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Determining if an Applicant Requires Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Issued May 2008; Reviewed June 2014; Updated September 2021


To provide information about who can determine whether an applicant requires services and what must be documented in that determination.


To ensure there is consistency in making this determination at eligibility.

An applicant requires Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services if the following criteria are met:

  1. Services are required for the applicant to address disability limitations necessary to reach a job goal and;
  2. Services are necessary for the applicant to obtain, retain, regain, or advance in employment.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors employed by Wisconsin DVR must make this determination.

Typically, an individual applies for DVR because they require VR services, often vocational guidance and counseling at a minimum. Ask probing questions to help determine how the applicant requires services. Since we provide services offered by other entities, (i.e., post-secondary financial aid programs, private insurance, etc.) and to help determine if an applicant requires VR services, consider asking:

Whether an applicant requires VR services is determined on an individualized basis and needs to be consistent with the applicant’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, aka "The Great Eight".

CFR 361.42 (c) (2) states that the eligibility requirements are applied without regard to the -

  1. Age, sex, race, color, or national origin of the applicant;
  2. Type of expected employment outcome;
  3. Source of referral for vocational rehabilitation needs;
  4. Particular service needs or anticipated cost of services required by an applicant or the income level of an applicant or applicant's family;
  5. Applicants' employment history or current employment status;
  6. Applicants' educational status or current educational credential.

In the instance someone returns for the same service(s) from a previous case, it should not impact eligibility decisions. Requested services should be reviewed and discussed at the time of IPE development.