The Division of Rehabilitation Services does not have sufficient staff resources to provide services to all individuals determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.
When the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program was reauthorized by Congress in 2014, they made a major change, creating a second program that DORS administers called
Pre-Employment Transitioning Services (Pre-ETS), which is focused strictly on students with disabilities who are between the ages of 14 and 21. Congress also mandated existing resources be shifted, including funding and staff, to administer Pre-ETS.
As a result of the tremendous growth of Pre-ETS since 2014, DORS has had to shift staff from the VR program to the Pre-ETS program. As such, we no longer have the human resources available to manage both programs.
Therefore, DORS has a Waiting List for the VR program.
How DORS decides who gets services first
Federal law requires that DORS’ VR program must serve people with the most significant disabilities first. To comply with this law, DORS counselors determine the severity of the disability of individuals who are
eligible for services, as follows:
- Category 1: Most Significant Disability
- Category 2: Significant Disability
- Category 3: Non-Severe Disability
DORS is required to make an eligibility decision on everyone who applies for services, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. Unfortunately, that does not mean we have the capacity to provide services.
If you are eligible for services and have a “most significant disability” (Category 1): you can begin your rehabilitation program without delay.
If you are eligible for services and have a “significant disability” (Category 2): You will be placed on the waiting list. DORS will serve persons on the waiting list as soon as resources are available. Individuals on the waiting list the longest will be served first. DORS is actively working to reduce the waitlist.
DORS does not expect to provide services to eligible individuals with "non-severe disabilities" (Category 3) in the foreseeable future.
If the severity of your disability changes, or if you have additional information regarding your disability, please discuss this with your counselor.
We will continue to work with community, state and federal partners to explore all possible ways to increase funding and reduce the waiting list.
Availability of Services
Prior to applying for vocational rehabilitation services, students with disabilities between ages 14 and 21 may qualify to receive
Pre-ETS while they are enrolled in high school or post-secondary education.
All other youth and adults who are interested in DORS vocational rehabilitation services, should apply so that we can determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. We will then also determine if you have a "most significant," "significant" or "non-severe" disability.
Other Workforce Resources
American Job Centers
If DORS cannot assist you at this time, an American Job Center (a.k.a. One-Stop) and/or community college may have programs and services that could help you become employed.
To learn more about how American Job Centers may assist you, visit
Ticket to Work recipients (or Social Security Disability beneficiaries) can also receive services to assist in returning to work from private entities known as Employment Networks (ENs). See the Employment Network page for a list of ENs that work closely with DORS.
Additional Employment Network options and information about Ticket to Work may be found on the Social Security Administration website at: choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp.