Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about DVR and its services.

Some services, like counseling and guidance, are provided at no cost. Other services are offered based on your financial status.

If you receive SSI, SSDI or DSHS public assistance, you are not asked to pay for DVR services. As part of the planning process, your DVR Counselor works with you to look for resources, such as financial aid or other public programs, to pay for DVR services.

Your Counselor explains the financial information you need to provide to DVR to verify your income and resources and, depending on your income and resources, you may need to pay a portion of the service costs.

Each public high school in the state has a DVR Counselor liaison designated. You may contact a DVR Counselor to ask questions about DVR services, to discuss applying for DVR services, to request the VR Counselor participate in IEP meetings, or other questions related to the transition from high school to work or post-secondary education.

By law, DVR is required to determine whether an applicant is eligible within 60 days from the date the application is signed. In the majority of cases, DVR is able to get the information needed to make an eligibility determination within this time frame. If there is going to be a delay in eligibility because information about your disability is not readily available, DVR will contact you to explain the delay and get your approval to extend the eligibility period.

DVR will not share information in your file with any other program or with a party outside DVR without your written consent. DVR only releases information without your consent to law enforcement or other authorities, or if there is a threat to your health or safety, or to the health and safety of others.

You can ask to see your DVR file or request a copy of all or any part of your file at any time. If there is anything in your file that DVR determines could be harmful for you to have, DVR will make arrangements for the information to be shared with you by a health care professional, an advocate or family member that you choose.

There is no citizenship requirement; however, DVR is a work program so you must provide documentation to verify your identity and that you can legally work in the United States.

Many individuals do attend training programs or college as a part of their plan for employment. With your Counselor, you review information about your strengths, interests and abilities, the labor market, your needs and resources. Then, using that information to guide your decision, you select a job goal. Once you choose a goal, if the goal is approved by DVR, DVR helps you develop a step-by-step plan to achieve it. If college is a part of that plan, DVR will help you explore resources for paying for educational expenses. DVR does not, however, pay for your basic living expenses, such as food, rent and other related expenses as you complete school.

If DVR is paying for college costs as part of a plan for employment, it pays only up to the cost of a program at a Washington State-funded college. You can choose a private or out-of-state school; however, if there is a state-funded school that would offer a comparable degree, you will be responsible for any costs in excess of a state-funded program.

DVR does not pay for basic living expenses, such as housing. DVR can provide you with information and referral to housing services and programs available in your area.

Working with your VR Counselor, you will agree on the services needed to reach the job goal you have selected. DVR provides services that are needed and that directly relate to achieving your job goal.

The timeline for each person's plan is determined based on the job goal selected and the steps needed to achieve the goal. There is no time limit for receiving services or completing a plan; however, you are expected to make progress and complete the steps that you have agreed to in your plan.

DVR's goal is to help you earn enough to become self-sufficient and free of public benefits; however, we will help you achieve the level of employment that best meets your overall needs. A DVR Benefit Planner is available to help you understand how much you need to earn to meet your needs and the impact of earning wages on the benefits you receive. Using this information, you can make an informed decision about working.

DVR closes a case for several reasons. Your case is closed when you achieve a successful employment outcome, keep the job for at least 90 days and you are doing well on your job. DVR also closes a case if you decide to discontinue receiving services, if we have lost contact and cannot reach you, if you are not able to make progress due to your disability, or any other circumstances that prevent you from participating with DVR.

Your progress and satisfaction are important to us and DVR has several ways to help if you experience concerns or problems that get in the way of meeting your goals. The VR Supervisor in the office where you receive services is your first resource. You may also call a Customer Service Representative in our State Office in Olympia. Another resource is the Client Assistance Program, described below.

You can review your full rights as a DVR client at: (insert hyperlink to other part of the site with the “Resolving Concerns” section)

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is an advocacy program that can answer questions and provide information about your rights and responsibilities as a DVR client. CAP also provides assistance to clients to help mediate and solve concerns that arise in the rehabilitation process. You may contact CAP at 1-800-544-2121 Voice/TTY.

"Ticket to Work” is a voluntary program of the Social Security Administration for people who receive SSI or SSDI and want assistance to go to work or earn more money. You can use your Ticket with a service provider to receive employment-related services to help you go to work or earn more money.