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Vocational Rehabilitation Client Services

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) can help if you have a disability that makes it hard to find or keep a job. 

We work with your interests and skills to help you be successful at work. This page explains how the program works and how to get services. If you have questions, contact your local VR office.

Find a VR office

We work with most people who have a disability that makes it hard to get or keep a job. We also work with young people with disabilities age 14 to 24 who want help getting ready to work. 

A counselor will work with you to make sure you are eligible for VR services.

VR is for people who:

  • Have a physical, developmental or mental disability that makes it hard to get or keep a job
  • Need help looking for a job or things like training or tools so you are ready to work​​
  • Are able to legally work in the United States

Some examples include people with learning disabilities, loss of vision or hearing, ​back injuries and mental health conditions.

You will get a counselor who will spend time getting to know you and what kind of job you want. They will learn about your di​sability and how it makes it hard for you to work.

​Your counselor will help you set goals, make a plan and give you the services you need to be successful. 

You can get help with things like:

  • Getting ready for job interviews
  • Job search, training and transportation
  • Special equipment for your disability
  • Understanding how work may impact other benefits 

See the frequently asked questions below to read more about VR services and the steps to​ get services.

Applying is easy! 

Contact the VR office that is closest to you. You will get an appointment to attend an orientation and get the process started.

If you need services for a ​high school student, find more information on ​the VR Youth Services page.

​Questions? Read the frequently asked questions below, or call your local VR office. ​

Watch this 20-minute video for an overview of how VR works and what you can expect when you contact us.

​​Service Questionnaire

​If you can, please fill out the questionnaire ​below and bring it to your first appointment. You can download the form in Microsoft Word format. It is available in several languages.​

Frequently asked questions

VR has different types of services that help people with disabilities get what they need to find or keep a job. We will work with you to decide which services are the best fit for you and your job goals.

Here are some examples of services you can get:

  • Personal assessment to help you know your strengths, capabilities, work skills and interests. This helps you choose a job goal and what VR services you need to reach that goal.
  • Counseling and guidance to help you make good decisions about how to reach your goals.
  • Independent living services to help you understand and deal with the disability issues that make it difficult for you to work. This includes things like training in self-care, managing your money and using public transportation.
  • Assistive technology to help you with communication or work tasks by using devices like hearing aids, visual aids or special computer software. You can explore with your counselor how technology might help you reach your employment potential or get a device you need to go to work.
  • Training and college programs to help you get the work skills you need to reach your job goals.
  • Access to a career coach to help you navigate community college through the Inclusive Career Advancement Program
  • Employment services to help you look for a job. Some examples are:​
    • ​Help to complete job application forms
    • Writing a resume
    • Practicing interview skills
    • Identifying job opportunities
    • Help to keep your new job
    • Getting the disability accommodations you need

  1. ​To get started, call or visit the VR office closest to you. We will ask you for basic information like your name, address and phone number. We will also help you schedule an appointment for orientation.
  2. Attend an orientation. You will learn how the program works from start to finish. There will be time to ask questions so you can decide if you want to apply.
  3. Attend an intake interview and apply. A counselor will meet with you for about an hour to learn about you, your disability and how it causes work problems. The counselor will also help you complete the application form and get the documents we need to make sure you qualify for services.
  4. Find out if you qualify for VR. Sometimes a counselor can tell right away if you qualify. Other times, it can take up to 60 days or longer if we need medical records or need an evaluation by a doctor.
  5. Identify your job goal and the services you need. You and your counselor will choose a job goal that makes sense for your disability and the job openings available. We will help you find your talents and interests, search for jobs and decide what services you need.
  6. Write a plan. You need to make a written plan so you can get the services you need. Your counselor can help you. We call this your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). It describes the steps you will take to meet your job goal.
  7. Complete the IPE. Once you and your counselor agree on your plan, you can start getting the services in your plan.
  8. Job search and getting a job. After you complete the services in your plan, you'll start looking for a job until you get one. Your counselor may help you with this, or refer you to other service providers in the community who can help you reach your job goal.
  9. Follow up and closing your case. Your counselor will check how you are doing for the first 90 days after you get a job. If everything is going well, we will close your case at that time.

​Yes. You get to make choices when you work with VR.

  • You choose the job goal that fits your interests, talents, needs and values.​
  • You choose how much help you want.
  • You choose the services you need and who provides most services.
  • You help decide how long you will be in the program.

How VR helps you make choices

Our staff gives you the information to feel confident when you face each choice. Think of us as your career consultants.

Early on, you and your counselor talk about the work problems caused by your disability. We call these your “barriers to employment." Knowing your work problems helps you and your counselor decide on steps to overcome them. It also helps you figure out what services you need to reach your job goal.

You and your counselor share responsibility for your choices. 

Guidelines for making choices

  • ​Making choices does n​ot mean you can have anything you want. Your choices must make sense. They must give good value for their cost. And they must help you reach your job goal.
  • The job goal you choose must also make sense.​
    • Can you do the work?
    • Are people needed to fill this job where you want to live?
  • ​You choose services because you need them, not just because you want them.

​Your rights

  • To be treated politely, professionally and with respect by VR staff.
  • To find out if you qualify for our services within 60 days after you apply. You can agree to give us more time if we need it.
  • To have your records, phone calls ​and letters kept private. Sometimes, VR may need to share some information without telling you. Ask your counselor about this.
  • To get the information you need to make choices.
  • To write your own plan for getting a job. You can review your plan with your counselor at least once each year to make changes.
  • To get free help from the Client Assistance Program (CAP). This program is separate from VR and can help you if you disagree with your counselor or services.
  • To appeal any VR decisions or actions that you don't agree with. See our Problems and Complaints page for options.

Your responsibilities

  • To treat VR staff politely and with respect.
  • To get the information you need to write and follow through with your employment plan.
  • To pay what you can for the parts of your program that cost money.
  • To apply for and use other sources of money to pay for what you need. For example, you might apply for a Pell grant to go to school. Or you might use health insurance for medical care. Your counselor will help you with this.
  • To follow through with the services you choose as best you can.
  • To meet with your counselor regularly, especially if problems come up that affect your plan.
  • To go to work after completing your program.

If you have a problem or disagree with a decision about your VR services, start by talking to your counselor or VR branch manager. You can solve most problems that way.​

If you need more help, visit our Problems and Complaints page for information about your options.

V​R partners with service providers who can help you reach your job goal. These services come with a cost. Depending on your family's income, you may need to pay for all or some of the cost of these services. For information, see our Cost of Services handout​.

Working and your disability benefits

Many people with disabilities worry that if they go to work, they will lose all their federal and state benefits or their medical insurance. But that's usually not the case.

Oregon has free benefits counseling to help you understand how going to work might affect your benefits. Certified counselors help you ​make informed decision​s that are right for you.

See also:

Ticket to Work is a program for people who have Social Security Disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. 

This program: 

  • Makes it easier for people with disabilities to work and still receive medical benefits.
  • Provides free employment services.
  • Connects you with support and choices to find a job and get vocational rehabilitation and other services.

If you are blind or deaf-blind

People who are blind or deaf-blind can get VR services through the Oregon Commission for the Blind.

Oregon Commission for the Blind website

If you are 14 to 24 years old

We have services for young people with disabilities who want help getting ready to work. 

Youth Transition Services page