits Program.  They are presumed (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(a)(3)) to have a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in one or more functional areas.   This excludes individuals receiving SSDI survivor or family benefits because they are receiving SSA benefits under the work record and disability of another person.

  1. Individuals whose cases are in Eligible status or higher are exempt from the Order Of Selection. Employment Plans may be developed for cases that were placed into Eligible status before the closing of their priority category. Cases in Service status or higher shall continue to be served under the Employment Plan and any amendments made after the Order Of Selection implementation date.
      

Guidance: If an individual no longer meets the criteria for the priority category currently assigned, the VR counselor may reassign the individual to a higher/lower category and must document the rationale for the new assignment in the case record.

 
 
 

[REVISED: 11/15/08]

All applicants shall receive diagnostic and evaluation services necessary to determine eligibility for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (and to assign the priority category when DRS is operating under Order Of Selection). This may include PERT services at WWRC.

 

[REVISED: 2/1/10]

Post-employment services are exempt from Order Of Selection, but shall require supervisor written pre-approval unless i) DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection with all priority categories open, or DRS is not operating under an Order Of Selection (see Chapter 8.22, POST EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1).

[REVISED: 7/1/12]

  1. The VR counselor shall provide information and referral to the One Stop Centers as well as other available local resources as appropriate.

  2. The individual may receive additional diagnostic, assessment, and evaluation services needed to reevaluate the priority category assignment. If needed to access diagnostic services, the VR counselor may provide support services (transportation, child care, personal assistance services) and interpreter for the deaf or foreign language. For requirement for supervisor written pre-approval for authorizations for diagnostics in Delayed status, see Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 1.

  3. The individual shall not have an employment plan or receive services normally provided under, or used to develop, the employment plan except as provided in paragraph d.

  4. The individual may receive limited guidance, use the DRS employment resource center services and job clubs, resume and job application assistance and specific job referrals provided by DRS staff, and completion of Schedule A Federal Hiring Authority Appointment letters. Any services provided shall be documented in the client case record.

  5. Because an employment plan cannot be developed, the case cannot be Closed-Rehabilitated.

  6. The VR counselor shall ensure that assistance provided to those in Delayed status does not impact the ability to address referrals and applicants and does not impact the ability to provide full services to cases in Services, Services-J, or Employed statuses.
 
 

[REVISED: 7/1/12]

  1. If DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection, all cases assigned to a closed priority category shall be placed on a waiting list within its priority category.

  2. While on the waiting list, if the individual provides medical or other evidence that the disability has become more severe, the VR counselor shall reassess the priority category assignment. If warranted, the VR counselor shall update the Disability and Eligibility Determination screens in AWARE. If the disability has not changed, the case may remain on the waiting list in Delayed status or may be closed upon client request.

  3. After 12 months in Delayed status, the VR counselor shall notify the individual in writing of the opportunity to remain on the waiting list and provide information on agencies and organizations (including the One Stop Centers) that may be best suited to address the individual’s specific employment needs, and describe the avenues to appeal case closure (including the Client Assistance Program). If the individual contacts the VR counselor and requests case closure, the VR counselor closes the case in Closed – Other status with closure reason “refused VR services” (or “cannot locate” if the waiting list closure letter is undeliverable). For case closure procedures, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1.

  4. After a case is closed in Closed – Other status, the individual may reapply for vocational rehabilitation services at any time.
 
 
 

[REVISED: 7/1/12]

The DARS commissioner or designee may close one or more priority categories at any time. Individuals who have begun services under an Employment Plan (case in Service status in AWARE) before the closure date of the priority category shall continue to receive services until case closure. Individuals assigned to an open category shall continue to receive services until case closure. All other existing or new cases assigned to the closed priority category shall be moved into Delayed status in AWARE.

 
 
 

[REVISED: 7/1/12]

  1. The DARS commissioner or designee may open one or more priority categories at any time. Individuals who are assigned to an open category may be served by date of application. Cases that are moved from Delayed status to Eligible status are processed the same as other Eligible status cases.

  2. The VR counselor must provide written justification in a case note for delaying the Employment Plan over 90 days from the date the case is moved into Eligible status.
 
 
 

[REVISED: 3/1/08]

cross-reference: For closure reason, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section A3.

 cross-reference: For procedure, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section C.

 
 
 

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. If DRS is operating under an Order Of Selection, all cases assigned to a closed priority category shall be moved into Delayed status in AWARE to place the case on a waiting list within its priority category. For instructions on completing the screen, see AWARE Manual.

  2. The VR counselor shall use the Order Of Selection letters, brochure, and regional list of One Stops to notify the individual that the case is on the waiting list, the priority category assignment, avenues to appeal the category assignment (including the Client Assistance Program), and information on other agencies and organizations, including the One Stop Centers, that may be best suited to address the individual’s specific employment needs (per Public Law 114-18 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.37).

  3. The VR counselor shall update the Disability and Eligibility Determination screens in AWARE based on any additional information received regarding disability and functional limitations.

   

3.  Applicants Determined Eligible Who Are at Immediate Risk of Losing Their Current Job

A. Candidates
[revised: 2/9/17]

 1. Virginia has elected (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.36) to exempt from Delayed Status policy individuals determined eligible who meet all of the following criteria:

a. The individual is determined eligible but the case will go into Delayed status or the individual is currently in Delayed status.
b. The individual is currently working but would almost certainly lose his or her current job if not provided specific services or equipment in the very near future that would enable him or her to retain that employment. 
c. The employment plan can be developed and the services required can be provided immediately. 
d. VR services are needed to maintain the current employment with the current employer. 
e. The individual is not eligible for post-employment services (see Chapter 8.21, Post Employment Services, Policy 1).

2. The case record must document communication from the employer stating that the employee is at immediate risk of losing their job. 
3. The individual is not required to disclose the disability to the employer and DRS staff communication with the employer requires the individual’s informed written consent.
4. The individual requires only:

a.  Guidance and counseling and follow along ; or
b. In addition to guidance and counseling and follow along, only specific services  and equipment that will keep the consumer in his or her current job.

Note 1: This exemption does not apply to those losing jobs because the employer is going out of business, eliminating the job, or for other business-related decisions.  
Note 2: This exemption does not apply to individuals who are underemployed or seeking to maximize their employment.
Note 3: This exemption does not apply to those who are seeking to change employers.

 

B. Plan Development 
[revised: 2/9/17]

B1. Approval Required
Written pre-approval from the Supervisor  is required before moving  any case that does not meet order of selection priority category from Delayed status in AWARE.

B2. Plan Requirements
In addition to the general requirements in Chapter 5, Plan, the following is required for employment plans written under this policy.

1. The employment plan must contain, at a minimum, counseling and guidance and 90-day job follow along. 
2. Only specific services that will allow the individual to keep the current job may be provided under this plan.
3. If the individual also requires additional VR services not necessary to maintain the current job, those services cannot be provided until the individual’s priority category becomes open.
4.  If after a plan is written the consumer loses the job held at application, the counselor shall

a. Place the case in services interrupted status until the individual’s priority category becomes open, or
b. Close the case upon the individual’s request.

C.  Case Closure
[revised: 2/9/17]


1. The 90 day follow-up prior to closing case Closed-Rehabilitated begins once planned services are completed.
2. If the individual requests the case be Closed-Other, follow procedures for case closure in Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1.
 

            

 

Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.