As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:

In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 3: Eligibility

3.1 Determination of Eligibility—Overview

(Revised 07/16)

3.1.1 Overview

Determining eligibility is a cornerstone of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process. The purpose of determining eligibility is to identify individuals with visual disabilities who can benefit from VR services in terms of employment. Eligibility determination helps the consumer to find optimal employment through a comprehensive and coordinated program of vocational rehabilitation.

See also eligibility flowchart graphic (PDF) and eligibility flowchart text.

3.1.2 The Role of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

The vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor is responsible for determining an individual's eligibility for VR services, and does so by using information provided by

This responsibility for determining an individual's eligibility cannot be delegated to someone else by the counselor.

To the maximum extent possible, the counselor must

The information must reflect the current functioning or condition of the person. For example, an eye exam that is two years old, but shows that the person has been totally blind since birth, is acceptable.

The counselor should not purchase diagnostics to address basic eligibility questions unless existing data is unavailable or insufficient.

If assistive technology devices and services or worksite assessments are necessary to determine whether a consumer is eligible, they must be

Note: In ReHabWorks (RHW), if a consumer's case has been closed two or more times as Outcome Unsuccessful before or after Plan Initiated, the field director must review the case before the counselor determines eligibility.

The eligibility decision must be

Updating Disability Classification and Level of Significance

When making an eligibility decision, the counselor might have diagnostics and other records that were not available at the time of application. Before entering the eligibility decision into RHW, the counselor must

Required Documentation

The rationale for the counselor’s decisions regarding eligibility and the determination of level of significance must be documented in case notes entered in RHW. The significance designation can be changed at any time during the life of the case. See 3.14.1 Establishing the Significance of the Disability.

3.1.3 Role of the Applicant or Consumer (including Representatives and Guardians)

(Revised 11/15, 07/16)

Persons who apply for or are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services must be active and full partners in the process. They must make meaningful and informed choices during assessments, planning, and in the selection of employment outcomes, service providers, and methods for procuring services.

Applicants should be encouraged either to bring to the office or to have available at their home the following documents when the counselor visits:

3.2 Eligibility Criteria for VR Services

01/16

There are four eligibility criteria for certification of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services.

They are as follows:

The counselor must address all four eligibility criteria in the eligibility case note. See Chapter 40:Case Management, 40.1 Case Notes for more information.

3.3 Presumptive Eligibility for SSDI and SSI Recipients

(Revised 01/07, 04/12, 02/13, 12/15)

3.3.1 Overview

An applicant showing documentation of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI) or SSI Supplemental Security Income (SSDI) based on being blind must be presumed eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, provided the applicant intends to:

In some cases, because of the severity of the applicant's disability, a counselor cannot presume eligibility. In those cases, the counselor must provide pre-eligibility trial work.

Quality Questions

While gathering information from the applicant, the following questions should be addressed to help determine eligibility:

3.3.2 Documentation of Benefits

(Revised 04/12, 02/13, 11/15)

The counselor must work with the applicant to verify eligibility when the applicant:

The counselor can obtain eligibility verification by:

Veterans may also request the DD Form 214, Report of Separation, through the National Archives by submitting the Standard Form (SF) 180, which is used to request military records, by mailing or faxing the form to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), Military Personnel Records, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138. They may also write a letter to that address to request the DD Form 214. The NPRC fax number is 314-801-9195.

The SF-180 can be obtained online, by writing a letter to the NPRC at the address above or by calling 314-801-0800 to request the form.

When the counselor enters information into the ReHabWorks Monthly Financial Information page showing that the applicant receives SSI or SSDI benefits, the counselor must also enter a case note documenting the

A person who receives either SSDI or SSI because of disability is also considered a person with a significant disability.

3.4 Compliance Requirement—60-Day Rule

(Revised 11/11, 08/12)

Eligibility must be determined within 60 days after an applicant has applied for VR services and is available for an assessment, so the counselor should start as soon as possible to gather the information needed to determine eligibility.

