This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about VR New Hampshire.

The following are commonly asked questions about vocational rehabilitation from individuals with disabilities and their family members. Please contact your regional office with any additional questions you may have.

Note: Businesses can learn more about the benefits of working with VR New Hampshire on our Partnering with Businesses webpage.

What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

VR New Hampshire is part of the New Hampshire Department of Education that helps persons with disabilities  get a job, keep the job, and develop a lifetime career. Our agency has seven regional offices throughout the state designed to assist persons who have physical, mental, emotional, and learning disabilities.

Should I apply for VR services?

If you have a disability, want to work, and believe that you need help preparing for, getting, or keeping a job, VR New Hampshire encourages you to apply for services.

Who is eligible for services?

You will be eligible if:

  • You have a disability, and
  • Your disability creates substantial challenges in preparing for a job, getting a job, or keeping a job, and
  • You require VR services to become employed or to stay employed.

What does Order of Selection mean?

Order of selection is a process for prioritizing eligible individuals whom a VR agency intends to serve based on available resources and capacity. The Federal Government requires a state VR agency to implement an order of selection when it does not have enough money or staff to serve everyone who is eligible. The Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), requires that individuals with the most significant disabilities be served first.

Currently, there is no order of selection for VR services in New Hampshire.

How do I get started?

If you are interested in applying for VR services, call your local VR New Hampshire office, and tell them you have a disability and need help preparing for, getting, or keeping employment. You will receive some initial information about VR and an appointment date. At this first appointment you will meet with a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor to learn more about VR, and we will start the process for determining eligibility.

What should I bring to my first meeting?

With current medical information documenting your disability, a determination of whether you are eligible for VR services can be made. For this reason, it would be helpful if you could bring in any medical records or other documentation that would assist in this process including:

  • Verification of receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Current IEP, Vocational Evaluation, OT/PT/Speech Reports, Psychological/Psychiatric Evaluations, WISC/WAIS, Reading Evaluation, and any other disability related records you have on file.

What services are available to me?

You will meet with a counselor to develop an employment plan designed to meet your specific needs. Each one of the services in the employment plan should move you one step closer to a chosen career. Not everyone will need every service. Some of the services provided are:

  • Diagnostic Testing: This involves, if necessary, medical or psychological exams. These exams may be used to determine your eligibility for VR services and your needs for specific types of services.
  • Vocational Evaluation: This involves aptitude, interest, and other specific tests to assist in planning for the right job.
  • Vocational Counseling: Your counselor will help you decide which work opportunities are best for you. This may lead to training, including on-the-job training, technical training, and education.
  • Job Placement: These services help you learn the skills to find and keep the right job, and may include training in writing a resume, doing interviews, and following job leads.
  • Independent Living Services: Information and Referral, Advocacy, Peer Counseling, Personal Care Attendant Coordination, and Assistive Technology may be available for individuals with severe disabilities.

Special Services

  • Physical and Mental Restoration: If you need medical treatment to correct, improve, or prevent deterioration of your disability, this service may be provided so you can work.
  • Transition from School to Work: Transition services refer to the services disabled children require in order to make a successful adjustment to work and community living.
  • Assistive Technology: VR will supply appropriate application of technological devices to support you in performing in a job situation.

Supported Employment

These programs are designed for persons who need long-term support to hold a job in the community. Persons in supported employment are placed in competitive jobs with workers without disabilities and receive ongoing support services.

Support Services

  • Interpreter Services: May include foreign language, sign language, or oral interpreters.
  • Transportation: As needed during the VR program for completion of the employment plan.

Is there a charge for VR services?

No. However, customers may be required to financially participate in certain services in their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Customers are also required to take advantage of any insurance or other programs for which they may be eligible.

What is an Employment Plan?

You and your counselor will work together to develop a cooperative plan of action focused on a specific job goal. This plan of action is called an Individualized Employment Plan (IPE).

