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Disability Services

The State of Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program helps people with disabilities determine a job goal and find work.

What is Vocational Rehabilitation Services?

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is for people with significant disabilities who want to get or keep a job. Most people who get Social Security Insurance (SSI or SSDI) benefits and want to work are eligible. However, you don't need to be eligible for SSI or SSDI in order to qualify for VRS.

VRS counselors help people find work in the community.

How Can Vocational Rehabilitation Services Help Me?

Once you are determined eligible for services, you and your counselor will develop a plan to help you find or keep a job. They will look at your skills, limitations, career interests, and the job market. You and your counselor choose the services that fit your needs, interests and abilities.

Examples of services:

  • Career Counseling to help you make choices and develop an employment plan.
  • Training and education that will help you gain the skills needed to get a good job.
  • Services for keeping a job, including helping you to get along with coworkers and supervisors, and dealing with other issues with getting a new job.
  • Job placement to help you with your job search and finding job openings.
  • Assistive Technology devices or services that can help you do a job.

Do I Have Choices?

Yes. You are supported in making informed choices about your career goals. You have input on which services you need and who provides them.

In order for VRS funds to be spent on your career plan, your counselor must determine:

  • If it's reasonable to believe that your plan will lead to a job,
  • If the services in your plan are those needed to reach your goal, and
  • If the plan is complete.

How Do I Apply & Qualify for VRS?

Qualifying for services is a three step process

  1. You apply for services by contacting your local CareerForce office. You can also email a counselor at VRS.CustomerService@state.mn.us. VRS staff consider if you have a physical or mental condition that makes it difficult for you to prepare for, get work, or keep a job. Staff will need medical records from your doctors or mental health provider help to document a disability. If you don't have medical records or other information, VRS staff can help you get them.

    After you apply, your counselor will let you know if you will receive services. You should get a response within 60 days. Sometimes there are so many people asking for services they can't all be served. When that happens, VRS must serve those with the most serious limitations first.
  2. You will be assigned a counselor. Together, you will determine if services at your local CareerForce location or another agency can help you with your job search or work goals.
  3. You and your VRS counselor will discuss your work strengths and skills to find the best options for you.

The ways that your disability limits your ability to find or keep a job is examined. You and a counselor will talk about any limitations you have in:

  • Getting from one place to another
  • Talking and listening to others
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Making plans or carrying out plans
  • Getting along with people
  • Performing job duties

How Much Does Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) Cost?

There is no charge for counseling or job placement. Some services, such as training, are charged a fee based on family income. A formula is used to determine if you will be asked to pay part of the cost of some services. Your counselor will talk to you about your specific situation.

How Long Can I Receive Services?

Services continue as long as you are making satisfactory progress toward the job goal in your plan. After you are employed, VRS will provide follow-up services for at least 90 days before your case is closed. If you need services later, your case can be re-opened.

Next Steps:

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