Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 51.5. Persons with Disabilities
Chapter 14. Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
11/29/2021

Article 11. Vocational Rehabilitation.

§ 51.5-170. Eligibility.

The Commissioner shall adopt written standards for determining eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services provided or funded, in whole or in part, by the Department, which ensure that eligibility is determined without regard to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religion, or type of impairment of the person applying for services and is determined solely by reference to specific written criteria.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-15 51.5-15; 1992, c. 755; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 1137.

§ 51.5-171. Assessment.

When an individual applies for vocational rehabilitation services provided or funded by the Department, in whole or in part, an assessment shall be made to determine eligibility for benefits according to the standards adopted pursuant to § 51.5-170. If, after an assessment, eligibility is established, a comprehensive assessment shall be conducted to ascertain the nature and scope of services needed by the applicant. Both assessments shall be carried out with the involvement of the applicant and his parents or guardian if appropriate. Both assessments shall include, when appropriate, (i) a review of existing data and, to the extent necessary, the provision of appropriate assessment activities to obtain necessary data to determine eligibility and services needed; (ii) referral for the provision of rehabilitation technology services to assess and develop the individual's capacities to perform in a work environment; and (iii) referral to other agencies and organizations for appropriate assessment services.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-16, 51.5-16; 1989, c. 181; 2002, c. 46; 2012, c. 803, 835.

§ 51.5-172. Individualized plan for employment.

A written individualized plan for employment for each recipient of vocational rehabilitation services provided or funded by the Department, in whole or in part, shall be developed as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days after the due date of the determination of eligibility, unless an extension is agreed to by the client, his parents or guardian, if appropriate, and the Department. The plan shall be agreed to and signed by the client, his parents or guardian, if appropriate, and a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the Department. When the Department is operating under an order of selection, the plan shall be developed and implemented for individuals meeting the Department's order of selection criteria. The plan shall be reviewed at least annually by the client, his parents or guardian, if appropriate, and the qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-17, 51.5-17; 2002, c. 46; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 27.

§ 51.5-173. Services for individuals.

A. Vocational rehabilitation services provided by the Department shall address comprehensively the individual needs of each client to the maximum extent possible with resources available to the Department, through the following:

1. An assessment for determining eligibility and vocational needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;

2. Counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice, and referral necessary to help applicants or clients to secure needed services from other agencies;

3. Diagnosis and treatment of physical or mental impairments, including:

a. Corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially modify a physical or mental condition that constitutes a substantial impediment to employment, but that is of such a nature that correction or modification may reasonably be expected to eliminate or reduce such impediment to employment within a reasonable length of time;

b. Necessary hospitalization in connection with surgery or treatment;

c. Prosthetic and orthotic devices;

d. Eyeglasses and visual services as prescribed by qualified personnel who meet state licensure laws and who are selected by the client;

e. Special services including transplantation and dialysis, artificial kidneys, and supplies necessary for the treatment of clients with end-stage renal disease; and

f. Diagnosis and treatment for mental and emotional disorders by qualified personnel who meet state licensure laws;

4. Vocational and other training services, including the provision of personal and vocational-adjustment services, books, tools, and other training materials, except that no training services provided at institutions of higher education shall be paid for with funds under this article unless maximum efforts have been made to secure grant assistance in whole or part from other funding sources;

5. Maintenance for additional costs incurred while participating in an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs or while receiving services under an individualized plan for employment;

6. Transportation, including adequate training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems that is provided in connection with the provision of any other services described in this section and needed by the client to achieve an employment outcome;

7. Services to members of a client's family when such services are necessary to assist the client to achieve an employment outcome;

8. Interpreter services provided by qualified personnel for clients who are deaf or hard of hearing and reader services for clients determined to be blind, after an examination by qualified personnel who meet state licensure laws;

9. Rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications and sensory and other technological aids and devices;

10. Job-related services, including job search and assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;

11. Specific post-employment services necessary to assist the client to retain, regain, or advance in employment;

12. Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies;

13. On-the-job or other related personal assistance services provided while a client is receiving other services described in this section;

14. Supported employment services which include providing a rehabilitation or other human services agency staff person to assist in job placement, job site training, and job follow-through for the disabled employee;

15. Technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses, develop business plans, and otherwise provide resources, to the extent such resources are authorized to be provided through the statewide workforce investment system, to eligible clients pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome;

16. Transition services for students with disabilities that facilitate the transition from school to post-secondary life, such as the achievement of an employment outcome in competitive integrated employment or pre-employment transition services;

17. Customized employment for an individual with a significant disability in a competitive integrated setting that is based on the strengths, needs, interests, and abilities of the individual and the business needs of the employer; and

18. Encouragement of qualified individuals who are eligible to receive services to pursue advanced training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (including computer science fields), medicine, law, or business.

