8.0 - Comparable Services and Benefits - CFR 34 361.53 (Policy 6.11)
Prior to providing vocational rehabilitation services to an eligible client or his/her family, it must be determined whether comparable services and benefits (see definition) may be available through other sources and whether those services/benefits are available to the client.
If comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and are available to the client at the time needed to achieve the rehabilitation objectives in his/her IPE, those services and benefits must be documented in AWARE and utilized to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of Vocational Rehabilitation services.
If comparable services and benefits exist, but are not available at the time needed to satisfy the rehabilitation objectives in the IPE, Division of Blind Services must provide Vocational Rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.
The following services are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits:
- Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs.
- Counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist a client in exercising informed choice.
- Referral to other agencies, such as a One Stop, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, social services, etc.
- Job-related services including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services.
- Rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices.
- Post-employment services consisting of 1-5.
NOTE: Prior to the Division of Blind Services purchasing any equipment for job related and job retention services, employers should be approached to determine if they can financially assist with the need for accommodations.
Utilizing comparable services and benefits does not apply if:
- The determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under any other program would delay the provision of VR services to a client who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate, qualified medical professional.
- An immediate job placement would be lost due to a delay in the provision of comparable services and benefits.
- Waiting for a comparable service or benefit would delay a client’s progress in achieving an employment outcome.