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Signatures Required on VR Documents

Categorized In: Case Services - General Case Management Policies

Approved Date: December 01, 2021

Owner: Carla Lasley

Nebraska VR will obtain appropriate signatures on agency forms and documents.  

Client signatures: The determination of who will sign on behalf of individuals who are students, those who have court appointed representation, and others, is outlined in procedure and staff will seek the identified required signatures on VR forms and documents. 

The Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 361.5 (31) defines the individual’s representative as “any representative chosen by the applicant or eligible individual, as appropriate, including a parent, guardian, other family member, or advocate, unless a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, in which case the court-appointed representative is the individual’s representative.” 

Nebraska VR staff signaturesOffice Directors may substitute for a Rehabilitation Specialists on required approvals. 

Rule 72

001.06 The Program is responsible for all decisions concerning the eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services; the nature and scope of available vocational rehabilitation serives; the provision of rehabilitation services; the determination that a recipient has achieved an employment outcome commensurate with his or her unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice; and, the allocation and expenditure of program funds. These responsibilities may not be delegated to any other organization or individual. 

Also see Decision Tree attached as a form to this chapter for a pictorial representation of this process.


Process to be used for students 21 and under receiving SPED services:

This process applies in the signing of forms by or on behalf of all students 21 and under who are receiving Special Education (SPED) services for ALL VR documents related to Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) or any other VR service.

    1) Parent(s) retain(s) educational rights until the conclusion of K-12 SPED services when the student is 19-21 years of age.  In such cases, the parent signs VR forms.

NOTE:  If the parent holding educational rights is absent, the student does not receive financial or material support from their parent, there is no appointed guardian, and the student is financially responsible for him- or herself, an Emancipated Minor Form may be used after consultation with the Office Director who approves its use. (See Emancipated Minor Form, and considerations for determining whether a youth is an emancipated minor in the Background and Training section of this chapter.) Retain a copy of the signed form in the file and document discussion and correspondence in a task note.

2) If there is a court-appointed guardian, that individual signs VR forms.  (Exception Note: does not apply to guardianship of a state ward by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS), as that agency does not have educational rights in such cases.)

3) In a case where the parent or guardian has delegated decision-making powers under a Power of Attorney (POA), VR forms are signed by the person named as POA. Under Nebraska law, (30-2604 R.R.S.), such POA is limited to six months in duration.

4) A surrogate parent who has been appointed by the school or the court signs VR forms.

5) When the authority to sign on behalf of a youth in transition who is receiving SPED services under an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is unclear, discuss with the Office Director, who may consult with Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Legal for advice on who should sign VR forms.

Process to be used for students under age 19 NOT receiving SPED

1) Guardianship is held by the parent(s) until the age of majority in NE (age 19) and the parent signs VR forms. 

2) If parental guardianship has been revoked by the court, and a guardian has been appointed, the court-appointed guardian signs VR forms. 


Process to be used for all others who have reached the age of 19:

1) Ask the person if they have a court-appointed guardian.

2) If yes, obtain a copy of the guardianship papers (letters of guardianship.)  You may be able to get a copy of the guardianship papers from the DD Service Coordinator, if applicable, or from the person.  NDE Legal Services may also be able to assist if the guardianship was ordered by a Nebraska court.  Send the full name of the client and appointed guardian to NDE Legal to seek assistance. After obtaining the guardianship papers, see Determining whether a court-appointed guardian has the power to sign documents, below.

3) If no, the person can sign VR documents for him- or herself, or can have an authorized representative sign, in accordance with Rule 72, as cited in the Background section of this chapter.  In the event the client is unable to sign, a parent, other family member, or advocate may be an appropriate authorized representative, as chosen by the client.  Anyone with a potential conflict of interest cannot sign VR documents.  An example of someone with a potential conflict of interest is an employee of a service provider agency or a service coordinator.

4) If a VR Specialist is concerned about the person’s ability to provide informed consent, and no authorized representative is identified, consult with the Office Director to discuss a course of action.


Determining whether a court-appointed guardian has the power to sign documents

1) Review the document to determine if the guardianship is Full or Limited.

