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6.3.1 How does the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program work?

Once a beneficiary contacts the state VR agency and basic eligibility for services is established, the following process begins:

The beneficiary talks with a VR counselor about their current income and benefits situation, their employment plans or goals, and any presenting issues they may have related to their benefits and employment. The VR counselor will share basic work incentives information with the beneficiary, as well as appropriate referrals for services. Also during the initial contacts, the VR counselor collects signed releases that permit them to verify the benefits that the individual indicates they receive.

Subsequent to this initial meeting, or series of meetings, the VR counselor will analyze the beneficiary's situation in light of the person's stated needs and work goals. The benefits analysis includes consideration of other possible supports that may assist the beneficiary in the back-to-work effort, including the potential use of all available work incentives, and addresses the impact that work will have on all benefits or supports the individual has. This analysis is delivered to the beneficiary either in face-to-face or phone meetings, as well as in writing.

After completing the analysis, the VR counselor maintains periodic contact with the beneficiary as he or she reaches critical time points in the back-to-work process. This includes assisting the beneficiary to analyze the impact of future job opportunities, report wages to the appropriate agencies or organizations, manage work incentives, and find resources they need for other issues that arise that might derail the acquisition or retention of paid employment.