Forty-Five Days after Application

If 45 days after the application is signed the diagnostic information needed to determine eligibility has not been received, the counselor should contact the applicant to discuss an extension of time or case closure.

Failure to Locate Applicant

If a consumer cannot be located or does not respond to attempted contact, the case should be closed before the 60 days to determine eligibility have elapsed.

3.4.1 Exceptions to the 60-Day Rule

(Revised 11/11, 08/12, 12/15)

If the counselor cannot determine the applicant's eligibility within 60 days, the case must be closed unless one of the following exceptions occurs:

All exceptions to the 60-day rule must be documented in ReHabWorks.

3.4.2 Extension of Time

(Revised 11/11, 08/12, 02/13)

Document that the consumer has agreed to an extension of time to determine eligibility by

If the consumer is not available, document in a case note why the consumer is not available and efforts made to obtain written authorization for an extension of time.

Note: The visual acuity to be used is the best corrected distance acuity. Best correction is the best visual acuity obtained with a simple refraction (glasses or contact lenses), not with a low vision aid, e.g., telescopic aid. The visual acuity is to be measured by the distance Snellen chart or converted to the distance Snellen equivalent in writing by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

3.4.3 Eligibility Rule

(Revised 11/11, 08/12)

Eligibility is determined and documented before determining whether or not a consumer will participate in the payment of services.

3.4.4 Nondiscrimination in Eligibility Determination

(Revised 11/11, 08/12)

Eligibility is determined without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, or national origin.

3.4.5 Institutionalized Individuals

(Revised 11/11, 08/12)

Any individual who resides in an institution (such as a state school, state hospital, or prison) and is not expected to be released within 60 days will not be considered for services.

3.4.6 Consumers Hospitalized at Time of Referral

(Revised 11/11, 08/12)

If a person is hospitalized at the time of referral and before applying for services, the counselor may purchase medical records to determine eligibility, but may not purchase medical services.

After a comprehensive assessment has been completed and an IPE has been developed, services may be provided in accordance with other criteria specified in this manual.

Counselor decisions must be based on vocational rehabilitation needs and not in response to emergency physical restoration referrals from community resources.

3.5 Eligibility for Active VR Services—Criterion I

3.5.1 Statement of Criterion I

(Revised 02/11, 03/11, 08/11)

The individual has a visual impairment. For more information, including definitions, see Chapter 2: Intake, 2.2.3 Diagnostic Studies—Medical.

3.5.2 Definition of a Visual Impairment

(Revised 08/11)

A visual impairment is defined as

Note: The visual acuity to be used is the best corrected distance acuity. Best correction is the best visual acuity obtained with a simple refraction (glasses or contact lenses), not with a low vision aid, such as a telescopic aid. An ophthalmologist or optometrist must

3.5.3 Deafblind Consumers

(Added 08/11)

Deafblindness is a condition in which both a hearing and vision loss are present at the same time. The combined effect of these losses, even if both are mild, creates unique challenges for the person that cannot be addressed solely within a program for the deaf or a program for the blind.

Deafblind consumers should be served by DBS because deafblind specialists are available to serve DBS consumers statewide. For more information on services provided by deafblind specialists, see Chapter 12: Deafblind Services, 12.2 Services Provided.

3.6 Eligibility for Active VR Services—Criterion II

3.6.1 Statement of Criterion II

The visual impairment constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment.

3.6.2 Definition of Substantial Impediment to Employment

A substantial impediment to employment exists when a visual impairment significantly:

3.6.3 Other Factors Relating to Substantial Impediment to Employment

(Revised 08/11)

Other medical, psychological, vocational, educational, cultural, and social factors may combine with a visual impairment to create an impediment to employment. Examples of such factors include:

3.6.4 Remediable Conditions

(Revised 02/13)

In determining eligibility for VR services, remediable conditions may be considered disabling. These conditions

Consumers with remediable conditions must be informed in their IPEs that if a remediable condition improves to the point that the consumer no longer has a visual impairment to employment, DBS can provide only counseling and guidance, information and referral, and placement services. Example: Cataracts.

