(a) General provisions. The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that -
(1) The designated State agency will implement an information and referral system adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including eligible individuals who do not meet the agency's order of selection criteria for receiving vocational rehabilitation services if the agency is operating on an order of selection, are provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance (which may include counseling and referral for job placement) using appropriate modes of communication to assist them in preparing for, securing, retaining, advancing in, or regaining employment; and
(2) The designated State agency will refer individuals with disabilities to other appropriate Federal and State programs, including other components of the statewide workforce development system.
(b) The designated State unit must refer to appropriate programs and service providers best suited to address the specific rehabilitation, independent living and employment needs of an individual with a disability who makes an informed choice not to pursue an employment outcome under the vocational rehabilitation program, as defined in § 361.5(c)(15). Before making the referral required by this paragraph, the State unit must -
(1) Consistent with § 361.42(a)(4)(i), explain to the individual that the purpose of the vocational rehabilitation program is to assist individuals to achieve an employment outcome as defined in § 361.5(c)(15);
(2) Consistent with § 361.52, provide the individual with information concerning the availability of employment options, and of vocational rehabilitation services, to assist the individual to achieve an appropriate employment outcome;
(3) Inform the individual that services under the vocational rehabilitation program can be provided to eligible individuals in an extended employment setting if necessary for purposes of training or otherwise preparing for employment in an integrated setting;
(4) Inform the individual that, if he or she initially chooses not to pursue an employment outcome as defined in § 361.5(c)(15), he or she can seek services from the designated State unit at a later date if, at that time, he or she chooses to pursue an employment outcome; and
(5) Refer the individual, as appropriate, to the Social Security Administration in order to obtain information concerning the ability of individuals with disabilities to work while receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration.
(c) Criteria for appropriate referrals. In making the referrals identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the designated State unit must -
(1) Refer the individual to Federal or State programs, including programs carried out by other components of the statewide workforce development system, best suited to address the specific employment needs of an individual with a disability; and
(2) Provide the individual who is being referred -
(i) A notice of the referral by the designated State agency to the agency carrying out the program;
(ii) Information identifying a specific point of contact within the agency to which the individual is being referred; and
(iii) Information and advice regarding the most suitable services to assist the individual to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.
(d) Order of selection. In providing the information and referral services under this section to eligible individuals who are not in the priority category or categories to receive vocational rehabilitation services under the State's order of selection, the State unit must identify, as part of its reporting under section 101(a)(10) of the Act and § 361.40, the number of eligible individuals who did not meet the agency's order of selection criteria for receiving vocational rehabilitation services and did receive information and referral services under this section.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1205-0522)