The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Order of Selection

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What is Order of Selection?
When, due to limited resources, all eligible vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumers cannot be served, the law requires that DARS provide services to persons in priority categories. This is called an Order of Selection (OOS). Individuals who are determined eligible for services are placed into priority categories. DARS opens and closes categories based on its available resources.

How does OOS affect DARS services?
Once you are determined eligible for services, you are placed in a priority category. If the priority category that you're placed in is open, you will be served. If it's closed, you will be placed on a waiting list.

How are OOS priority categories established and what are they?
Federal law and state regulations require that the individuals with the most significant disabilities be served first. DARS has four priority categories:

  • Priority Category I: An individual who is most significantly disabled, i.e., has a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in three or more functional capacities.
  • Priority Category II: An individual with a significant disability that results in serious functional limitations in two functional capacities.
  • Priority Category III: An individual with a significant disability that results in a serious functional limitation in one functional capacity.
  • Priority Category IV: All other individuals determined eligible for the vocational rehabilitation program.

What is a significant disability?
It is one that requires multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time (six months or more after an Employment Plan has been developed).

What is a functional limitation, and what makes it "serious?"
A functional limitation is defined by DARS as a vocational barrier or impediment due to a disability that affects mobility, self-direction, self-care, interpersonal skills, work skills, communication or work tolerance. A serious functional limitation means a reduction in the capacity of the individual to the degree that the person requires services or accommodations not typically made for other individuals in order to prepare for, enter, engage in, retain, or advance in employment.

Will there be a review of functional imitations on a regular basis?
While you are on the waiting list, you may request a review of your assigned priority category by submitting evidence that your disability has become more severe.

Do I automatically get served if I'm on SSI or SSDI?
No. Federal law says that eligible consumers receiving SSI or SSDI are considered to be persons with at least a significant disability. But this does not mean that you automatically will be served. It will depend on what priority category you are placed in and whether that category is open.

Can DARS serve more categories in one office than in another?
DARS' VR program is a statewide program. All offices will serve the same open categories.

If I am receiving services from another program, such as Workers' Compensation, or if my financial resources are limited, will I receive priority for DARS services?
No. You cannot receive priority based on the referral source (such as being referred from Workers' Compensation) or based on financial status.

How long will I be on the waiting list?
Once you're placed on the waiting list, you'll remain there for one year, unless you request that your case be closed, request to remain on the waiting list, or if your priority category opens before that time. It's impossible to predict when, or if, a priority category will open during the period you're on the waiting list.

Where else can I seek help?
DARS will provide you with information regarding the One-Stop Centers in your area. You should contact your One-Stop Center to see if it can help you. If you are seeking other options, please contact your DARS counselor for assistance.

What if I don't agree with my counselor's decision about my priority category assignment or case closure?
You have the right to appeal the decision made by your counselor. Your counselor or the supervisor will inform you about the appeal options. You also may request help from the Client Assistance Program (CAP) through the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy, 1910 Byrd Avenue, Suite 5, Richmond, VA 23230, 1-804-225-2042 or toll free at 1-800-552-3962 (voice and TTY).

DARS is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

If you need more information, contact the DARS office serving your area or call toll free 1-800-552-5019 (voice), 1-800-464-9950 (TTY). You may also call these numbers if you need access to this information in an alternate format.

Additional information may be found on the DARS web site at; our e-mail address is