3.6.5 Employment Outcome

Types of employment outcomes include:

3.7 Eligibility for Active VR Services—Criterion III

3.7.1 Statement of Criterion III

The individual requires vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to prepare for, secure, retain, regain, or advance in competitive integrated employment that is consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

3.7.2 Definition of "Requires" VR Services

(Revised 08/11 01/16)

Restated, the third eligibility criterion means that the consumer must require VR services in order to be employed.

The consumer requires VR services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment if he or she needs one or more of the following services:

These services must be provided, paid for, arranged, coordinated, or otherwise enhanced by the VR program.

Situations Not Requiring VR Services

Situations where the counselor may determine that a consumer does not require VR services include the following:

3.8 Eligibility for Active Services—Criterion IV

3.8.1 Statement of Criterion IV

(Revised 08/11, 01/16)

There is a presumption that the individual is capable of achieving an employment outcome, unless there is clear and convincing evidence during pre-eligibility trial work that the individual is not capable of achieving an employment outcome due to the severity of the individual's disability.

3.8.2 Presumed Capable of Employment

(Revised 08/11)

The individual must be presumed capable of achieving an employment outcome. This presumption stands unless clear and convincing evidence from pre-eligibility trial work demonstrates that the applicant cannot attain employment after receiving VR services because of the severity of the applicant's disability.

The applicant is eligible once the counselor has determined that the applicant

3.9 Eligibility for Active VR Services—Other Considerations

3.9.1 Residency Requirement

(Revised 08/11)

There is no residency requirement that excludes an applicant who is present in the state, is available for an assessment, and maintains a Texas address at application.

3.9.2 Legal Status and Employment Eligibility Verification

(Revised 04/10, 08/11)

By definition, a person in the United States without legal status is not eligible for VR services. The counselor must verify that an applicant can legally work in the United States by reviewing original documents. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 recognizes several documents that can be used to verify employment eligibility. Documents must establish both identity and employment eligibility. The following documents establish both identity and employment eligibility:

The following documents establish identity:

The following documents establish eligibility to work:

If the person is under 18, the following documents establish identity:

3.9.3 Authorization to Work

(Revised 08/11)

A person must provide work authorization documents within three days of employment, or provide the employer with proof that he or she has applied for required documents. In this case, the actual documents must be provided to the employer within 21 days.

3.10 Eligibility for Pre-eligibility Trial Work

(Revised 04/14, 12/15, 07/16)

3.10.1 Purpose

If the counselor is unable to determine whether a consumer will be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation (VR) services because of the severity of his or her disability, the consumer must be provided pre-eligibility trial work services.

If eligibility has already been determined, the counselor must still evaluate the consumer in a realistic work setting through the use of trial work before closing the case with "Disability too Severe" as the reason for the closure.

Pre-eligibility trial work can be used only with consumers whose disability is expected to meet the criteria of “significant.” See 3.14.1 Establishing the Significance of the Disability.

Before authorizing pre-eligibility trial work services, the counselor must determine the level of significance in ReHabWorks (RHW). (For more information, refer to ReHabWorks Users Guide, Chapter 10: Application, 10.8 Work History.)

After the level of significance has been determined, the counselor must either:

While providing pre-eligibility trial work services, the counselor and the consumer will explore the consumer's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in realistic work situations until you have enough information to make a decision about whether the consumer is eligible for VR services.

3.10.2 VR Eligibility Criteria

(Revised 01/10)

If the applicant has a disability that is a substantial impediment to employment and is severe enough that the counselor cannot presume the person would benefit from vocational rehabilitation services, the counselor must use pre-eligibility trial work.

3.10.3 Clear and Convincing Evidence

*The "clear and convincing evidence" standard of evidence in civil matters is similar to the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in criminal matters, but is slightly less rigorous. There must be a high degree of certainty before a person can be found incapable of competitive integrated employment.

