DI 26520.020 Introduction to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Screening Criteria
A. Procedure- screening criteria
Guidelines have been developed to screen disability applicants for referral to vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. The screening criteria in DI 26520.025 provide guides for increasing quality referrals to VR agencies and for insuring that all disability applicants with rehabilitation potential are given the opportunity to receive services.
B. Procedure - refinement of screening criteria
Each State VR agency in collaboration with the Disability Determination Services (DDS) should refine its screening criteria, using these guidelines as a base. The SSA regional office should be provided a copy of the guidelines adopted. The screening and referral criteria in these guidelines may be expanded, supplemented, or adjusted to an individual State agency situation. However, the subject items as listed in each category (i.e., screen-out criteria, screen-in criteria and applicant profile should be retained). The VR agency should inform the DDS of projects and studies conducted in special fields such as the rehabilitation of the hearing impaired, epileptics, arthritics, or other special impairment groups, and should request the DDS to make the appropriate referrals. The DDS (or VR agency, if DI 26520.020 C. applies) shall provide a copy of the screening criteria used to the respective Regional Office for transmittal to the Central Office whenever any change in the criteria is made.
C. Procedure - when screening performed by state agency personnel
In those agencies where the DDS is not a part of the State VR agency, the VR agency may elect to perform the screening and referral functions. In the latter situation, the DDS may be asked to participate in the development of the screening criteria, and should obtain for its records, copies of the criteria that are adopted.
D. Procedure - when screening performed by office of disability operations (odo) examiners
Any applicant whose disability determination, based in part or in whole on medical factors, is prepared by ODO or the regional office (e.g., railroad annuitant case or emergency clause case) will be considered for VR referral by the ODO or regional office examiner who prepared the determination. The examiner will refer the applicant to the appropriate State VR agency unless one of the screen-out criteria in DI 26520.025 is met or the applicant was previously referred by a DDS or ODO. If applicant was previously referred, send any new disability determination material (e.g. current disability determination and recent medical evidence) to VR, while simultaneously advising VR that the individual had previously been referred for services.
E. Procedure - the role of the dds medical or psychological consultant
The DDS medical or psychological consultant should participate in the screening and referral process. This consultant should give consideration to VR referrals when reviewing the case and signing the determination. Particularly, the cases that do not meet the screen-out or screen-in criteria require carefully considered judgment. These cases may need a combined opinion of the disability examiner and the DDS medical or psychological consultant.