Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants

Program Name
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants
Program Description

This program provides grants to assist States in operating statewide vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs, each of which is an integral part of a statewide workforce development system. The VR program is designed to 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 and achieve economic self-sufficiency. Eligible individuals are those who have a physical or mental impairment that results in a substantial impediment to employment, who can benefit from VR services for employment, and who require VR services. Priority must be given to serving individuals with the most significant disabilities if a state is unable to serve all eligible individuals.

Program Requirements

Funds are distributed to states based on the statutory formula that takes into account population and per capita income in determining the amount of Federal funds made available to states for VR program purposes. Grant funds are administered under the approved VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (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 CFR §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. The state non-Federal share for the cost of construction of a facility for community rehabilitation program purposes is 50 percent.

Program Eligibility
Who May Apply: (specifically): State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies may apply.
Program Contact
Carol Dobak
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
PCP, Room 5151
Washington, DC 20202
Phone: 202-245-7325
Email: carol.dobak@ed.gov
Funding type
Formula Grants
CFDA code
84.126A

RSA Frequently-Asked Questions: Section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act: Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage (FAQ 21-05)

A frequently-asked questions document, developed jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, that provides information to employers, agencies, and individuals with disabilities concerning limitations on the payment of a subminimum wage, that is, a wage below the Federal minimum wage, to individuals with disabilities. These limitations are imposed by Section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (29 U.S.C. § 794g).

RSA Frequently-Asked Questions: Criterion for an Integrated Employment Location in the Definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment” and Participant Choice (FAQ 21-03)

A frequently-asked questions document that provides further clarification of the definition of “competitive integrated employment,” particularly with respect to: (1) the criterion for an “integrated employment location” (i.e., the integration standards for the location of the employment) in the definition of “competitive integrated employment” for purposes of the VR program; and (2) how the criterion for an integrated employment location in the definition affects a VR program participant’s ability to exercise informed choice.

RSA Frequently-Asked Questions: The Need for an Eligibility/Ineligibility Determination for VR Services for Youth Considering Subminimum Wage Employment Under Section 511 (FAQ 21-02)

A frequently-asked questions document to support State VR agencies in their continued implementation of the requirements for youth with disabilities under Section 511(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and to respond to questions that RSA has received.

Instructions for Vocational Rehabilitation Financial Report (RSA-17) (DCL-20-02)

RSA transmits a copy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Financial Report (RSA-17) and instructions for completing the form for the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this form (OMB Control No. 1820-0017) through August 31, 2023. The RSA-17 will be effective for the VR program for new VR grant awards issued on or after October 1, 2020 (Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021). The RSA-17 form will replace the RSA-2 and SF-425 submissions for these awards.

TAC-20-01

Technical Assistance regarding the Submission Deadline for the Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Program Years (PYs) 2020-2023 and Other Related Requirements

TAC-15-02

Vision for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

MOU-12-01

Memorandum of Understanding Between Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service and U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration.

IM-01-44

Applicability of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program.

PD-15-05

Revisions to PD-12-06, instructions for completing the Federal Financial Report (SF-425) for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program.

PD-16-04

Revision of Policy Directive (PD) 14-01 instructions for the completion of the Case Service Report Manual (RSA-911) for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program (Revised June 14, 2017).

Eligibility

Who May Apply: State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies may apply.

Content Managed By

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.

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