Psychological testing alone is not clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence might include a description of assessments, including trial work experiences, concluding that the consumer would be unable obtain an employment outcome because of the severity of the disability.

When the consumer (and/or consumer's representative) does not agree, and if the determination is appealed to an impartial hearing, the impartial hearing officer becomes the ultimate authority on clear and convincing evidence.*

*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(e)

3.10.4 Pre-eligibility Trial Work

A Trial Work Plan (TWP) must include trial work experiences that are of sufficient variety and duration to provide:

Trial work experiences must be provided in competitive integrated employment settings to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the informed choice and rehab needs of the individual.

Pre-eligibility trial work may be part of a work adjustment training program, situational assessment, or other experiences in realistic work settings, such as the Career and Community Support Analysis (CCSA). For more information, see the DBS Standards Manual for Consumer Services Contract Providers, Chapter 5: Services, 5.12.6 Benchmark 1: Discovery, the Career and Community Support Analysis (CCSA), CCSA Review Meeting, and Supported Employment Services Plan (SESP) Part 1.

The counselor must document trial work experiences in ReHabWorks in the work history section of the application. For detailed procedures on documenting the trial work experience in ReHabWorks, see the ReHabWorks Users Guide, Chapter 10 Application, 10.7 Work History.

Supported employment should be considered if it appears likely that the individual could work with available of ongoing support services after successful VR case closure.

3.10.5 Case Movement

(Revised 01/10, 12/15)

A case should be moved out of pre-eligibility trial work immediately if:

3.10.6 Monitoring Requirements

A consumer cannot remain in pre-eligibility trial work for more than 12 months without a field director or a vocational rehabilitation (VR) supervisor or VR coordinator conducting a full case review in TxROCS before approving the extension of pre-eligibility trial work. A case reading is conducted every 90 days thereafter to determine the status of the eligibility decision.

The VR counselor must constantly assess the progress or lack of progress toward the goal of determining eligibility and to ensure appropriate expenditure of VR funds. A case note must be completed at least every 90 days documenting consumer's progress.

3.10.7 Pre-eligibility Trial Work

Services are provided in pre-eligibility trial work to explore the consumer's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations. Evaluations may determine whether supported employment services may be appropriate for the individual. The primary service should be utilization of work in real job situations. Other vocational rehabilitation services may also be provided which support the consumer during pre-eligibility trial work.

Assessments will be planned and provided in partnership with the consumer (and/or representative). Services will be provided in the most integrated setting possible consistent with the consumer's informed choice.

3.11 Eligibility Statement (DARS5101)

(Revised 02/13)

In ReHabWorks if the counselor believes that the individual meets the eligibility requirements for VR services, the counselor will read and electronically sign the following:

I certify that this individual has a visual disability; that the visual disability results in a substantial impediment to employment for the individual; and that the individual requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

This individual is presumed to be capable of achieving an employment outcome from the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

In addition, the counselor documents the functional limitations that result from the visual impairment by checking the box for the appropriate categories.

While it is available, the counselor does not need to print the Eligibility Statement unless the consumer requests a copy or the documentation is needed by some other agency.

Note: An individual who documents receiving either SSI or SSDI due to vision loss is presumed to meet all eligibility criteria, provided the consumer intends to be employed.

3.12 Ineligibility for VR Services

3.12.1 Overview

An individual who applies to this agency for VR services may not be eligible.

3.12.2 Ineligibility Documentation at Application

(Revised 02/13)

If an individual is determined ineligible after an individual has signed an application for VR services, the counselor must offer the consumer the opportunity for a full consultation. The counselor must also provide the consumer with a written reason for ineligibility. The counselor completes a Letter of Ineligibility (DARS5102), which is produced in ReHabWorks, and sends it to the consumer unless

If the consumer has died or is unable to locate, the counselor should document this information in a case note.

