Expected completion date: 07/2022
The quicker an individual can receive Vocational Rehabilitation services, the more likely there will be employment success. Therefore, a major goal of RS is to facilitate expedited processes for applications, eligibility determination, development of individual plans for employment and delivery of services. A variety of actions will be undertaken. For example, in offices where more than one counselor is stationed, RS has already established procedures for making same-day appointments available for individuals who inquire about services. Informational materials will be developed to help potential applicants understand vocational rehabilitation eligibility and to encourage them to bring supporting documentation to their first appointments. Staff training will be provided on eligibility and assessments to assure that best practices are utilized. Additional methods to expedite access to vocational rehabilitation services will be explored, such as collaborative efforts with community partners. Currently, the average combined timeframe for eligibility determination and IPE development is 90 days, well below the 150 days currently allowed by federal regulations. However, the RS goal is to further reduce those timeframes, with 60 percent of applicants receiving their first services in no more than 45 days.