Determining if an Applicant Requires Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Issued May 2008; Reviewed June 2014


To provide information about who can make the determination about whether an applicant requires services and what must be included in that determination.


To assure that there is a consistent method used in making this determination at eligibility.

An applicant requires Vocational Rehabilitation Services if the following criteria are met:

  1. Services are required for the applicant to address disability limitations necessary to reach a job goal and;
  2. Services are necessary for the applicant to obtain, retain, regain or advance in employment

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors employed by Wisconsin DVR must make this determination.

Because we provide services offered by other entities, e.g., post-secondary financial aid programs, private insurance, etc., we need to ask the question: “Can the applicant obtain what he/she needs to reach the employment goal using those sources, or are there disability needs necessary to reach the employment goal, that only DVR services can address?” This is determined on an individual basis and needs to be consistent with the applicant’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

These are examples of some possible questions to ask when determining if an applicant requires VR services:

If you determine that an applicant requires vocational rehabilitation services, it then becomes critical during the IPE development to look beyond what the consumer is requesting. Will the employment goal chosen by the consumer assist him/her to become more self-sufficient? This discussion is especially important for consumers who continue to return to DVR requesting funding for the same service. We need to discuss with the consumer, services that DVR could provide that could assist the individual to become more self-sufficient (i.e., job development, resource exploration, etc.).