Order of Selection Frequently Asked Questions

Washington State DSHS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - DVR will implement an Order of Selection on November 1, 2017.  Current DVR customers who are in an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) on November 1, 2017, will continue to receive services as identified in their IPE.

DVR Order Message To Partners

What is an Order of Selection?

  • An Order of Selection is required by federal law when DVR does not have sufficient resources to serve all eligible customers.
  • The Order of Selection is how DVR prioritizes services for people who need them most.
  • When customers are determined eligible, they are assigned a priority category based on the significance of their disability.
    • This is based on the impact of the disability, not the type of disability.

How does this affect my DVR case?

  • Contact your DVR vocational rehabilitation counselor for specific information about your case.
  • Current DVR customers who are in an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) on November 1, 2017, will continue to receive uninterrupted services.

Some DVR customers will be placed on a wait list based on their priority of service category, which is assigned after eligibility determination.

What are the priority of service categories?

  • Category 1 – Most Significant Disabilities
  • Category 2 – Significant Disabilities
  • Category 3 – All Other Eligible Individuals with Disabilities

DVR looks at seven distinct areas to determine your priority of service category:

  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Self-Care
  • Cognition and learning (Self-Direction)
  • Interpersonal
  • Work Tolerance
  • Work Skills

What are the criteria for Category 1?

DVR determines that you are in priority category 1 (an individual with a most significant disability) if you are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and you meet the following criteria:

  1. You require multiple VR services over an extended period of time; and
  2. You experience four or more serious functional limitations.

What are the criteria for Category 2?

DVR determines that you are in priority category 2 (an individual with a significant disability) if you are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and you meet the following criteria:

  1. You require multiple VR services over an extended period of time; and
  2. You experience one to three serious functional limitations.

If you receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSI and/or SSDI), you are automatically placed in at least Category 2. DVR can decide if you should be moved to Category 1 after talking with you and/or reviewing additional medical information.

What are the criteria for Category 3?

DVR determines you are in priority category 3 (an individual with a disability) if you are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, you experience at least one functional limitation, and do not meet the criteria for categories 1 or 2.

Who does DVR serve first?

  • As a vocational rehabilitation program, DVR’s core mission is to serve individuals with disabilities who need our services most. This includes individuals with the most significant disabilities and students with disabilities.
  • DVR serves people with the Most Significant Disabilities (Category 1) first.

What happens if I’m placed on a wait list?

  • A waitlist is a result of a closed priority category.
  • If you are placed on the wait list, DVR will invite you off the wait list based on your priority category and the date you applied for DVR.
  • If you are placed on the wait list, DVR will provide you with information and referral about other federal or state programs that offer services to help you meet your employment needs, if available.

What about Pre-Employment Transition Services under an Order?

  • DVR will continue to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities while under an Order of Selection.
  • Students with disabilities who have not applied for DVR services can continue to receive pre-employment transition services.
  • Students with disabilities who have an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) can receive pre-employment transition services through their IPE.
  • Students with disabilities who receive a pre-employment transition service before applying for DVR services CAN continue to receive pre-employment transition services if determined eligible and placed on a wait list.
  • Students with disabilities who apply for DVR services before participating in a pre-employment transition service CANNOT receive pre-employment transition services if placed on a wait list.
  • If a student is determined ineligible for DVR services, they can no longer receive pre-employment transition services.

What can I do if I disagree with my priority category?

  • If you disagree with your priority category determination, you are encouraged to contact your VR counselor to discuss the reasons why you believe the category should be changed. You are encouraged to provide information to DVR as needed to accurately determine your priority category. Visit the Find a DVR Office webpage for contact information to your local DVR office.
  • DVR customers have rights. Customer rights include the ability to contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and other ways to resolve disputes. Visit the Customer Rights webpage for full information.

Why is DVR implementing an Order of Selection?

  • For many years, DVR has served increasing numbers of customers. However, DVR funding has not been increased to meet this demand.
  • Implementing an Order of Selection on November 1, 2017, will ensure that DVR can provide services to the greatest possible number of customers.

How can I make my voice heard?

  • DVR is amending its State Plan to implement the Order of Selection.

  • Public comment is encouraged. Visit the DVR State Plan page to learn more about the changes to the DVR State Plan, the public comment process, and how you can make your voice heard.