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What Do Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Cost?

Data Note 1, 2005

Originally published: 2/2005

The VR system has the flexibility to purchase a wide array of services to support an employment outcome, including vocational evaluation, vocational training and postsecondary education, transportation, supported employment, interpreters, and adaptive equipment. VR services include core counseling and guidance provided by a VR counselor as well as services that are purchased based on an individual employment plan.

In fiscal year 2003, the average cost of the purchased services that resulted in an employment outcome was $4,008 for individuals who successfully completed their employment plan, and $2,161 for all closures including individuals who did not achieve a rehabilitation goal.

The cost of services varied significantly by disability, ranging from an average of $2,923 for each successful closure for individuals with a primary disability of substance abuse to $5,577 for individuals with a primary disability that was orthopedic in nature.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services Cost per Case* by Disability and Type of Closure: Fiscal Year 2003

All closures**Successful closures**
DisabilityNumber of closuresMean cost/caseNumber of closuresMean cost/case
Mental retardation48,0682,61619,9424,096
Substance abuse35,5941,68212,4242,923
Mental illness108,7241,77531,1473,502
Learning disability58,6001,58122,9772,939

* "Cost" is the cost of purchased services, and does not include administrative costs or the cost of core rehabilitation counseling services provided by the VR agency.

** "All closures" includes successful rehabilitations; unsuccessful closures (after an individualized plan for employment has been developed); and individuals closed before eligibility determination, not accepted for services, or after eligibility determination but prior to an individualized plan for employment.

Sample purchased services available as part of an individual employment plan:

  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • College/university training
  • Occupational/vocational training
  • On-the-job training
  • Job readiness training
  • Job search services
  • Job placement services
  • On-the-job supports
  • Transportation
  • Rehabilitation or assistive technology
  • Reader, interpreter, or personal assistance services or supports

Source: RSA 911 database for FY2003
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