Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

Revised on January 30, 2023


The Community Services Division (CSD) and DVR collaborate to improve employment outcomes for our mutual clients and reduce poverty statewide. We work toward these goals by providing seamless and consistent service delivery statewide.

Related WACs

WAC 388-400-0060: Who is eligible for aged, blind, or disabled (ABD) cash assistance?

WAC 388-449-0225: Am I required to participate in vocational rehabilitation services if I receive ABD cash grant?


The Warm Handoff

CSD social services and WorkFirst staff use the processes and procedures outlined in the CSD Procedures Handbook when referring CSD cash assistance clients to DVR.

DVR Referral Guidelines

To refer to DVR, the client must:

  1.  Express that they want to work and are available to participate in work related activities;
  2.  State that they may have a physical, sensory, or mental disability that constitutes a significant ongoing barrier to their employment; and
  3. Agree to the referral and, if determined eligible by DVR, be willing to participate fully in DVR’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Before making a referral to DVR, CSD social services or WorkFirst staff provide the client with information and a brief orientation regarding DVR services. CSD staff can access client orientation materials on the CSD DVR Partnership SharePoint site and DVR’s website.

Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) and Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral Clients

  1. The Disability Specialist discusses the benefits of DVR services with all ABD/HEN Referral clients.
  2. When an ABD/HEN Referral recipient is determined eligible for DVR services, the Disability Specialist incorporates IPE requirements into the client’s ABD/HEN Referral Case Plan. The client is required to report their DVR participation to their ABD/HEN Referral Disability Specialist.
  3. The Disability Specialist terminates ABD or HEN Referral benefits for clients who fail to participate in the DVR portion of their ABD/HEN Referral Case Plan without good cause (RCW 74.04.655). When determining good cause, the Disability Specialist consults with DVR staff and the client (when available) to determine why the client is not participating in DVR services. The Disability Specialist and DVR staff discuss what steps can be taken to support the client’s participation.
  4. The Disability Specialist reviews an ABD/HEN Referral recipient’s progress, at a minimum, when the client:
    • Becomes employed;
    •  Is not making satisfactory progress;
    • Experiences significant improvement or deterioration of their disability;
    • Is unable or refuses to participate; or
    • Completes their IPE.

WorkFirst Clients

  1. When a participant chooses a referral to DVR, WorkFirst staff updates their IRP to include DVR participation.
  2. WorkFirst staff reviews the need for support services, to support DVR participation.
  3. While DVR is determining eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, WorkFirst staff engages the participant in other appropriate WorkFirst components.
  4. WorkFirst staff include DVR in employment case planning for mutual clients.
  5. A DVR IPE is the DVR participation requirement documented in a participant’s IRP.
  6. WorkFirst staff reviews the participant’s progress with DVR on a monthly basis and updates their IRP when the participant:
    • Becomes employed;
    • Is not making satisfactory progress;
    • Experiences significant improvement or deterioration of their disability;
    • Is unable or refuses to participate; or
    • Completes their IPE.
  7. If a participant fails or refuses to engage with DVR, WorkFirst staff determines whether the participant has good cause. When determining good cause, WorkFirst staff consults with DVR staff and the participant (when available) to determine why the participant is not following through with DVR services. WorkFirst and DVR staff discuss what steps can be taken to support the participant’s engagement.
    1. When WorkFirst staff determines that the participant did not have good cause, they follow the WorkFirst sanction process for failure to participate in required activities.
  8. When verifying and reporting hours of participation in a participant’s IRP, WorkFirst staff:
    1. Enters the start and end date of each IRP activity into eJAS, not to exceed 12 months;
    2. Uses the XD component for activities verified by DVR;
      1. The DVR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) may excuse absences if the participant has a good reason for missing scheduled activities
    3. For activities not under the XD component, uses the eJAS code that best describes the activity; and
    4. Uses the DVR Actual Hours Reporting Table available on the CSD DVR Partnership SharePoint site as needed to accurately record participation hours.
  9. When an individual who is an existing DVR client becomes eligible for TANF/WorkFirst, DVR and WorkFirst staff conduct a joint case staffing with the participant to determine the appropriate activities as follows:
  10. If the participant expresses desire to work, the IRP and IPE assists the participant with obtaining employment while continuing DVR training or education services.
  11. If the participant is unable to work, the IRP reflects work preparation activities outlined in the IPE.
  12. WorkFirst staff informs the participant of TANF program time limits and the goal of obtaining employment while on TANF.

Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) Clients

  1. CSD social services staff discusses the benefits of DVR services with any RCA client who has a significant disability-related barrier to employment, and refers interested clients through the Warm Handoff process.

Guidelines for Collaboration and Coordination

1. CSD and DVR both identify and maintain liaisons for every local CSD Community Service Office (CSO) and for every local DVR office.

a. The current CSD and DVR liaison lists are on the CSD & DVR Partnership SharePoint site.

b. Liaison Roles and Responsibilities are detailed on the CSD & DVR Partnership SharePoint site.

2. CSD and DVR fund services based on the following:

a. DVR funds:

i. Diagnostic and vocational assessment services required for DVR eligibility determination or IPE development; and

ii. Foreign language or sign language interpreters needed by an individual to participate in DVR services.

b. (For WorkFirst participants) WorkFirst funds available support services to complete the DVR eligibility determination and support the client’s IPE.

3. DVR may include any WorkFirst employment activities in an IPE.

Related Procedures (Staff Only)

CSD Procedures Handbook

CSD & DVR Partnership SharePoint site.