Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Funds

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Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Funds
Vocational Rehabilitation Supported Employment Funds:
What Are They, and Why Are They Important
By David Hoff
Supported Employment is funded through a variety of sources, including funding
from public intellectual/developmental disability agencies, public mental health
agencies, and public vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. Each state’s public
vocational rehabilitation system receives Title I General VR Funds and Title VI-B
Supported Employment funds, and VR is a significant source of funding for
supported employment. While Title VI-B is a funding stream specifically dedicated for
supported employment, Title I funds may also be used for supported employment (among
other authorized uses).
 For fiscal year 2010, Title I funds totaled approximately $3 billion nationally,
while Title VI-B Supported Employment funds totaled $29.2 million. (Individual
state allotments for supported employment can be found at:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rsasupemp/awards.html).
 The Title VI–B Supported Employment allocation has not been increased in several
years, while Title I gets an annual cost of living increase (as required by federal law).
 Supported Employment services provided under Title VI–B have an 18-month time
limit on services while Title I does not.
 States are not required to provide matching funds for Title VI-B Supported
Employment funds. With Title I, states are required to provide state funds in order to
receive general VR funds from the federal government.
 If Title VI is consolidated with Title I, as has been proposed almost on an annual
basis over the past several years, in theory there will be no loss in overall funding for
public VR from the federal government. However, because of the way the funding
formula works, some states would lose out on funding while others would gain.
 Per the most recently available data, on a national basis slightly more than half
of the individuals receiving supported employment services through public VR
used at least some VR supported employment funds (Title VI-B). However, there
is massive variation from state-to-state in terms of the percentage of individuals
served in supported employment through Title VI-B vs. the percentage served in
supported employment through Title I.
The President’s FY 2011 budget proposes consolidation of the Title VI-B Supported
Employment funds with the Title I General VRR funds. Over the past several years,
APSE has regularly advocated against similar proposals to consolidate supported
employment funds with general VR funds. While recognizing some of the limitations of
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Title VI-B funds, APSE has decided to continue to advocate against consolidation of
these funds, because of:
a) the potential negative impact of the loss of a dedicated funding stream for supported
employment services;
b) continuing to have a funding stream that does not require a state match (such as the
supported employment funds) is important, because of the current budget situation in
many states and the difficulty states face in coming up funds to match those available
from the federal government. A consolidation would increase the amount of VR funding
that requires a state match, making it difficult for states to be able to afford to provide
supported employment services through VR Title I.
APSE will be in touch in the near future with an Action Alert to members regarding
contacting their Congressional Representatives on this issue. The Public Policy
Committee will also be looking further into the variation among states in how they use
Title VI and Title I funds for supported employment.
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