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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
84.126 Rehabilitation Services_Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States

FEDERAL AGENCY:

OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

AUTHORIZATION:

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Parts A and B, Sections 100-111; 29 U.S.C. 720-724 and 730-731.
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To assist States in operating comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient and accountable programs of vocational rehabilitation; to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities so they may prepare for and engage in competitive employment.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Formula Grants.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Federal and State funds are used to cover the costs of providing vocational rehabilitation services which include: assessment, counseling, vocational and other training, job placement, reader services for the blind, interpreter services for the deaf, medical and related services and prosthetic and orthotic devices, rehabilitation technology, transportation to secure vocational rehabilitation services, maintenance during rehabilitation, and other goods and services necessary for an individual with a disability to achieve an employment outcome. Services are provided to families of disabled individuals when such services will contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of such individuals who are being provided vocational rehabilitation services. Funds can also be used to provide Vocational Rehabilitation services for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities including the construction and establishment of community programs.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility: State agencies in all States (including territories/possessions) designated as the sole State agency to administer the vocational rehabilitation program may apply.
Beneficiary Eligibility: Eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services is based on the presence of a physical and/or mental impairment, which for such an individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment, and the need for vocational rehabilitation services that may be expected to benefit the individual in terms of an employment outcome.
Credentials/Documentation: The State agency must certify the availability of State funds for matching purposes. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.
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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:

Pre-application Coordination: This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure: Applicants prepare a 5-year State Plan for vocational rehabilitation services (meeting Federal requirements established under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended). Vocational rehabilitation agencies submit State plans to the appropriate RSA Regional office. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Award Procedure: Notice of annual allotment to the State; grant award notices and funds are withdrawn under the Electronic Transfer System.
Deadlines: State plans for vocational rehabilitation services are submitted to the RSA Regional Program Offices for approval. The same date as a complete 5-year single or unified State plan.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: State plans must be approved within 90 days of being submitted to RSA, for a 5-year period.
Appeals: If a State plan is disapproved, and after reasonable effort has been made to resolve, the State may appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the State is located.
Renewals: Not applicable.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title I, Part A, Section 110, Federal funds are distributed (78.7 percent Federal and 21.3 percent State) based on population weighted by per capita income. Funds become available for obligations for the fiscal year for which they are appropriated and may remain available for an additional year if the matching requirement is met in the year of the appropriation. The statistical factors for fund allocation are: 1) The per capita income 3-year average by State and the source is the Survey of Current Business, Bureau of Economic Analysis; 2) the U.S. total population and State population and the source is the Population Estimates Annual, Bureau of the Census; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statistical factors used for eligibility do not apply to this program. This program has maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements. The MOE level is based on the amount of State expenditures for the Federal fiscal year two years earlier. See funding agency for further details.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance: Notice of annual allotment to the State; grant awards are issued biannually (1st and 4th quarter) with funds released through the Electronic Transfer System.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports: Annual and quarterly progress reports; annual budget and case service reports; quarterly financial reports.
Audits: Conducted by ED Office of Inspector General and by site visits of regional staff. Both are periodic but no set schedule. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program- specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records: Financial and programmatic records for a prescribed period of three years (34 CFR 80.42).

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification: 91-0301-0-1-506.
Obligations: (Grants) FY 01 $2,375,790,000; FY 02 est $2,455,385,000; and FY 03 est $2,589,521,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance: In FY 2015 annual allotments to States, including D.C. and Puerto Rico ranged from $10.1 million to $301.6 million, with a median award of $41.8 million. Grants to outlying areas ranged from $0.9 million to $42.1 million.
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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

As a group, persons who achieve employment as a result of vocational rehabilitation services each year show notable gains in their ability to function in economic terms, regardless of their employment status when they apply for services.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Vocational Rehabilitation Regulations (34 CFR 361). Vocational Rehabilitation Manual. Rehabilitation Services Policy Directives and Technical Assistance Circulars.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office: None.
Headquarters Office:
Carol Dobak, Department of Education, OSERS Rehabilitation Services Administration 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington , District of Columbia 20202 Email: Carol.Dobak@ed.gov Phone: (202) 245-7325.

Web Site Address:  
http://www.ed.gov/

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Not applicable.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Not applicable.

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