Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) is a program that helps people with disabilities find or keep a job. This program focuses on helping you get a meaningful job or career. Their goal is for you to get a job you want and paid at least a minimum wage. Your needs determine specific services.
You are eligible if:
- You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); or
- You have a disability that makes it hard to get ready to work, find a job, and keep it. VRS considers how the disability affects you and if services can help.
After your application is submitted, VRS has 60 calendar days to decide if you are eligible.
Students should apply for VRS at the beginning of 11th grade. If you have an IEP or 504 plan, contact the VRS counselor assigned to your school.
You can also apply if you are an adult who is not in school. You must attend a VRS orientation at your local Minnesota Workforce Center or VRS office. You must fill out an application.
VRS cannot always help everyone eligible for services. There are limited resources. Federal law requires first helping people with the most severe disabilities. There may be a waitlist.
VRS counselors help develop an Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE). The plan helps identify work goals, service needs, and who provides services.
Counselors will make sure your IPE is:
- Provides services needed to reach your goals; and
- Leads to a job.
- Meet with you to determine progress on the plan.
- Offer a list of community partners that can provide additional services.
Services Provided by VRS
- Informational interviewing and career exploration
- Interest and ability testing
- Vocational evaluation and planning
- Career counseling and guidance
Find a job
- Support in searching and applying for jobs
- Job counseling
- Job placement
Support for keeping a job
- Job-site assessment and accommodations
- Assistive technology and devices
Additional VRS Services through Community Partners
- Medical and psychological testing
- Work experience while still in high school
- Training and education after high school
- Skills training. This may include:
- On-the-job training
- Formal classroom education
- Job coaching
- Supported employment
Your gross income determines how much you pay for certain services. VRS has a specific process for determining how much you may pay for services.
There is no charge for services if you receive SSI, SSDI, General Assistance (GA), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or have limited income.
Free VRS services:
- Vocational evaluations
- On-the-job training
- Job coaching
VRS can help pay for:
- Books and school supplies
- Equipment and assistive technology
After you find a job, VRS services may continue for 90 days. After this time, VRS will close your case. You or your guardian may think you need extended services. You will need to register with a provider that offers extended employment services.
You have the right to appeal. Reasons for appeals:
- Eligibility decisions
- Service denial
- Denial of a chosen service provider
- Disability Benefits 101
- MN Vocational Rehabilitation
- Arc Guide to Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) – PDF
For further information or advocacy services, contact The Arc Minnesota at 833.450.1494 or visit www.arcminnesota.org. (Please note: This document is not legal advice. No information should replace the advice of an attorney.)
All rights reserved (c) 2020 The Arc Minnesota. Document updated August 2020.