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Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a part of the Department of Education and serves people with disabilities who require rehabilitation services in order to find work in line with their abilities and interests. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HIV infection qualifies as a disability whether or not a person is symptomatic.

Vocational rehabilitation services may include:
• Vocational counseling, guidance, and referral services
• Job training, placement, and support
• Supported employment
• Independent-living services
• Rehabilitation-technology services and devices
• Services for the sight-and hearing-impaired

To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services you must:
• have a physical or mental impairment that causes a serious barrier to employment;
• need and have the potential to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in order to prepare for, enter, engage in, or maintain employment; and be sincere in wanting to return to work.

If you are receiving Social Security because of your disability then the following applies:
• You are presumed to be eligible for VR, though you will need to show proof that you are disabled.
• Under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, many SSDI and SSI disability beneficiaries will receive a “Ticket” that you can use to obtain VR, employment, or other support services from an approved provider of your choice. Social Security doesn’t provide these services, but SS can help pay for the services under certain conditions.
• You can request VR services at any time; the Ticket program is voluntary, and the services will be provided at no cost to you.

Note: Social Security cannot initiate a continuing disability medical review while you are using a ticket.

Continued Social Security Payment under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program:

If Social Security finds that you no longer have a disabling condition as a result of medical improvement, your benefit payments usually stop. (For more information go to Section 4: Benefits and Work). However, if you participate in a vocational rehabilitation program, your benefits may continue until the vocational rehabilitation program ends.

To qualify:
• You must have been participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation program before your disability ended under SSA’s rules
• SSA must review your situation and decide that your continued participation in the vocational rehabilitation program would increase the likelihood of your permanent removal from the disability benefit rolls

Further resources:

For your state vocational rehabilitation agency click on:

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