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Vocational Rehab Counselor

Date Posted: 
Requisition ID:  30641

South Bend, IN, US, 46617

Work for Indiana

Grow your career with the State of Indiana! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana’s communities every day.


About the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Family and Social Services Administration:


Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides quality individualized services to enhance and support people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain or retain employment. The individual will work closely with a VR counselor throughout the process. Through active participation in their rehabilitation, people with disabilities achieve a greater level of independence in their work place and living environments.


Hire Salary:


The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor position includes a Counselor Trainee period and upon successful completion, promotion to Counselor with an increase in salary.  

The minimum starting salary for the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Trainee is  $ 1298.00 bi-weekly / equates to an annual salary of $ 33,748.00; upon successful completion of  the Counselor Trainee program, the salary will increase to $ 1467.00 bi-weekly / $  38,142.00 annually.

About the Job:

A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor provides counseling and guidance to individuals with disabilities to assist them in achieving employment outcomes consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice. Some Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselors may serve as a Specialty Counselor for a population with hearing loss, low vision, traumatic brain injury or others.

A Day in the Life:

The essential functions of this role are as follows:

  • Exercises independent judgment in assisting eligible clients in exploring career choices and counseling on choices to help clients make an informed decision on the selection of vocational goals and services necessary to achieve employment outcomes;
  • Independently authorizes and approves expenditure of state/federal funds for individualized services and goods for clients; total clients on VR Counselor caseload is approximately 100;
  • Conducts diagnostic interviews to obtain medical, psychological, educational, social, vocational and personal information to assist people with disabilities in making appropriate career choices;
  • Determines VR eligibility based on federal and state regulations within 60 days;
  • Completes severity determination of eligible VR consumers based on federal and state guidelines;
  • Completes a comprehensive assessment for each applicant and eligible VR consumer accessing appropriate external resources as necessary;
  • Develops individualized service plans with clients;
  • Fosters self-reliance of clients by identifying barriers and providing services and supports to reduce barriers to employment and self-sufficiency;
  • May be assigned as VR Counselor Liaison to one or more local schools;
  • Manages and monitors multiple providers/vendors;
  • Maintains engagement with consumers throughout their rehabilitation process;
  • Justifies expenditures and VR Counselor decisions in case record;
  • Interprets and reviews various evaluation results with clients;
  • Determines appropriate referrals to other agencies and community partners, including appropriate medical, psychological and psychiatric evaluations;
  • Explores comparable benefits;
  • Engages in conflict resolution, preserving a good counselor-consumer and /or counselor-provider relationship;
  • Complies with all required steps of the customer appeal process;
  • Completes all documentation timely and accurately;
  • Educates customers on assigning their ‘ticket’ under the Ticket to Work Program;
  • Establishes and continues contact with schools (including post-secondary), hospitals, doctors, lawyers, other agencies and other referral sources;
  • Educates referral sources about VR and the referral process;
  • Determines the need for post-employment services on an individualized basis;

The job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time.  

What We're Looking for:

Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or closely related area per federal regulations, and/or Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification.  In lieu of a Master’s Degree or CRC, a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or closely related area per federal regulations plus 1 year exp. 

Demonstrated paid or unpaid experience, for not less than (1) one year, consisting of:

  • Direct work with individuals with disabilities in a setting such as an independent living center
  • Direct service or advocacy activities that provide such individual with experience and skills in working with individuals with disabilities
  • Direct experience as an employer, as a small business owner or operator, or in self-employment, or other experience in human resources, recruitment, or experience in supervising employees, training, or other activities that provide experience in competitive integrated employment environment
What You'll Need for Success:
  • Vocational counseling skills, motivational interviewing skills or related counseling skills;
  • Awareness of cultural diversity, medical and psychological aspects of disability, counseling theories, assessment tools, job development and placement, Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and other state and federal programs, Department of Workforce Development programs, rehabilitation technology, economic and labor market trends, community organizations and financial aid;
  • Excellent communication skills, creativity, problem-solving, evaluation of services and time management skills;
  • Flexibility, handling multiple tasks, maintaining professional demeanor and ability to empathize;
  • Ability to interpret psychological/medial evaluation reports and medical terminology;
  • Familiarity with Assistive Technology and how to access AT services;
  • Knowledge of local community and statewide resources preferred;
  • Knowledge of local and statewide job market preferred;
  • Willingness to obtain necessary continuing training/education for CRC maintenance, or if not a CRC willingness to work toward becoming eligible to sit for CRC examination;
  • Effectively communicate, both orally and in writing.
Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports:
This role does not provide direct supervision to direct reports.

What You'll Get in Return:

The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees which includes:

  • Four (4) medical plan options (including RX coverage) and vision/dental coverages
  • Wellness program (offers eligibility into a discounted medical plan)
  • Health savings account (includes bi-weekly state contribution)
  • Deferred compensation account (similar to 401k plan) with employer match
  • Two (2) fully-funded pension plan options
  • Group life insurance
  • Employee assistance program that allows for covered behavioral health visits
  • Paid vacation, personal and sick time off
  • Competitive leave policies covering a variety of employee needs
  • 12 company paid holidays, 14 on election years
  • Qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • New Parent Leave
  • Linked-IN Learning available

If this is an Intermittent position, the position does not offer benefits and is limited to 180 working days in an eleven (11) month continuous period.


Equal Employment Opportunity:

The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Current Employee? Click here to apply.

Nearest Major Market: South Bend