State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program

CFDA Number: 84.126A
Program Type: Formula Grants

Program Description

The State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Program is authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This program provides grants to assist States in operating statewide VR programs, each of which is an integral part of a statewide workforce development system. State VR programs provide VR services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that they may prepare for and engage in competitive integrated employment or supported employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency. To be eligible for the VR program, individuals must have a physical or mental impairment that results in a substantial impediment to employment and who require and can benefit from VR services to achieve employment and maximize career goals. Some states may have more than one VR agency, one for individuals who are blind and one for all other individuals with disabilities. Priority must be given to serving individuals with the most significant disabilities if a State VR agency is unable to serve all eligible individuals. In addition to serving individuals determined eligible for the VR program, State VR agencies may also provide pre-employment transition services to  students with disabilities who are potentially eligible for the VR program. VR agencies also engage with employers to increase job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Requirements

Funds are distributed to states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories  based on the statutory formula that takes into account population and per capita income in determining the amount of Federal funds made available to each grantee for VR program purposes. Grant funds are administered under the approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements.

VR implementing regulations require that the state incur a portion of expenditures under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan from non-Federal funds to meet its cost sharing requirements (34 C.F.R. § 361.60). The Federal share for expenditures made by the state, including expenditures for the provision of VR services and the administration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, is 78.7 percent. The state’s share is 21.3 percent of the total program cost. The VR program considers non-Federal share to be allowable as match only when obligated during the year of appropriation of an award.

Report to Congress: State VR Services Program Before and After Enactment of WIOA 

On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) submitted this report pursuant to the congressional explanatory statement to the FY 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 116-94), signed into law on December 20, 2019, that “directs the Secretary to submit a report within 90 days of enactment of this Act to the Committees evaluating any changes in trends in employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities served by State vocational rehabilitation programs before and after the implementation of the WIOA.” In addition, “[t]he agreement directs the Secretary to ensure appropriate State level implementation of the Rehabilitation Act, which may include the Department providing technical assistance as necessary.”  This report summarizes trends in the performance of the VR program with respect to the characteristics of individuals served, the services they received, and the employment outcomes they achieved, using data collected and reported by VR agencies to the RSA prior to and following the enactment of WIOA. The report also describes the technical assistance RSA has provided to the State VR agencies as they have implemented the changes to the VR program made by WIOA.

Formula Award Information Collections and Reporting Deadlines

In the Spring of 2021, RSA partnered with the VRTAC-QM to develop this technical assistance tool to help VR agencies and other grantees track the information collections RSA manages for formula awards, including the VR program, and the deadlines for submitting these data to RSA.