Rehabilitation Services-Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States
To assist States in operating comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient and accountable programs of vocational rehabilitation; to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choice so they may prepare for and engage in competitive employment.
Last Known Status
Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Types of Assistance
Uses and 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 rehabilitation programs.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title I, Part A and B, Section 100-111.
State agencies in all States (including territories/possessions) designated as the sole State agency to administer the vocational rehabilitation program may receive funds with the submission of an approved State plan in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
In order to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, an individual must have a physical and/or mental impairment, which, for such an individual, constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment, and requires vocational rehabilitation services to achieve an employment outcome.
No Credentials or documentation are required. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. 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.
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies are required to submit a State Plan describing the manner in which they will administer the VR and Supported Employment programs in their States. The State is not required to submit any policies, procedures or descriptions related to its State Plan that have been previously approved and demonstrate that the State currently meets the requirements of the Act. However, State agencies are required to annually update and submit State Plan attachments related to: (1) the comprehensive system of personnel development; State assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress; (2)innovation and expansion activities; and (3) a description of the State's plans with respect to the distribution of State Supported Employment Title VI, Part B funds.
Grant awards are made to State VR agencies with an approved State plan. States are notified of their annual allotment under the funding formula. Grant funds are withdrawn under the Electronic Transfer System.
Jul 01, 2012 State VR agencies must submit State Plans to the Rehabilitation Services Administration for approval by July 1 each year.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
The State plan must be approved before the State agency can receive its allotment of funds. If a State plan is disapproved, and after reasonable effort has been made to resolve a dispute, the State agency may request a hearing. If dissatisfied with the hearing officer's initial decision, the State agency may seek the Secretary's review of the decision.
A State may appeal the Secretary's decision to disapprove the State plan by filing a petition for review with the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the State is located.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title I, Part A, Subpart 110. (29 USC 730). Funds are distributed based on population weighted by per capita income. The statistical factors for fund allocation are: per capita income 3-year average by State (Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates) and U.S. total and State population (Annual Population Estimates, Bureau of the Census).
Matching Requirements: The program's matching requirement is 78.7 percent Federal and 21.3 percent Non-Federal funds. This program has a maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement. The MOE level is based on the amount of the State's non-Federal expenditures under the VR program for the Federal fiscal year two years earlier; see funding agency for further details.
This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
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. Grant awards are issued biannually (1st and 4th quarter). See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic Transfer.
Post Assistance Requirements
Program report: Annual and quarterly reports. No cash reports are required. Progress report: Annual and quarterly reports. Expenditure reports: quarterly financial reports (Federal Financial Report (SF-425). Performance monitoring: The Rehabilitation Act requires the conduct of annual reviews and periodic on-site monitoring of whether a State VR agency is complying substantially with the provisions of its State plan and with the program's performance indicators established under section 106 of the Act.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Conducted by ED Office of Inspector General and by site visits of regional staff. Both are periodic but no set schedule.
Case service records for individual consumers. Financial and programmatic records must be kept for a prescribed period of three years (34 CFR 80.42).
Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available
(Formula Grants) FY 12 $3,083,814,000; FY 13 est $3,191,748,000; and FY 14 est $3,961,966
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
In FY 2012 annual allotments to States, including D.C. and Puerto Rico ranged from $9.3 million to $294.9 million, with a median award of $44.5 million. Grants to outlying areas ranged from $0.7 million to $2.9 million.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Vocational Rehabilitation Regulations (34 CFR part 361). Rehabilitation Services Policy Directives and Technical Assistance Circulars.
Regional or Local Office
Carol Dobak, Department of Education, OSERS Rehabilitation Services Administration 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington , District of Columbia 20202 Email: Carol.Dobak@ed.gov
Phone: (202) 245-7325.
Examples of Funded Projects
Criteria for Selecting Proposals