Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services?
To be eligible for ORS services, you must --
- have a physical, intellectual, or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and
- require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment, and
- be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome.
What is the Order of Selection?
Whenever the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency does not have enough resources to help everyone who is eligible for services, a priority system must be used. This system is called an Order of Selection. In Rhode Island, there are three (3) priority categories. The three (3) priority categories are defined by the severity of an individual's disability, including how many life areas are limited as a result of the disability. There are seven (7) life areas which may be limited by a disability: mobility, communication interpersonal skills, self-care, self-direction, work skills and work tolerance.
1. Individuals with the most significant disabilities - three (3) or more life areas are affected by the disability and multiple services are needed for an extended period of time in order for the individual to work.
2. Individuals with significant disabilities - one (1) life area is seriously affected by the disability and multiple services are needed for an extended period of time (at least 6 months) in order for the individual to work;
3. All other individuals with disabilities.
What are the costs involved with the vocational rehabilitation services?
Many vocational rehabilitation services are paid for by ORS, including --
- Assessments to determine eligibility,
- Counseling and guidance,
- Transition services,
- Job placement services,
- Interpreter services and other auxiliary aids and services, and
- Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPS).
You may be asked to share in the cost of other services, depending on your ability to pay and your resources (such as insurance and any other resources that are available to you) .
How do I apply for vocational rehabilitation services?
To apply for ORS services, you must first fill out an application along with a Release of Information Form (ORS-37). You can obtain an application by calling ORS at --
Voice - 401.421.7005
TTY - 401.421.7016
The application is also available on the ORS website at http://www.ors.ri.gov.
What should I expect after I apply for vocational rehabilitation services?
- A vocational rehabilitation counselor will be assigned to your case.
- ORS will require more evaluations to answer questions about your eligibility.
- You and your counselor will develop a written Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).