3.12.3 Reasons for Ineligibility from Application

(Revised 02/13)

Reasons that an individual may be considered ineligible:

No Disabling Condition (Visual)

The preliminary assessment reveals the applicant does not have a disability (as defined by DBS). The individual does not meet eligibility criterion 1.

The Disability Does Not Present an Impediment to Employment Outcome

The preliminary assessment reveals no substantial impediment to employment. The applicant does not meet eligibility criterion 2.

The Disability is Too Significant

A case cannot be closed due to "disability too significant" unless a demonstration of clear and convincing evidence has been made through a trial work experience, either prior to determination of eligibility in extended evaluation/trial work or through the provision of VR services under an IPE or while in supported employment. The counselor must consider all VR service options (including supported employment), and determine that the severity of the disability or the resulting substantial vocational impediment prevents VR services from helping the individual obtain and maintain employment.

Unfavorable Medical Prognosis

Medical information shows the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal. Consult with the treating physician to determine (1) whether or not the consumer knows the prognosis and (2) how the closure decision should be communicated. The applicant does not meet eligibility criterion 2.

Does not Require VR Services

An applicant does not require VR services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment. Applicant already is receiving the needed services, or they are readily available to the applicant without DBS providing, paying for, arranging, or coordinating the services. The applicant does not meet eligibility criterion 3.

Additionally an individual may be closed for a reason other than they have not met one of the eligibility criteria. These include:

For information on closure of a case after eligibility has been determined select:

3.13 DBS/DRS Agreement for Serving Consumers

(Revised 01/10)

An interagency agreement between the Division for the Blind Services (DBS) and Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is designed to clarify responsibilities of DBS and DRS regarding:

3.13.1 Consumers Served by DBS

The following consumers are served by DBS

3.13.2 Substantial Secondary Disability

If an individual has a significant loss of vision and a related secondary disability, then the individual will be served by DBS.

If an individual has a significant loss of vision and an unrelated secondary disability which is the more substantial impediment to employment, then the individual will be served by DRS.

If an individual has a visual impairment and an unrelated secondary disability and it is questionable to determine which disability constitutes the greater vocational impediment, then VR counselors from both DBS and DRS determine which agency will provide services. If the counselors cannot agree, they will refer the case through supervisory channels for assistance with the decision.

Note: A related secondary disability is one which is commonly associated with a visual loss, such as the relationship between diabetic retinopathy and diabetes. An unrelated secondary disability is one which is not associated with a visual loss such as the relationship between cataracts and alcoholism.

3.13.3 Referring Cases Between DBS and DRS

When it is determined that a consumer being served by one agency should be served by the other agency, the case will be closed, and a copy of the entire case file will be made available to the other agency except for the release of any information that has been restricted by the consumer.

3.13.4 Exchange of Information Between VR Agencies

In order to maximize use of professional resources, DBS and DRS will exchange information to expedite eligibility determinations and service delivery. All information exchanges will be considered confidential.

3.14 Level of Significance of the Disability

(Added 11/14)

3.14.1 Establishing the Significance of the Disability

When selecting an impairment category, also determine the level of significance of the case, which may be re-determined throughout the life of the case. However, if a case is designated as "significant" or "most significant," the case may not be re-determined as "not significant" without manager approval.

*A consumer's disability is considered "significant" when

*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.5(b)(31)

RSA-911 reporting requirements require that "significance" be categorized into three levels. DARS categorizes the following three levels of significance:

  1. not significant--no limited functional capacities,
  2. significant--one or more limited functional capacities and multiple services are needed for an extended period of time, and
  3. most significant--three or more limited functional capacities and multiple services are needed for an extended period of time.

Document the justification for the decision in a case note. Select the correct level of significance in ReHabWorks. See 3.14.5 Designating Level of Significance in ReHabWorks.

