The Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) provides services for individuals with disabilities to promote independent living and competitive employment. Veterans with disabilities can access these same services, either independently or in conjunction with similar services provided through the Veterans Administration. Some of these programs are described below:
BRS administers the Title I Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Title VI Supported Employment (SE) programs of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Consumers who have significant disabilities receive individual assistance in preparing for, finding, or keeping a job. BRS receives this federal funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, at the U.S. Department of Education.
Connecticut’s two Vocational Rehabilitation Programs have a long-standing collaborative relationship with the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR &E) programs, and with the VA representatives in the local DOL offices. These programs provide similar services to individuals who have disabilities and work together to coordinate services and provide a more comprehensive and integrated program of vocational rehabilitation services for veterans with disabilities.
Connect-Ability maintains a technical assistance center, funded by the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that strives to reduce barriers to employment by creating a strong competitive employment infrastructure. Staff assists key stakeholders (job-seekers, employers, state agencies, and disability advocates) in navigating Connecticut’s employment system for job-seekers and employees with disabilities.
Veterans with disabilities can find targeted information in the Career Center under the Veterans and Other Resources tab at the following link:
Services for Veterans who are Blind
There are additional services for veterans who are blind. The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is a national non-profit organization concerned with the welfare of veterans who are blind. Founded in 1945 by a group of veterans who became blind in World War II, the BVA is chartered by the U.S. Congress and serves as the official representative of blind veterans throughout the United States. For additional information, visit their website at: http://www.bva.org/services.html
There are also vision loss support groups in many geographical areas, including two that are facilitated by the VA. For a list of these support groups, go to http://www.ct.gov/besb/cwp/view.asp?a=2848&q=331474
The mission of the Connecticut Tech Act Project is to increase independence and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through increased access to and acquisition of Assistive Technology (AT) devices for work, school, and community living. Connecticut Tech Act Project services include:
o AT device demonstrations;
o AT device loans;
o AT recycling and refurbishment;
o Assistive Technology Loan Program, which provides low-interest financial loans for individuals with disabilities to buy AT devices and services;
o Training and Technical Assistance for counselors and consumers regarding the use of AT in employment settings; and
o Information and Referral
Disability Determination Service
The Disability Determination Service is responsible for determining whether an individual meets the definition of disability under the Social Security Act.
Military service members can receive expedited processing of disability claims from Social Security. Benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application. The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military duty on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.
Additional information on Social Security Disability benefits for wounded warriors is available at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10030.pdf