The criteria for eligibility for DSB Services are detailed and codified in the Washington Administrative Code (WACs). The full eligibility policy – and all DSB operational policies – are located on the State of Washington’s Administrative Code website.
In general, an applicant is eligible for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services if a DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) determines they meet established standards, including:
- a visual impairment as defined by WAC 67 25-009; and
- the visual impairment - alone or combined with other disabilities - constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment (see WAC 67-25-009); and
- the applicant can benefit from and requires substantial VR services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.
Presumed Ability to Benefit
An applicant who meets the visual and substantial impediment standards of eligibility is presumed to meet the last standard unless DSB demonstrates – based on clear and convincing evidence – that the individual is incapable of benefiting from services in terms of an employment outcome or demonstrates that the individual does not require substantial services.
Applicants who, due to their visual impairment, are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) beneficiaries, are presumed eligible for VR services. Presumed eligibility is designed to expedite services to individuals who are receiving Social Security benefits based on a visual disability. Presumed eligibility for VR services is contingent upon documentation from Social Security that substantiates that the individual is receiving benefits based on a visual disability.
DSB prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran status.
There is no residency requirement for the VR program. However, the individual must be available in the state to participate in assessment and vocational planning. In some cases, applicants who begin a rehabilitation program in this state and relocate to another state for training or a job offer may continue to receive services from DSB.
Eligibility to Work in the United States
Applicants must provide documentation that they are able to legally live and work in the United States at the time of application.
The full eligibility policy – and all of DSBs operational policies – are located on the State of Washington’s Administrative Code website.
DSB Independent Living Services provides services to people who are 24 years old or older and who have vision loss or blindness impacting their ability to live independently in their homes are qualified to receive services.
These services are provided only to people who are not employed or seeking employment. Individuals who are younger than 24 years old or whose main goal is finding or keeping a job are better served through the DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Services. There are some circumstances when we can provide services to these individuals but the DSB must be a part of that decision.
If you are interested in learning more about DSB services for yourself or a loved-one, please complete the Self-Referral Form. A DSB representative will contact you.