  • If Full guardianship, the guardian signs all applications, consents, etc., as the person has been deemed incapacitated to sign for him or herself.
  • If Limited guardianship, the powers granted may be limited to one or more of the following decisions on a person’s behalf:
  • Selecting where the person can live
  • Arranging for medical care
  • Protecting the person’s personal effects
  • Giving necessary consent, approval, or signing releases on behalf of the person
  • Arranging for training, education, or other habilitating services
  • Applying for private or governmental benefits to which the person might be entitled (if no conservator is appointed)
  • Instituting proceedings to compel payment for support of the person
  • Entering into contractual agreements on behalf of the person (if no conservator is appointed)
  • Receiving money or tangible property on behalf of the person (if no conservator is appointed)

2) If the court has granted any of the powers in the list that are in bold type above, the guardian will need to sign VR documents on behalf of the person.

3) If the guardian is not granted any of the powers listed in bold type above, the person may sign VR forms for him- or herself.

4) Retain a copy of guardianship papers in the file.


Emancipated Minor Form instructions and best practices for determining status:  

Best practice in determining whether a student is considered an emancipated minor begins with collecting information from an individual or student, and others.  The process below helps to determine whether a student may be considered an emancipated minor.  Their signature on the Emancipated Minor form certifies he or she has rights and responsibilities of an adult.  Corroborating evidence may be sought by:    

  • Contacting parents. If a student does not live with or have contact with a parent but does have knowledge of the parent's whereabouts, Nebraska VR may send a letter or contact them by telephone to confirm that they  (1) are not providing economic or material support and (2) do not wish to have any information or participation in the minor client’s Vocational Rehabilitation process.  
  • Asking the student, parents and others the following questions:
    • How long has the minor been out of the parent's home?
    • Does the parent agree with the minor being out of the family home or did he or she leave or run away?
    • How does the minor support himself/herself?
    • Who is financially responsible to provide shelter, food and other life necessities for the minor?
    • Is the minor covered by anyone’s insurance (health, auto, etc)?
    • Is a parent receiving child support or government support on behalf of the minor?
    • Does anyone claim the minor as a dependent for income tax purposes?
    • Does the parent plan to stay involved in the minor’s rehabilitation program?
    • Who provides the minor with transportation?
    • Is there any possibility that the minor will move back into the family home?
  • Correspondence and notes of discussion are documented in a Task Note.


Any staff member can sign the VR Application and document the date the completed application was received by VR. The date of application recieved and signed by VR is the official date.


A Service Specialist may prepare a case for eligibility and priority group determination; however, only a Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director can approve eligibility and the priority group determination in QE2 after reviewing the case record and prepared determination. The date the approval is completed is the official date.


A Service Specialist may prepare a case for an ineligibility determination after consultation with the individual; however, only a Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director can approval an ineligibility determination in QE2 after reviewing the prepared determination. The Ineligibility Letter to the individual is to be signed by an Office Director.


A Service Specialist may assist an individual in developing the IPE, but is not authorized to approve the IPE. When ready, the Service Specialist should have the individual sign and date the IPE. Then the Service Specialist should sign the IPE as the “Nebraska VR Contact” and explain to the individual that a Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director must approve the IPE. The Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director, upon review and approval in QE2, must sign the IPE as the "Nebraska VR Approver". The date of approval is the official date to be entered into QE2.


A Service Specialist may discuss a successful employment outcome with the individual and prepare the QE2 case and determination for a Successful Employment Outcome. A Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director must review and approve the determination in QE2. The Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director must sign the letter sent to the individual. The Service Specialist may co-sign the letter.


For terminated cases, a Service Specialist or Rehabilitation Specialist may make the termination decision, document the decision in QE2 and sign any letter sent to the individual.  If the client or applicant does not agree with the decision, the Office Director must be consulted. The office director then sends the appropriate termination letter, if in agreement with the VR Specialist's decision. 


A Service Specialist may conduct an annual review of the IPE with a client and prepare the annual review determination; however, only a Rehabilitation Specialist or Office Director can approve the annual review in QE2 after reviewing the prepared annual review determination.


Relevant regulatory background and Definitions:

Title 92 NAC 72 002.01 defines an applicant as:   an individual who has completed, signed, and submitted an application form to participate in the program.  If appropriate, the applicant may have a parent, family member, guardian, advocate, or other authorized representative sign the application.  All VR documents requiring signatures include a signature line for an ‘authorized representative’ to sign, when applicable. 


Approved Date
April 09, 2019 Show this Archived Version
April 09, 2019 Show this Archived Version

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