OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services established a waiting list, effective March 13 at 5 p.m., that affects new applicants for vocational rehabilitation and employment services. Services will now be delayed to a group of applicants with the most severe disabilities.
DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services’ divisions were previously forced to set up waiting lists for two less severely disabled groups of applicants on January 9 due to rising expenditures in case services and reductions in state-appropriated funds.
Staff will continue to process new applications, gather diagnostic information, determine eligibility for services and place applicants in groups based on the significance of their disabilities
Services to 11,851 current clients already on caseloads will continue at the same level. Federal regulations prohibit DRS from capping or limiting services needed by current clients in order to reach employment goals.
When funds are available to pay for their services, applicants whose disabilities have the most significant impact on employment will be served first, based on the dates of their applications.
During the state fiscal year 2016, which ended October 2016, DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services staff helped 2,125 Oklahomans with disabilities successfully prepare for and find employment. These new taxpayers earned an average of $20,952 per year and paid $3,144 in average taxes. As a result, they reduced or eliminated their need for disability benefits and social services.
For more information about DRS, Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services, visit www.okdrs.gov or phone 405-487-4042.