13A.11.01.05

.05 Eligibility.

A. The eligibility requirements shall be applied by the Division without regard to sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin, residence, physical or mental disability, or political affiliation.

B. An applicant's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services shall be based upon:

(1) The presence of a physical or mental impairment which for the applicant constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment;

(2) A presumption that the applicant can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from the provision of rehabilitation services, unless the Division demonstrates, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the applicant is incapable of benefitting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services; and

(3) A determination that the applicant requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter into, engage in, or retain gainful employment consistent with the applicant's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choice.

C. An individual who has a disability or is blind as determined pursuant to Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act is presumed to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services:

(1) If the individual completes an application for rehabilitation services indicating an intention to achieve an employment outcome; and

(2) Unless the Division can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability.

D. An individual who is eligible for Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration funded or Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration funded supported employment is presumed to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and to have a most significant disability in accordance with Regulation .13 of this chapter:

(1) If the individual completes an application for rehabilitation services indicating an intention to achieve an employment outcome; and

(2) Unless the Division can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability.

E. An applicant is eligible for supported employment services if the applicant:

(1) Is an individual with a most significant disability; and

(2) Has been determined by a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs, as set forth in Regulation .04D of this chapter, to need ongoing support services in order to perform work activity.

F. The Division shall certify in writing the reasons for finding an applicant eligible or ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services and shall have medical and other pertinent documentation supporting the certification.

G. Certification that an individual is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services shall be based upon clear evidence and made in accordance with the procedures in Regulation .14A and B of this chapter.

H. The certification of eligibility or ineligibility shall be dated and signed by the vocational rehabilitation counselor.

I. The rehabilitation counselor shall determine eligibility or ineligibility not later than 60 days after the date of application unless:

(1) The applicant has been notified that exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the counselor preclude the counselor from completing the determination within 60 days, the applicant agrees to a specific extension of time, and this agreement is documented in writing; or

(2) Trial work experiences or extended evaluation is necessary in accordance with Regulation .06 of this chapter.