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Vocational Rehabilitation > Vocational Rehabilitation Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Vocational Rehabilitation

What kind of disabilities do you work with?

LRS works with people with all types of physical, mental, or emotional disabilities who are willing and able to work. Most people know we serve individuals with physical disabilities, such as deafness, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. However, many of the people in the program do not have a physical disability. For example, they may have emotional problems, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, a history of substance or alcohol abuse (must be in recovery and abstinent; we do not provide treatment), mental retardation, etc.

What if I donít know if I have a disability?

If you have problems getting or keeping a job, or keeping up in school or job training, you may have a disability. We will be happy to talk with you. Through medical, psychological, vocational, or other testing, we may help you get information needed to decide if you are eligible.

Can I still be eligible if I am working?

Yes. For example, if your disability is:

  • causing you problems at work
  • progressing and you can no longer do your current job
  • causing you to be underemployed

Does everyone with a disability who applies get served?

No. LRS is an eligibility program. Since 1988, LRS has been providing vocational rehabilitation services under an Order of Selection. This has resulted in priority for services to citizens in Louisiana with the most significant disabilities. If you are not eligible, we will tell you in writing. We may refer you to other agencies and organizations that may be able to help you.

What if I am being (or have been) served by a VR program in another state?

If you have an open VR case in other state, you have two choices:

  1. You may ask the other state to keep serving you.
  2. You may close your VR case in the other state and apply in Louisiana. However, Louisiana is not required to provide any services another state is providing you, or has agreed in writing to provide you. Having your records from the other state may speed up your application process. We may ask you to sign a release for your records.

If I am eligible, how can LRS help me find and keep a job?

LRS is here if you need help in your job hunt. For example, help finding job leads, filling out job applications, writing a resume, or practicing for job interviews, and computer access to Internet job banks. LRS will help you set up job interviews, but you must look for job leads, too.

Your VR Counselor will help you deal with disability issues at work, such as:

  • Settling into your new job and lifestyle
  • Dealing with problems that might make you lose your job
  • What to say about your disability to job interviewers, your employer, or co-workers
  • Negotiating with employer for any changes to your job duties, worksite modifications, special devices, etc. needed due to your disability.

What services will I get?

We can answer this question once we know more about you and what you need to become employed. Services you receive will depend on what you and your VR counselor agree in writing (called your Individualized Employment Plan) are needed to help you become employed. Everyone gets counseling and guidance at each step of the vocational rehabilitation program. This service helps you better understand your potential, set realistic job goals, change your job goal when needed, and learn good work habits. Some services (such as counseling and guidance) are free. You will pay for other services based on your ability to pay. LRS funds cannot be used when another funding source, such as medical insurance or federal student financial aid, is available to you. We may help you find other funding sources. For more information about our services, you may read our on-line brochure and/or the consumer handbook, Your Guide to Vocational Rehabilitation.

What happens once I start working?

Your VR Counselor will help you settle into your new job for at least three months. If you and your employer agree things are working out, we will close your case.

Can I ever have my VR case re-opened?

If you lose your job or have trouble on your job, you may ask us to re-open your case.