B. Written standards shall be established by the Commissioner detailing the scope and nature of each vocational rehabilitation service authorized herein, the conditions, criteria and procedures under which each service may be provided, and the use of entitlements and other benefits to access these services, when appropriate.

C. In providing the foregoing services, the Department shall determine whether comparable services and benefits are available under any other program unless such a determination would interrupt or delay the progress of the client toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment, an immediate job placement, or the provision of such service to any client at extreme medical risk.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-18, 51.5-18; 1989, c. 181; 1992, c. 755; 2001, c. 483; 2002, c. 46; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 27.

§ 51.5-174. Services for groups.

Vocational rehabilitation services provided by the Department for the benefit of groups shall include, to the maximum extent possible with the resources available to the Department:

1. The establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation programs, which shall be used to provide services under this section that promote integration into the community and prepare individuals with disabilities for competitive integrated employment, including supported employment and customized employment;

2. Transition services to youth with disabilities and students with disabilities, for which a vocational rehabilitation counselor works in concert with educational agencies, providers of job training programs, providers of services under the Medicaid program pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.), entities designated by the Department to provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities, centers for independent living, housing and transportation authorities, workforce development systems, businesses, and employers;

3. The use of telecommunications systems, including telephone, television, satellite, radio, and other similar systems that have the potential for substantially improving delivery methods of activities described in this section and developing appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities;

4. Technical assistance to businesses that are seeking to employ individuals with disabilities;

5. Consultation and technical assistance services to assist state and local educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-secondary life, including employment;

6. The establishment, development, or improvement of assistive technology demonstration, loan, reutilization, or financing programs in coordination with activities authorized by the Assistive Technology Act of 1968 (29 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq.) to promote access to assistive technology for individuals with disabilities and employers; and

7. Support, including tuition where appropriate, for advanced training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (including computer science fields), medicine, law, or business, consistent with the requirements in § 103 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.).

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-19, 51.5-19; 2002, c. 46; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 27.

§ 51.5-175. Case closure in extended employment.

When a case is closed upon a client's placement in extended employment in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under § 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. § 214(c)), the case shall be reviewed by the Department semiannually for two years after the start of employment, and annually thereafter, to determine the interests, priorities, and needs of the individual with respect to competitive integrated employment or training for competitive employment.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-20, 51.5-20; 2002, c. 46; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 27.

§ 51.5-176. Participation by clients in cost of services.

The Commissioner shall adopt written standards for determining the extent to which clients shall be responsible for the cost of vocational rehabilitation services provided or funded by the Department. However, the provision of the following services by the Department shall not be conditioned on the client's or applicant's ability to pay for the cost of those services: (i) evaluation of rehabilitation potential, except for vocational services other than those of a diagnostic nature which are provided under an evaluation of rehabilitation potential; (ii) counseling, guidance, and referral services; and (iii) placement and follow-up. The Department shall maximize financial participation of persons receiving services and shall maximize reimbursement from responsible third-party payors.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-21, 51.5-21; 1987, c. 50; 1992, c. 755; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 27.

§ 51.5-177. Client rights regarding services.

The Commissioner shall establish written standards governing the rights of applicants for and clients who receive vocational rehabilitation services which are provided or funded by the Department. The Department shall educate clients and staff regarding those rights and provide a procedure for fairly and impartially resolving conflicts and complaints about alleged violations of those rights. The Department shall make referrals consistent with the provisions of 29 U.S.C. § 732.

1985, c. 421, §§ 51.01-22, 51.5-22; 1992, c. 755; 2012, c. 803, 835.

§ 51.5-177.1. Vocational rehabilitation and employment services for law-enforcement officers with a disability.

A. The Department shall make information regarding vocational rehabilitation programs and employment services available to assist former law-enforcement officers who have a disability as a result of their service with preparing for, obtaining, and maintaining suitable employment, including information on the types of programs available and the process by which former law-enforcement officers who have a disability as a result of their service can access such programs and services, available to law-enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth.

B. Every law-enforcement agency in the Commonwealth shall provide to every law-enforcement officer who separates from the agency due to a disability resulting from his service information regarding vocational rehabilitation programs and employment services available to assist former law-enforcement officers who have a disability as a result of their service with preparing for, obtaining, and maintaining suitable employment, including information on the types of programs available and the process by which such law-enforcement officers may access such programs and services.

2020, c. 553.