Where your future begins

Eligibility - Social Security Recipients

Categorized In: Case Services - Referral to Eligibility

Approved Date: March 17, 2021

Owner: Angela Fujan

Individuals who receive SSDI or SSI on the basis of his or her disability meet all eligibility requirements, unless VR can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that they are incapable of benefiting in terms of reaching an employment outcome due to the severity of their disability. See VRIS  Ineligible, No Longer Eligible 

Individuals must be determined eligible prior to providing VR services under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Eligibility requirements are:

  • Physical/Mental Impairment. The individual must have a physical or mental impairment.
  • Substantial Impediment to employment. The impairment must constitute or result in a substantial impediment to employment.
  • Benefit from VR Services. The individual must be able to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of VR services.
  • Require VR Services. The individual must require VR services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.

Disability of Vision. VR cannot serve an individual whose only disability is vision. Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) and Nebraska VR are both vocational rehabilitation agencies. NCBVI specializes in working with individuals who experience visual impairments. If an individual is eligible for NCBVI, they need to work with that agency. If the individual is not eligible for NCBVI services based on the visual impairment, VR may assess eligibility based on other impairments. 

Non-Citizenship: Only a non-citizen who is authorized by the U S Department of Homeland Security to work can be served by the agency.  Application and Transfer to Employment

Approval: Only a VR Rehabilitation Specialist or VR Office Director has the authority to officially determine and approve an applicant's eligibility for VR services. VR Service Specialist can indicate an eligibility determination, but needs to clearly explain only a VR Rehabilitation Specialist or VR Office Director has the authority to officially determine eligibility for services.

Timeline: Eligibility must be completed within 60 days of the application for services unless exceptional and unforeseen circumstances preclude making the decision and the individual agrees to a specific extension of time. A QE2 Eligibility Determination Extension is required if the decision exceeds 60 days and must be completed prior to day 60.  See VRIS Eligibility & Eligibility Extension 

 

  1. Conduct Initial Meeting and discuss Ticket to Work with client 
    • Complete SSA 3288 Consent for Release of Information/Earnings (VR)
    • Complete SSA 3288 Consent for Release of Information/General (VR)
    • Mail/Fax SSA 3288s to local Social Security Office
  2. Verify the individual is receiving SSI/SSDI based on disability
    • If individual has an impairment of vision, ensure the individual is not eligible for Nebraska Commission of the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI)
  3. Determine eligibility
    • Assume the individual can achieve an employment outcome, unless there is clear and convincing evidence otherwise
  4. Refer for Benefits Orientation
  5. Document SSDI and/or SSI in QE2 
  1. Conduct Initial Meeting and discuss Ticket to Work with the client.  
    • Complete SSA 3288 Consent for Release of Information/Earnings (VR)
    • Complete SSA 3288 Consent for Release of Information/General (VR)
    • Mail/Fax SSA 3288s to local Social Security Office
  2. Verify the individual is receiving SSDI and/or SSI based on his or her disability by obtaining:
    • Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) information from Social Security Administration
    • Copy of Ticket. If he or she received a Ticket under the 'Ticket to Work' program make a copy for the file; Copy of SSA Award Letter. If available, make a copy of the SSA award letter for the file;
    • Copy of Check Stub. If available make a copy of a SS check stub for the file; or
    • Written or Phone Verification. Verify by phone or in writing with a local social security office.
  3. Determine the individual's eligibility or ineligibility for services as soon as receipt of SSDI and/or SSI benefits based on a disability has been verified.
  • Eligible.​​​ Assume the individual can achieve an employment outcome, unless there is clear and convincing evidence otherwise See VRIS Eligibility & Eligibility Extension and Order of Selection
    • If individual has an impairment of vision, ensure the individual is not eligible for Nebraska Commission of the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI)
    • Complete the eligibility and priority group assignment in QE2 
    • Refer the individual for a Benefits Orientation
    • Document client receives SSDI and/or SSI based on a disability in Qe2.
  • Ineligible. In making a decision that an SSDI and/or SSI recipient is not capable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome because of the severity of the disability, first determine whether existing information provides clear and convincing evidence the applicant cannot achieve, or does not want to achieve, an employment outcome, such as assessments and reports from previous  work experiences conducted by a:
    • Vocational Education program;
    • School work experience program;
    • Community Rehabilitation facility program;
    • Sheltered Employment program; or
    • Other current or recent period of vocational services comparable to those that could be provided with extended evaluation services
    • If existing information does not provide this clear and convincing evidence, VR staff should arrange for trial work experiences in the most integrated setting possible with appropriate supports and assistive technology devices and services. See VRIS TWE Trial Work Experience and Ineligibility/No longer Eligible 

Approved Date
October 02, 2018 Show this Archived Version
January 08, 2018 Show this Archived Version


back to top