3.14.2 The Significance of the Disability in SSDI and SSI Cases

All consumers who receive Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits because of a disability must have their cases designated in ReHabWorks as having either a "significant disability" or a "most significant disability" for the life of the case. See 3.14.1 Establishing the Significance of the Disability.

If a person receives SSA disability benefits, but has no identifiable limitations in functional capacities, select SSI Disabled/Blind or SSDI with no limited functional capacities from the Limited Functional Capacities list in the electronic case management system.

3.14.3 The Significance of the Disability for Cases in Pre-eligibility Trial Work

All consumers who require pre-eligibility trial work must have their case files designated in ReHabWorks as having either a "significant disability" or a "most significant disability" for the life of the case. Assign the level of significance at the time of eligibility or at any time thereafter when information is available to support the designation.

3.14.4 The Significance of the Disability for Cases Receiving Supported Employment Services

All consumers who require supported employment services must have their case files designated in ReHabWorks as "most significant disability" for the life of the case. Assign the level of significance at the time of eligibility or at any time thereafter when information is available to support the designation.

3.14.5 Designating the Level of Significance in ReHabWorks

(Revised 08/15)

A counselor determines the level of significance for the consumer's disability at the time that the consumer is determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. The level is entered on the Disabilities page in ReHabWorks, based on the information provided to DBS at that time.

To determine a level of significance, do as follows:

  1. Determine whether the effect of the disability on the consumer meets the criteria for significance, as defined in 3.14.1 Establishing the Significance of the Disability.
  2. Support the designation with information from the:

    (Functional limitations that cause substantial impediments to employment do not always result in serious limits in functional capacity. If this is the case, select Not Significant, and no further action is required.)

  3. Determine that the consumer meets all of the criteria for the selected level of significance.
  4. Select the corresponding response in the drop-down menu in ReHabWorks.

    (If you selected Significant or Most significant, select one or more capacities in the Limited Functional Capacities page in ReHabWorks. Ensure that the case file reflects evidence of the serious limitations in the categories selected.)

  5. Document the rationale:
    • by explaining it in a case note in ReHabWorks; or
    • by completing DARS1390, Checklist for Determining Significance of Disability, and filing it in the paper file.

The level of significance can be changed without management approval, provided that it is not lowered.

To change a consumer's disability to a lower level:

  1. obtain approval from DBS management; and
  2. request that a DBS system analyst make the correction in RehabWorks.

The designated level of significance can be raised but cannot be lowered without management approval throughout the case, even though the consumer's functional capacities may improve over time.

3.14.6 Table of Functional Capacities and Examples

The following table lists specific capacities and examples of the nature and extent of limits to capacities.

Capacity Definition and Examples of Limitations
Mobility

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to move from place to place and move the body into certain positions is limited, and the consumer requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in mobility requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer needs help to get to and from work, such as
    • special training to learn to get to and from work, or
    • a vehicle modification.
  • The consumer needs modifications, adaptive technology, or accommodations not typically made for other workers in order to move around the workplace, such as
    • modifications to a workstation or work environment (ramps or elevators);
    • a scooter, wheelchair, cane, or other mobility aid; or
    • a service animal.
Self-care

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to perform activities related to health and hygiene are limited in a way that requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in self-care requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer or others are at risk due to deficits in the consumer's decision making, reasoning, or judgment.
  • The consumer lacks adaptive equipment techniques for monitoring diabetes.
  • The consumer needs help to manage self-care activities such as eating, dressing, grooming, or taking medication.
  • The consumer uses assistive or adaptive devices for self-care, such as a cane, braces, upper limb orthotics, or grab bars.

Seriously limited capacity in self-care may occur because of blindness or physical, cognitive, or emotional impairments and may apply to all tasks of self-care or only to specific tasks.

