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Comparable Services

Categorized In: Case Services - General Client Services Policies

Approved Date: April 11, 2022

Owner: Angela Fujan


§361.53(c) Provision of services

(1) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program and are available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual's individualized plan for employment, the designated State unit must use those comparable services or benefits to meet, in whole or part, the costs of the vocational rehabilitation services.

(2) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program, but are not available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome specified in the individualized plan for employment, the designated State unit must provide vocational rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.


DEFINITION (§361.5(c)(8))

Comparable services and benefits are –

  • provided or paid for, in whole or in part, by other Federal, State, or local public agencies, by health insurance, or by employee benefits; and
  • available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual’s individualized plan for employment; and
  • commensurate to the services the individual would otherwise receive from VR.

If there is another resource that could pay for or provide the service the client needs, Nebraska VR must use it.

Comparable services do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.


Rule 72

003.01 Program services and funds may supplement, but not supplant, those services and benefits available to a client and his or her family from anther outside agency or entity. If comparable services and benefits are currently available and ready for immediate use, they must be used to meet, in whole or part, the cost of program services. 

003.02 If any public entity other than the program is obligated under Federal or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy, to provide or pay for any services that are also considered to be vocational rehabilitation services, then VR funds cannot be used to provide or pay for such services. 

003.03 Applicants for and recipients of services must apply for and accept any existing comparable service or benefit. Program funds cannot be used to replace comparable services and benefits a recipient is eligible for, but refuses to apply or accept. 

003.04. The requirement to determine the availability of comparable services and benefit does not apply if this would interrupt or delay –

A.   The provision of vocational rehabilitation services to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.

B.   An immediate job placement; or

C.   The progress of the individual for more than thirty (30) days toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;



Nebraska VR is required to report all services provided to individuals during the life of their service record whether provided by the VR agency or others as comparable services. This includes –

    • The specific comparable service provided; and
    • The provider type of the comparable service.

1. Determine what comparable services currently exist and are immediately available to the individual at the time needed to meet in whole or part, the costs of required and necessary services. 

At a minimum, the following comparable services must be explored, if applicable to the service being provided, to determine if the client is already receiving, already eligible and available to the individual at the time needed.

  • Employment Benefits – Employee benefits and benefits in kind include various types of non-wage compensation provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries. Worksite modification needs to be addressed with the employer, as they are responsible for reasonable accommodation of their staff and/or Worker's Compensation, if involved. (e.g. tuition reimbursement, training, worksite modification, etc.) 
  • Warranties and Insurance: Health insurance, individual life, auto, home or comprehensive liability insurance. Warranties for replacement of damaged vehicle or home items (e.g. vehicle and home modifications. etc.) 
  • Maintenance – Programs for maintenance include: Health and Human Services, Veteran's programs, SNAP, SSI/SSDI, etc. (e.g. housing, clothing, transportation etc.).
  • Medical: Need to explore private insurance, government and community resources (e.g. durable medical goods, assistive devices, medication, treatment, etc.)
  • Government programs: Examples - Health and Human Services, Community Mental Health Centers, Community Drug & Alcohol treatment programs, Worker's Compensation, American Job Center/Department of Labor, Veteran's programs. 
  • Community programs: Private or local services available to clients at no cost or reduced cost bases. 


2. If comparable services do not currently exist and are not immediately available to the individual to meet the costs of required and necessary services, prior to authorizing for a service determine if there are other resources the client could receive, be eligible, or apply for to pay for or provide the service.

See the Background & Training section in this chapter and/or search the Hotline for Disability Services: https://cap.nebraska.gov/hotline

The requirement to determine the availability of comparable services does not apply if –

  1. It is for the following services:

  • Assessment services

  • Referral to other services

  • Counseling and guidance

  • Job-related services (team services including job search, placement assistance, job retention services and employment follow-up) 

  • Rehabilitation technology - Technology to meet the needs of, and address the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living and recreation, home and vehicular modification, other assistive devices including, but not limited to hearing aids, low vision aids and wheelchairs. 

(NOTE: S&D Application is not required for Rehab Technology unless exceeding Rule 72) See VRIS Assistive Technology Partnership for further information.

  1. It would interrupt or delay service for one of the reasons identified in Policy 003.04 above.

3. If the service is available through a comparable service, in QE2 add the service and select Comparable Service as the Provider Type.

4. If a service is not available through a comparable service, prior to authorizing for the service add a task note justifying the purchase and the describing the search for the applicable comparable service. See VRIS Documentation Chapter.


  1. Hotline for Disability Services The Hotline provides information and referral to Nebraskans who have questions or concerns related to a disability. This includes information about rehabilitation services, transportation, special parking permits, legal rights, and any other questions related to a disability.
  1. Adult Education and Literacy Program

Under Nebraska Adult Education the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) works on basic skills improvement activities, high school equivalency test preparation activities (GED), English language acquisition activities, corrections education and Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education activities

  1. American Indian VR Services Program

Indian Center, Inc. (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) Program provides a variety of services.  These services include Career Counseling, Vocational Rehabilitation, Information and Referral. This agency provides services for Native Americans, primarily those 18+ in the workforce or unemployed going to college.

