Nationwide, State Vocational Rehabilitation programs and staff have up to 60 days to determine an individual's eligibility for DVR services. In 2016, a pilot project on eligibility determination was expanded statewide to process the over 10,000 applications received annually. SVRI has piloted this project on behalf of the federal-state Vocational Rehabilitation program in Wisconsin. The model encompasses a centralized administrative process for determining eligibility, based on integrating rapid engagement strategies and administrative efficiencies for processing Vocational Rehabilitation program applications.
SVRI developed the Eligibility Unit in partnership with Wisconsin DVR and at their request. The innovative environment at SVRI allowed for piloting this project, with early stages and planning completed by a small but dedicated staff. The project now houses 30 staff members who continue to sharpen their skills and practices in improving the product they provide and diminishing the time needed to return each case to Wisconsin DVR for review.
Eligibility Assessment Services Process (pdf)
Eligibility Assessment Services Process
- You are being referred to SVRI (Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute). They work with DVR to help determine if you are eligible for DVR employment and training services.
- SVRI will start gathering information that helps DVR learn more about your disability and how it impacts your ability to work.
- After you meet with someone from DVR and complete the DVR application, DVR will give your contact information to SVRI.
- SVRI will contact you to schedule an appointment. That appointment will take between 30-60 minutes by telephone.
- SVRI staff will call you to ask questions about your disability, your employment history, and some other questions. This information will help DVR determine if you are eligible for DVR employment and training services.
- SVRI will also ask you to sign releases of information. This will allow them to gather your medical and disability documentation. SVRI will use this information to help DVR determine if you are eligible for our services.
- If you receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSI and/or SSDI) due to your disability, you are automatically eligible for DVR.
- When DVR does not have enough resources to serve everyone who is eligible, we use a waiting list called Order of Selection. People with the most significant disabilities are served first. SVRI will help DVR understand the severity of your disability and how it impacts your ability to work. This will be used to help DVR determine where you will be placed in a DVR waitlist category.
- When SVRI has completed your assessment recommendation they will contact the DVR office where you applied for DVR services. DVR will review the SVRI assessment and contact you.