Self-direction

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to control and regulate his or her personal, social, and work life is limited in a way that requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in self-direction requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer is unable to provide informed consent for life issues without the assistance of a court-appointed legal representative or guardian, or has been declared legally incompetent.
  • The consumer has loss of self-confidence and/or lack of positive psychological adjustment to disability.
  • The consumer becomes confused or disoriented in performing routine job tasks and needs the help of a job coach or other supports.
  • The consumer needs ongoing help or intervention (such as a job coach or constant monitoring and redirection on the job) to begin activities related to task completion, socialization, or behavior management.
  • The consumer requires supervision or assistance with managing money or time or maintaining a schedule.
Work Skills

As a result of the disability, a consumer's capacity to acquire and maintain needed job skills is limited, and the consumer requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in work skills requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer is having increased difficulty in performing critical job tasks.
  • The consumer needs to change vocations and is unable to identify any significant transferable marketable skills.
  • The consumer is unable to identify or select a vocational goal consistent with the individual's "unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities."
  • The consumer has a work history that includes recent negative references, firings, and multiple short-term jobs.
  • The consumer has minimal work history not typical for someone of his or her age.
  • The consumer has a history of poor attendance, lack of follow through, or unacceptable work behaviors due to physical or mental health problems.
  • The consumer needs modifications, adaptive technology, or accommodations (such as a note taker, interpreter, or personal assistant to get to and from training or to plan, problem solve, or organize work functions) not typically needed by workers without a disability to acquire necessary work skills or training or to get or keep gainful employment.
  • The consumer needs specialized supports not typically needed by workers without disabilities to get or keep a job (for example, a job coach or natural supports, job duty modification, or job restructuring).

The lack of work skills alone does not meet the criteria for seriously limited capacity in work skills.

Work Tolerance

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to consistently and adequately perform a job based on the physical, emotional, environmental, and psychological demands of the position is limited, and the consumer requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in work tolerance requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer requires frequent or extended periods of time from work due to necessary treatments or medical problems.
  • The consumer is unable to perform work requiring frequent lifting and carrying of objects weighing 10 pounds or more and/or occasionally lifting objects weighing 20 pounds or more.
  • The consumer is unable to sit and/or stand for more than two hours.
  • The consumer is unable to perform tasks at a competitive work pace due to stamina problems.
  • The consumer is unable to work an eight-hour day with breaks every two hours due to limitations in mental or physical stamina.
  • The consumer needs modified job duties or assistive devices to perform job duties, an altered work schedule or work hours, or frequent rest or breaks not typically needed by other workers in the workplace.
  • The consumer lacks the capacity to effectively and efficiently perform job duties that require various levels of psychological demand (he or she may work poorly under stressful conditions or deadlines) and requires prescribed medication or specialized supports to sustain required levels of work function.
Interpersonal Skills

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to establish and maintain appropriate relationships with other people in the workplace is limited, and the consumer requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in interpersonal skills requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer has not acquired cultural age-appropriate skills.
  • The consumer requires specialized services, modifications, or supports to establish appropriate relationships with co-workers, employers, and others in the workplace (for example, he or she has a history of job loss because of conflicts with employers or co-workers).
  • The consumer requires medication or specialized services in order to interact with others in a socially appropriate manner.
  • The consumer requires specialized services or supports to reduce inappropriate behaviors that interfere with getting or keeping a job (for example, he or she has difficulty relating to co-workers, talks excessively, or behaves inappropriately in the job or training setting).
Communication

As a result of the disability, a consumer's ability to convey and receive information efficiently and effectively is limited, and the consumer requires services or accommodations not typically needed by workers without disabilities.

Examples of seriously limited capacity in communication requiring intervention include the following:

  • The consumer requires modifications, adaptive technology, or accommodations (not typically required for other people) to effectively and efficiently communicate orally or in writing with people without disabilities (for example, he or she needs an interpreter for training, use of a TDD to perform job duties, use of a hearing aid to understand speech on the job, or use of specialized communication equipment to produce speech).
  • The consumer has minimal expressive and/or receptive communication skills.
  • The consumer is unintelligible to non-family members or the general public due to difficulty with expressive communication.