  1. Child and Adult Protective Services

Child Welfare, Juvenile & Adult Protective Services (Division of Children and Family Services) works in partnership with other groups to make sure that the abused, neglected, dependent, or delinquent populations it serves are safe from harm or maltreatment, in a permanent, healthy, nurturing, and caring environment, with a stable family, helped to heal from harmful effects on their lives, and no longer threats to their community.  The Division serves abused and neglected children, juvenile offenders, and vulnerable adults.  

  1. DOL Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs

The Department of Labor (DOL) Adult Dislocated Worker and Youth Funds (WIOA Title 1) provides information on training programs and other services that are available to assist workers who have been laid off or are about to be laid off.  The one-stop delivery system is the delivery system for WIOA Title I adult and dislocated worker program services, including career, training, and supportive services.

  1. Educational Institution (Elementary/Secondary)

Public or private elementary, middle, or high schools that are providing a service such as Braille, Cane Travel, transition services, and such where a diploma or certificate is being earned.

  1. Educational Institution (Post-secondary)

Public or private colleges, universities, occupational training, and such where a degree, certificate, or such is being earned and provide reasonable accommodations to access services.

  1. Employer Provided Benefits

Benefits being earned from a consumer’s own employment such as , health, dental, or vision insurance and other fringe benefits such as tuition assistance.

  1. Employment Network (Not Otherwise Listed)

Good Will, Easter Seals, and such who are in the Employment Network (EN) who participate in the Ticket to Work Program.

  1. Federal Student Aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, etc.)

Federal grant money awarded to students.  Pell grant is awarded through completing the FAFSA.  Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is also awarded through the FAFSA.  The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants to help low-income undergraduate students finance the costs of postsecondary education. Students can receive these grants at any participating postsecondary institutions. When making FSEOG awards, the institution must give priority to those students with “exceptional need” (those with the lowest Expected Family Contributions, or EFCs, at the institution) and those who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients.

  1. Intellectual and DD Agencies

Service providers such as DSN, Mosaic, VODEC, Region V, Employment Works, and such that provide services such as Adult Companion and Day Services, Assistive Technology, Habilitative Community Inclusion and Workshop, Homemaker Services, Prevocational Services, Residential Habilitation, Respite Service, Supported Employment – Enclave and Follow Along, Transitional Services, Transportation, and such to individuals who have an intellectual or developmental disability.

  1. Medical Health Provider (Public)

Public health programs that are free or based on income such as Medicaid, Medicare, General Assistance, and such.

  1. Mental Health Provider (Public)

Public health programs that are free or based on income such as Medicaid, Medicare, General Assistance, and such.

  1. One Stop Partner (Not Otherwise Listed)

Job Core, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), National ABLE Network, Youth Build, Community Action Programs, etc.

  1. Other

Any other service, good, or financial benefit or assistance not listed elsewhere provided to an individual from an agency, organization, or such that is receiving state or federal funds.

  1. Public Centers for Independent Living

Facilities such as Independence Rising, League of Human Dignity, local Areas on Aging, Aging Partners, and such that provide independent living and other services.

  1. Public Housing Authority 

Local Public Housing Authorities are a governmental entity established under state law that provides affordable housing to the local residents. 

  1. Public Rehabilitation Program

Any public behavioral health rehabilitation program, any public substance abuse and treatment program, any court ordered rehabilitation, any public alcohol or drug abuse and treatment program, and such that receives state or federal funds that provides services to eligible individuals.

  1. SSA, SSDI, or SSI 

Social Security benefits received at the state or federal level based on age or disability.

  1. State Department of Correction/Juvenile Justice 

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services provides rehabilitation services, Clinical Treatment, Non-Clinical Programs, Education Programs, Vocational/Life Skills, Social Programs, Social Work, Re-Entry Services, and such.

  1. State Unemployment Service Agency 

Individuals receiving state unemployment services and benefits.

  1. Veterans' Benefits Administration 

The Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs provides services to the men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace.   These services may include assistive technology, tuition waiver, homestead exemption, and such.

  1. Veterans Health Administration 

The Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs provides services to the men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace.  These services include medical, dental, vision, and such.

  1. Wagner-Peyser Employment Service Program 

The Wagner-Peyser Act (Title III of WIOA) Is the Employment Services that requires colocation of the Employment Service offices into the American Job Centers nationwide, and aligns performance accountability indicators with other federal workforce programs.

  1. Welfare Agencies (State or Local Government)

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides services and programs such as financial, food, Medical, Shelter/Utility, and other services to individuals and families.

Approved Date
January 21, 2022 Show this Archived Version
November 08, 2019 Show this Archived Version
October 02, 2018 Show this Archived Version
May 01, 2017 Show this Archived Version

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