In a newsletter this week, Representative Rob Kauffman announced that The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) has terminated the waitlist for vocational rehabilitation services for significantly disabled (SD) and non-significantly disabled (NSD) individuals.
Assisting Pennsylvanians with Disabilities
L&I’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) assists Pennsylvanians with disabilities in obtaining and retaining employment while keeping their independence. Since 2016, nearly 370,000 individuals have received services from OVR, including vocational counseling, evaluations, medical diagnostic services, medical restoration services, employment training, placement services and career support services.
In eliminating the waitlist, OVR is lifting what is called OOS, or order of selection. When funds are limited OOS is invoked, and services are available based on levels of severity of the disability. For the last 28 years, only those individuals labeled as having a “most significant disability” were receiving services, while those labeled as having a “significant” or “non-significant” disability were placed on a waitlist.
Due to the decrease in economic activity during the pandemic, OVR has a surplus of federal funding available to remove the waitlist and use those unspent resources to serve more Pennsylvanians.