Order of Selection FAQs

What Is Order Of Selection?

Rhode Island VR must provide a full range of vocational rehabilitation services, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals who apply. In the event these services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals, in this case due to limited funding, the agency must implement an Order of Selection Policy. Under Order of Selection, priority will be determined during the eligibility process based on how significantly your disability impacts your ability to work. Individuals with the most significant disabilities are selected first to receive vocational rehabilitation services.

Clients are served in the following order as funding allows:

• Priority Group 1- Individuals with the most significant disabilities
• Priority Group 2- Individuals with significant disabilities
• Priority Group 3- All other eligible individuals

Individuals within each group are served in order of application date. 

Priority Group 1 – Eligible individuals with the most significant disabilities- An eligible individual with severe physical or mental impairments resulting in a serious limitation of four or more functional areas and who require multiple services over an extended period of time. (6 months or more) Persons in Priority Group 1 are selected for services before all other eligible persons.

Priority Group 2 – Eligible individuals with significant disabilities -An eligible individual with severe physical or mental impairments resulting in a serious limitation of one or more functional areas and who require multiple services over an extended period of time. (6 months or more) Individuals who receive SSDI or SSI automatically qualify for priority group 2 and are assessed to determine whether they qualify for priority group 1.

Priority Group 3 – Eligible individuals with non-significant disabilities. This group includes all other eligible individuals who have a limitation in one of the seven functional areas. and who require multiple services over an extended period of time. (6 months or more)

Significance of disability and Priority Group are determined after reviewing your medical records, assessment reports, and determining your ability to complete work related tasks. These work-related tasks are categorized into 7 functional capacity areas:

• Communication
• Mobility
• Self-direction
• Work tolerance
• Interpersonal skills
• Self-care
• Work skills

Your counselor will meet with you to discuss your assignment to a Priority Group and provide Information and Referral for other programs who may be able to assist you while you are on the wait list. 

Your priority assignment can be re-evaluated any time that new or additional information becomes available which affects your functional areas.

Yes. You have the right to appeal the group assignment through informal or formal review, as well as through the Client Assistance Program (CAP).

You will also be referred to other agencies and partners in the Workforce System like an Independent Living Center, the American Job Center or other community resources.

No. However, a person who receives SSI or SSDI based on their own disability will be assigned Priority Group 2, and may qualify for a higher Priority Group based on the number of functional capacity limitations.

ORS will not implement the option of serving individuals with a disability who otherwise would not meet the OOS priority category for services and who are currently employed and at risk of job loss due their disability and who could benefit from VR services to maintain employment. ORS believes consumers who are on the wait list and in Category I needs to be the top priority. ORS may revisit this through an amendment.

There will be no disruption in services for individuals, regardless of priority assignment, who have an approved Individualized Plan for Employment in place when the Order of Selection takes effect.

For students with disabilities, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are made available statewide. These services include:

• job exploration counseling
• work-based learning experiences
• counseling on opportunities for enrollment in post-secondary education
• workplace readiness training
• instruction in self-advocacy

Students who apply and are determined eligible for individualized VR services, but placed in a closed priority group, may continue to receive pre-employment transition services as long as those activities were started prior to being placed in a closed priority group.

For more information on Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), please click here: