How Does Vocational Rehabilitation Work?

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation, abbreviated VR or VOC rehab, helps individuals with disabilities prepare for, secure or regain employment. The program provides services on an individualized basis. Careers in vocational rehabilitation offer rewarding opportunities. People in this industry need to be compassionate and good communicators. The professionals must also have good research skills to point their clients toward community resources.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling

You can qualify for vocational rehabilitation if you experience an illness or accident that makes it hard to continue working in your previous employment. Counselors can help you set realistic goals and achieve them. They also offer support and encouragement as you go through the treatment process. A counselor conducts an initial screening to get a rough picture of your abilities and potential. It can include assessment instruments such as aptitude and interest tests, academic exams, and simulated work evaluations. A counselor can also review your work history, including legal and other-than-legal employment and military service. Based on the assessments, your counselor might recommend trial work experience, occupational skills training, further education, job-seeking skill support, and direct job placement services. 


Vocational rehabilitation, often called VR, is a managed process that provides appropriate assistance for people with functional, psychological, developmental, and cognitive disabilities or impairments to prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. It is offered through state VR organizations supported under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as modified. You have the right to an informed choice of an employment outcome, services, providers, and other aspects of your VR program. A well-rounded vocational rehabilitation services Oregon includes a range of programs and services, such as counseling and guidance, physical and mental restoration, and training. The objective is to return you to work in a stable position rapidly. It can be in light duties at work to keep you happy and productive or a new career. It can also reduce workers’ compensation premiums and build a permanent employment position for you. 

Job Placement

In this phase, a job placement specialist helps you prepare for and enter suitable employment. These services may include work adjustment training, occupational skills training, volunteer assignments or jobs, and job search practice and support. Placement activities require your full participation and assertive guidance from the RC. Suppose you do not participate or do not cooperate with the RC. In that case, they must notify the RS immediately via the Rehabilitation Action Report (Form OWCP-44) and proceed by the FECA statute and regulations. The Workers’ Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation counselor who works with you is either a public or private rehabilitation counselor who is a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Provider. The certifying body is the National Board for Professional Rehabilitation Certification. A state must register private rehabilitation providers.


A vocational assessment is an essential first step to securing your independence. Counselors examine your abilities, limitations, skills, and interests during the assessment process to determine your vocational potential. The assessment may include a variety of tests, such as job-related aptitude and achievement tests, career choice assessments, functional work capacity evaluations, and standardized testing for cognitive, physical, and speech impairments. It may also require a detailed interview and a clinical examination by a medical professional.

The assessment result is an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), including your employment goal and approved services. Its constantly updated resource is intended to assist you in getting ready for and landing a job. 


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