Order of Selection: Frequently Asked Questions

June 20, 2017

Order of Selection: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an order of selection?

Order of selection is a process for prioritizing the eligible individuals that a vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency intends to serve based on available resources and capacity. The federal government requires a state VR agency to implement an order of selection when it does not have enough money or staff to serve everyone who is eligible. The Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), requires that individuals with the most significant disabilities be served first.

2. Why has the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) determined that implementation of the order of selection is necessary?

The decision to implement this process follows identification and implementation of numerous strategies to improve capacity over the past few years. Despite those efforts, BRS has projected a deficit of resources for federal fiscal years 2017 and 2018; and continues to experience significant challenges in building and retaining adequate resources to serve all eligible individuals, and meet expectations for timeliness and quality of service provision.

In addition, efforts to comply with expansive new federal requirements under WIOA are requiring BRS to shift financial resources estimated at $10-12 million annually. More information may be found in the Draft VR Portion of the WIOA Unified State Plan which can be viewed at BRS anticipates implementing the order of selection upon approval from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration.

3. What impact does the implementation of an order of selection have on individuals who are already in the VR program?

Individuals who have applied, but are not yet determined eligible, or are eligible but do not yet have an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) in place when the order of selection takes effect, are subject to the order of selection. Individuals who are already receiving services under an IPE will continue to receive VR services and supports to work toward their vocational goals in line with their IPE. There will be no disruption in services for individuals who had an IPE in place when the order of selection took effect.

4. For new VR applicants, or those eligible individuals who do not yet have an IPE at the time the order of selection is implemented, how does VR prioritize individuals with the most significant disabilities to be served first?

Once an individual is determined eligible for VR services, the individual’s severity level will be determined using the current process. In Indiana, there are three levels of severity, and each individual is assigned to a priority category, based on his/her level as outlined below: Version 1 – June 2017

Levels of Severity Order of Selection Priority Categories
1. Individuals with most significant disabilities Priority Category 1
2. Individuals with significant disabilities Priority Category 2
3. All other eligible individuals (nonsignificant disabilities) Priority Category 3