1. Call or visit the VR office closest to you to start the process.
Our staff will ask for basic information (like your name, your address and phone number) and will help you make arrangements to come in to learn more about what OVRS is and how it works. You may be sent a Personal Information Form in the mail, or you may receive it when you come in for orientation.
2. Orientation. Some offices give a group orientation. Others give a one-on-one orientation. Orientation will help you to:
- Learn how the program works from start to finish.
- Ask questions about services or available help.
- Decide if you want to apply for services.
3. Intake Interview and Applying for Services. This is when your counselor learns about you, your disability and how it causes work problems. The meeting takes about an hour.
- You meet privately with a VR counselor or counselor’s assistant.
- You bring your completed Personal Information Form.
- You fill out a one-page form (application).
- You fill out any release forms we need to get copies of your records. (The records help tell us if you qualify.)
4. Finding Out if You Qualify for Help. Sometimes a counselor can tell right away if you qualify. Other times it can take up to 60 days, occasionally longer. It depends on whether we need to write for medical records or have you evaluated by a doctor. Your counselor can tell you what needs to happen to qualify for services.
5. Identifying Your Job Goal and Planning Services You Need. You and your counselor decide on a job goal that makes sense for your disability. It should also make sense based on what job openings there are. VR can help you find your talents and interests. We can also help you search the job market. You and your counselor talk about the employment problems that bring you to VR. Together you decide what services you need to get a job.
6. Writing a Plan for Employment. You must have a written plan to get the services you need. We call it your individualized plan for employment (IPE). Your counselor can help you with this. Your IPE describes the steps you will take to meet your work goal.
7. Completing the IPE. You can start getting the help you need after you and your counselor agree to your plan. How long it takes you to complete the plan depends on you and your needs.
8. Job Searching and Getting a Job. After you complete the services in your plan; you search for a job until you get one. Your counselor can help you with this.
9. Following Up and Closing Your Case. Your counselor checks how you are doing for 90 days after you get a job. Then VR closes your case if all is going well. Later you can ask for “Post-Employment” services if you need more help because of your disability to keep your job, get your job back, or move up in your job.