Vocational Rehabilitation Federal Grant

Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration (https://www2.ed.gov/programs/rsabvrs/index.html
CFDA Number: 84.126A
Program Type: Formula Grants
Also Known As: State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program 

Program Description :

This program provides grants to states to support a wide range of services designed to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and engage in gainful employment consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. Eligible individuals are those who have a physical or mental impairment that results in a substantial impediment to employment, who can benefit from vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for employment, and who require VR services. Priority must be given to serving individuals with the most significant disabilities if a state is unable to serve all eligible individuals.

Supported Employment Grant

Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration (https://www2.ed.gov/programs/rsasupemp/index.html
CFDA Number: 84.187 
Program Type: Formula Grants 
Also Known As: Supported Employment for Individuals With the Most Significant Disabilities, Title VI-B State Grants

Program Description -

This program provides grants to assist states in developing and implementing collaborative programs with appropriate entities to provide programs of supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require supported employment services to achieve employment outcomes. Grant funds are administered under a state plan supplement to the Title I state plan for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services designated by each state.


Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Grant – (https://www.ssa.gov/work/WIPA.html )

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 authorized Social Security to award grants, contracts or cooperative agreements to provide community-based work incentives expertise to beneficiaries of Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on disability.  We currently have 83 cooperative agreements throughout every State, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The goal of the WIPA program is to enable beneficiaries with disabilities to receive accurate information, and use that information to make a successful transition to work.  Each WIPA project has Community Work Incentives Coordinators who will:

  • provide in-depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits;
  • conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentives programs; and
  • work in cooperation with Federal, State, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve disabled SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.

MRC operates Project IMPACT under the WIPA grant (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/disability-services/vocational-rehab/ses/impact/project-impact.html)

MassMATCH (Assistive Technology) Grant (www.massmatch.org )

MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).


Disability Determination Services Grant 

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) is 100% funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA and determines the initial and continued eligibility for federal SSI and SSDI public benefits. Special outreach efforts are made to homeless shelters and individuals diagnosed with HIV.

The DDS has offices located in Boston and Worcester.

In accordance with Social Security regulations, the DDS disability examiners and physician consultants determine eligibility of Massachusetts applicants for two disability programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - ages 18- 65
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - ages birth – 65

The claims processed by the Massachusetts DDS include:

  • Initial applications
  • Reconsideration applications - 1st appeal of a denied initial application
  • Continuing Disability Reviews - Periodic reviews to determine who should continue receiving benefits.
  • Disability Hearings - Face to face informal hearing as a part of the appeal of a Continuing Disability Review cessation determination.


Transition Pathways Grant (https://www2.ed.gov/programs/demotrain/index.html)

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) has developed a demonstration project entitled Transition Pathway Services (TPS). MRC has been awarded $1,000,000 per year for 5 years to serve 651 students with disabilities ages 16 to 22 in Massachusetts. This Work Based Learning Initiative will establish a coordinated set of services provided by community partners including vocational rehabilitation, career centers, independent living centers, pre-employment transition vendors and local educational authorities to increase employment and/or post-secondary education opportunity for students with disabilities based on their abilities, skills, needs and employment opportunities in the local economy.


Kessler (http://kesslerfoundation.org/content/kessler-foundation-grants-25-million-support-employment-opportunities-people-disabilities )

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) along with our partners, Boston Center for Independent Living, (BCIL) and Stavros have developed an innovated customized employment model entitled Career Path Ways (CPW) though the Kessler foundation grant. MRC will incorporate the research and program concepts developed by Marc Gold and Associates, the WIPA Public Benefits Planning Program and independent living peer support preventive health care services into the CPW customized employment discovery model to assist people with disabilities in their efforts to choose, obtain, and maintain employment based on their interests, abilities and needs. MRC has been awarded a total of $250,000 for a two year demonstration project.


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Professional Development Grant (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/newsroom/mrc/consumer-voice/winter-2014-consumers-voice-newsletter.html )

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is a partner on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Professional Development Grant, a five-year federal grant from the US Department of Education that focuses on Secondary Transition as one of the areas of professional development for school staff. 

DESE has awarded grants to the six local school districts that will serve as Model Sites for this grant.  They include:  Attleboro, Beverly, Chelsea, Pittsfield, West Springfield, and Winchendon.  MRC will be working with these school districts to strengthen the collaboration between high school staff and their local MRC VR Area Offices, Independent Living Centers and other community living provider agencies that support young adults with disabilities to transition from the educational system into the adult service system. MRC’s role in the grant is to disseminate best practices from the MRC Transition Works Grant.

School staff will also have the opportunity to participate in Transition trainings that will address topics including Vocational Assessment; Independent Living Skills Assessment/Functional Skills Development; Working with Adult Agencies; and Chapter 688. MRC has designed curriculums for these trainings and tapped into MRC staff and provider expertise to accomplish this.

Through this DESE Grant, called The Partnership Project (TPP), training and technical assistance has been provided to school teams at the Model Sites.

Didn’t find what you are looking for? File a public records request with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.