Apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services- Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) services are for individuals with disabilities that interfere with getting or keeping a job or who have difficulty advancing at their job. VR services may only be provided if your goal is employment.

To apply or be referred for VR services you should be at least 14 years old and must be available to participate in the vocational rehabilitation process.  There is no length of residency requirement for anyone present in New York State. If you are not a United States citizen you must provide proof you are allowed to work in the United States as determined by the United States Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services.

ACCES-VR has 15 district and 10 satellite offices located across New York State. The State’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program is administered through our Central Office located in the NY State Education Department in Albany, NY.

ACCES-VR Orientation Sessions

Attendance at an Orientation session is not required but offers the best way to learn about the vocational rehabilitation process and VR services.  Information provided at an ACCES-VR orientation session may help you decide if it is the right service for you.

If you would like to attend an Orientation session, find the district office closest to you by clicking on District Office Location. Contact the district office to schedule to attend an Orientation session.

At the Orientation you can have questions answered, obtain an application and receive assistance completing your application. You can also obtain an application on the link below for the VR-04 VR Application.

How To Apply for VR Services

  • Obtain an Application for Services VR-04 at Orientation, on-line or by contacting the closest District Office.  Applications are available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Russian and Chinese.
  • Complete an Application for VR Services - You must include your name, address, date of birth, gender and disability.
  • Sign your application.  Only signed applications will be accepted.  Note:  Applications for individuals under the age of 18 must also include the signature of a parent or guardian.
  • Submit your application to the District Office closest to you.
  • Referrals- you may be referred by your school, doctor, Social Security Administration, family, etc.).  A referral must include your signed consent to verify that you agree to a referral to ACCES-VR.  Note:  Consent forms included with a referral of individuals under the age of 18 must also include the signature of a parent or guardian.

After you submit your application or are referred, a vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) will meet with you to begin the VR process.

Application for Services VR-04

Consent

  • VR-21 (for general health impairments), and/or
  • VR-22 (substance use disorders or mental health conditions)

Documentation needed for Eligibility

Where possible you should provide documentation from your doctor, treatment program, school, etc. about your disability.  This information is used to determine the degree your disability interferes with getting or keeping a job.

If you do not have documentation your vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) may ask you for your written consent to request documentation.  The VRC will only request information that is necessary for determining your eligibility or service planning.

If you are referred by an agency, school, doctor etc. to ACCES-VR, the referring agency should provide information about your disability, functional limitations, and how it relates to your employment needs.

In some cases your VRC may need additional information and may request to participate in an assessment or evaluation.  ACCES-VR will purchase this service at no cost to you.

Confidentiality-  Requesting personal information about you carries with it the obligation for ACCES-VR to fully inform you about  what information is gathered and how it will be used, and to safeguard against unnecessary or inappropriate dissemination. Your personal information includes all material that identifies you, including reports, evaluations, case histories, notes, photographs and directory information. ACCES-VR has an obligation to safeguard confidential information during its direct use of information and during the release of personal information to third parties, other individuals and agencies. Release of personal information also includes your access to your own personal information and records.

Eligibility Process

To be eligible for VR you must:

  • have a disability that interferes with getting or keeping a job;
  • be able to benefit from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services; and
  • need VR services to get, keep or advance at your job.

Presumed Eligibility- If you provide proof you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that is based on SSA determination of your disability, ACCES-VR will assume you are eligible for VR services.

Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services is made without regard to age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation, the service needed, cost of the service or the income level of the individual or family.

What else can I do to get started?

Career Exploration  - At the Career Zone site you can assess your own interests and begin to explore careers that are related to your strengths, skills, interests and abilities.

Create a Resume - At Job Zone you can find employment resources and begin to create your resume.

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