This plan is designed to answer four major questions:

  1. What is your job goal?
  2. What steps do you need to take to reach this goal?
  3. What services do you need to accomplish this goal?
  4. How will you know when you've accomplished those steps?

What are my responsibilities when working with VR?

You and your counselor are partners in planning your program. The counselor will expect you to do all you can to help to prepare for a job. You should keep appointments, work hard on tests and in training, participate fully in the Employment Plan and its development, keep in touch with your counselor, and discuss problems as they come up.

What are my counselor's responsibilities?

Your counselor understands how disabilities can get in the way of working. It is your counselor's responsibility to help you understand your strengths. Your counselor will help you decide on a job that builds on your strengths; give you information, options, and support; and help you to receive the services you need to prepare for, get, and keep a job.

Will my case record be kept confidential?

All information in your case record is kept confidential. Information about you will be released only to further your vocational rehabilitation and only with your written consent.

However, VR is required by state and federal law to release information about you without your consent in connection with law enforcement, fraud, abuse, if the court orders, or for protection if you are a danger to yourself or others.

What is CAP?

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) can help you if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities in the VR system. CAP helps persons with disabilities receive the vocational services they need from VR. Its staff can explain how the VR system works, advise you about your rights and responsibilities, suggest ways to work more successfully with your counselor, and help you prepare for any appeals or hearings. To learn more, contact:

Governor's Commission on Disability
121 South Fruit Street, Suite 101
Concord, NH 03301
603-271-2773 (VOICE/TTY)

What are my rights related to VR?

In your Vocational Rehabilitation program, you have a right:

  • to a fair and complete evaluation to determine your eligibility.
  • to know why you are ineligible for VR services, if you are.
  • to confidentiality of your records.
  • to be a partner in the planning of goals and services.
  • to counselor involvement throughout your vocational rehabilitation program.
  • to appeal decisions through an administrative review.

How is VR New Hampshire funded?

Most of the money VR receives comes from tax dollars. For each dollar the State of New Hampshire contributes from state taxes, the Federal Government contributes nearly four dollars from federal taxes.

At what point does VR New Hampshire become involved in the transition process?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) states that transition planning begin no later than the first IEP that is in place by age 16, or younger if the student's transition team decides it's appropriate. As the student's transition team develops and implements the student's Transition Plan, they should become informed about the role that VR can play. Students interested in VR services should be referred two (2) years prior to graduation or exit from school. It is encouraged that students be referred for services earlier if:

  • They are at risk of dropping out of school or legal involvement, or
  • They will require more extensive, long-range planning due to disability needs.

Please note: Referring students in a timely manner allows VR Services to have a greater ability to participate as an effective transition partner throughout the process. A student referral as a senior may not allow for the work that needs to be done in order to assure a smooth transition process.

What services and information are provided to schools by VR New Hampshire?

Career guidance information; Current employment related, trends and activities occurring in the region; Employer contacts; Labor Law information; Impact of disabling conditions on employment; Connecting the student's work place activities with their academic program; Employer expectations of employees, etc. are just some examples of services provided to schools by VR New Hampshire. Contact your regional VR counselor for more information.

What services are provided by Vocational Rehabilitation counselors directly to students with disabilities?

Career guidance counseling; Counseling on the impact of disability on employment in order to develop tactics to circumvent limitations; Job seeking skills development; Job placement services (after the student's school hours) that support their academic program; Job keeping skills development; Advocacy for students with adult service agencies; Information and referral to appropriate community services; College planning; Providing information regarding classes which will support career pathway; Consultant resources regarding Registered Youth Apprenticeship; etc. are just some examples of services provided by VR Services counselors directly to students with disabilities. Contact your regional VR counselor for more information.

Will my counselor stay in contact with me after I become employed?

Your counselor will remain in contact with you until you have been successfully employed for at least two months. When you and your counselor agree that your employment plan is complete, you will sign a document noting that you have completed your plan.