84.126: Rehabilitation Services: Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States

Popular Name:

Objectives: To assist States in operating comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient and accountable program of vocational rehabilitation to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities so they may prepare for and engage in competitive employment.



Applicant Eligibility: State agencies in all States (including territories/possessions) designated as the sole State agency to administer the vocational rehabilitation program may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility: Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services is based on the presence of a physical and/or mental impairment, which for such an individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment, and the need for vocational rehabilitation services that may be expected to benefit the individual in terms of an employment outcome.

Credentials/Documentation: The State agency must certify the availability of State funds for matching purposes. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.


Preapplication Coordination: This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure: Applicants prepare a three year State Plan for vocational rehabilitation services (meeting Federal requirements established under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended). Vocational rehabilitation agencies submit State plans to the appropriate RSA Regional office. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedure: Notice of annual allotment to the State; grant award notices and funds are withdrawn under the Electronic Transfer System.

Deadlines: Three year State plans for vocational rehabilitation services are submitted to the RSA Regional Program Offices for approval not later than July 1, of the third year of each three year cycle.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: State plans must be approved by October 1, for each three-year period.

Appeals: If a State plan is disapproved, and after reasonable effort has been made to resolve, the State may appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the State is located.

Renewals: Not applicable.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals: Not applicable.

Examples of Funded Projects: Not applicable.

Range & Average of Financial Assistance: In fiscal year 1996, the range was $156,094 to $200,246,509.


84.126 PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS: As a group, persons who achieve employment as a result of vocational rehabilitation services each year show notable gains in their ability to function in economic terms, regardless of their employment status when they apply for services. The following information, based on preliminary data from the RSA Case Service Report System, depicts the work-related gains experienced by 203,035 persons who achieved an employment outcome from the time they applied for services to the time they had obtained employment. The data includes persons in wage-earning and non-wage-earning situations at applications and at closure: (1) The average weekly earnings at closure ($209.07) for all individuals who achieved an employment outcome were $168.63 more than their earnings at application. The percentage of persons with earned income of any kind increased from 21.4% at application to 91.6% at closure; (2) those who could work full time (35 hours a week or more) rose from 10.5% at application to 60.5% at closure; (3) the number of individuals working at or above the Federal minimum wage rate increased from 14.5% at application to 78.8% at closure; and (4) the number of individuals who reported that their own income was their primary source of support (as opposed to family and friends, public assistance, workers compensation, social security disability, etc.) increased from 17.6 percent at application to 73.6% at closure.



Type of Assistance: Formula Grants.

Obligations: (Grants) FY 95 $2,043,874,000; FY 96 est $2,103,762,000; and FY 97 est $2,164,038,000.

Budget Account Number: 91-0301-0-1-506.

Authorization: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Parts A and B, Sections 100-111, 29 U.S.C. 720-724 and 730-731.

Regulations, Guidelines, & Literature: Vocational Rehabilitation Regulations (34 CFR 361). Vocational Rehabilitation Manual. Rehabilitation Services Policy Directives and Technical Assistance Circulars.


Regional or Local Office: See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a list of regional offices.

Headquarters Office: Office of Program Operations, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202. Contact: Mark E. Shoob. Phone: (202) 205-9406. Use the same number for FTS.


Formula & Matching Requirements: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Part A, Section 110, Federal funds are distributed (78.7% Federal and 21.3% State) based on population weighted by per capita income. Funds become available for obligations for the fiscal year for which they are appropriated and may remain available for an additional year if the matching requirement is met in the year of the appropriation. The statistical factors for fund allocation are: 1) The per capita income three year average by State and the source is the Survey of Current Business, Bureau of Economic Analysis; 2) the U.S. total population and State population and the source is the Population Estimates Annual, Bureau of the Census; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statistical factors used for eligibility do not apply to this program. This program has maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements. The MOE level is based on the amount of State expenditures for the Federal fiscal year two years earlier. See funding agency for further details.

Length & Time Phasing of Assistance: Notice of annual allotment to the State; grant awards are made quarterly with funds released through the Electronic Transfer System.

Uses & Use Restrictions: Federal and State funds are used to cover the costs of providing vocational rehabilitation services which include: assessment, counseling, vocational and other training, job placement, reader services for the blind, interpreter services for the deaf, medical and related services and prosthetic and orthotic devices, rehabilitation technology, transportation to secure vocational rehabilitation services, maintenance during rehabilitation, and other goods and services necessary for an individual with a disability to achieve an employment outcome. Services are provided to families of disabled individuals when such services will contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of such individuals who are being provided vocational rehabilitation services. Funds can also be used to provide Vocational Rehabilitation services for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities including the construction and establishment of community programs.


Reports: Annual and quarterly progress reports; annual budget and case service reports; quarterly financial reports.

Audits: Conducted by ED Office of Inspector General and by site visits of regional staff. Both are periodic but no set schedule. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-128, "Audits of State and Local Governments," State governments that receive Federal funds of $100,000 or more shall have an audit made for that year. State and local governments that receive Federal funds between $25,000 and $100,000 a year shall have an audit made in accordance with Circular No. A-128, or in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate.

Records: Financial and programmatic records for a prescribed period of three years (34 CFR 80.42).

What now?

[ Top | Main Topics | Related Programs ]

[ Start a new search | Home Page ]