Finding a Path to Employment


What happens if my family member is denied a service or found ineligible?

Coming prepared for services is a good strategy to preventing problems in the process. (ICI) Should your family member apply for vocational rehabilitation services from the state agency or a private agency, your family member may think that the denial is based on incorrect information. If this is so, you can usually file an appeal. Your family member should be ready to provide any documentation that would help to support the appeal. If you think that the decision was somewhat subjective, it might help for your family member to send a letter stating why that service is so important and what s/he will do to make the experience successful. This may help the program to reconsider. If your family member is, in fact, not eligible (due to actual issues such as residency, age or failure to meet certain criteria) you could ask the program to recommend another resource.
If your family member is denied a service such as supported employment because s/he does not meet criteria, s/he may be able to appeal that decision. It is helpful to know from the start what the exact criteria are and if there is a wait list. The more information you have about the service, the more you can prepare or increase the chances of being accepted. The state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies have several possible review mechanisms including a review, a hearing and Client Assistance Program. (USDOE)
Sometimes you will find that in order to be accepted into one program, you have to belong to or be a “client” of another. For example, the Dept. of Mental Health might require you to first meet criteria for the Dept.of Mental Health before being accepted in the employment program. Another example is you might have to be in treatment at a certain mental health center to be eligible for their employment service because the vocational specialists are part of a “treatment team” such as Individual Placement and Support model. (Dartmouth)

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