Regulatory requirements for State Plans are specified in 34 C.F.R. § 361.10.

To be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation (VR) and supported employment funds for a fiscal year, a State must submit, and have approved, a VR services portion of a Unified or Combined State Plan in accordance with section 102 or 103 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must satisfy all requirements set forth in 34 C.F.R. Part 361. (34 C.F.R. § 361.10(a))

The VR services portion of the unified or combined state plan developed by a state agency designated to provide VR services to individuals who are blind must separately conform with all applicable requirements in 34 C.F.R. Part 361 (34 C.F.R. § 361.10(b)) 

Prior to the adoption of any substantive policies or procedures specific to the provision of VR services under the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan, including making any substantive amendment to those policies and procedures, the designated State agency must conduct public meetings throughout the State, in accordance with the requirements of 34 C.F.R. § 361.20. The public must be provided appropriate and sufficient notice for such meetings, as provided in State law, or absent such State law, by procedures developed by the designated State agency in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The input of the SRC must be summarized in the VR portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan. (34 C.F.R. § 361.10(c))

All requirements regarding the submission, approval, disapproval, and duration of the VR services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan are governed by regulations jointly developed by the Departments of Education and Labor set forth in subpart D of 34 C.F.R. Part 361. (34 C.F.R. § 361.10(d))

Currently, all States are operating under four-year State Plans for program years (PYs) 2020-2023 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2024). These State plans were initially approved in 2020. Two-year modifications are due on March 15, 2022. Instructions for developing the two-year modifications can be found in TAC-22-02, "Modification Requirements for WIOA State Plans for PYs 2022 and 2023," dated December 14, 2021.

Resources:

  • The U.S. Departments of Education and Labor compiled technical assistance for the PY 2022 WIOA State Plan Modification process. VR agencies may find these resources useful when developing and finalizing the WIOA State Plan modification for PYs 2022-2023. Contact your RSA State liaison for additional information.
    • WIOA State Plan Portal. The WIOA State Plan Portal is the approved method by which States submit and modify Unified and Combined State Plans. All WIOA State plans may be accessed here. 
    • Compiled Technical Assistance for PY 2022 WIOA State Plan Modifications The  purpose of this resource is to provide States suggestions to consider while preparing and finalizing the WIOA State Plan modification for Program Years 2022-2023 plan period. The document includes the following:
      • Summary of Areas for Improvement: Identification of topics from the Program Year (PY) 2020 State Plans that a number of States could improve upon in their modification;
      • Considerations to help assess State Plan completeness and cohesiveness;
      • Tips on how to input a plan in the portal so the published version available to the public is reader-friendly; and
      • Links to resources and training.
    • Requirements and Considerations for WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans: Modifications and Beyond for 2020-2023. This webcast training series on WorkforceGPS provides an overview of the specific content and submission requirements for this modification for PYs 2022-2023.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services Portion Refresher Training on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program Year 2020 Unified and Combined State Plan: RSA Technical Assistance Training Series
    This is a four-part training, including: Part I: Overview and Purpose of the State Plan; Part II: State Plan Descriptions a through j; Part III: State Plan Descriptions j through q; and Part IV: Assurances, Certifications, and Appendices.
    TAC-20-01
    This RSA technical assistance circular, "Technical Assistance regarding the Submission Deadline for the Unified and Combined State Plans under WIOA for PYs 2020-2023 and Other Related Requirements," dated February 3, 2020, is a good reference as it contains the original guidance for the PY 2020-2023 State Plans.
  • VR Program Reference Guide | Rehabilitation Services Administration (ed.gov)This link on the RSA website provides a thorough description of the WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan and the approval process for these plans. Scroll down the page about halfway to locate the section called WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans. There are links on this page to other good resources for VR agencies to access as they learn about the State Plan development and approval process.

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