Improved Administration of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program Would Provide More Effective Utilization of Program Funds

HRD-82-95: Published: Sep 22, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1982.

Additional Materials:


Morton E. Henig
(202) 275-5365


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO reviewed certain activities of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in five States to determine: (1) the extent to which State rehabilitation agencies are adhering to the eligibility requirements for accepting applicants into the program; and (2) the reliability of program statistics as measures of program performance and success in achieving the goals established in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The review showed that there is an opportunity to maximize the utilization of funds made available for the program, as mandated by the Act, through: (1) providing rehabilitation services only to individuals who have substantial handicaps to employment and who can reasonably be expected to become gainfully employed; and (2) seeking other sources for funding the cost of any postsecondary educational training provided to individuals as a part of their rehabilitation services. The review also showed that statistics reported by State and local agencies on the number of individuals successfully rehabilitated as a result of the services provided under the program were exaggerated.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should direct the Commissioner of RSA to emphasize to all State rehabilitation agencies the need to apply the program's eligibility criteria more stringently to avoid accepting cases where: (1) there is no reasonable expectation that the program would assist the individual in obtaining gainful employment; and (2) the individual does not have a handicap to employment. Also, the Secretary should direct the Commissioner to assure that each State rehabilitation agency is giving full consideration to obtaining grant assistance from other sources to pay for postsecondary education services. The Secretary should also direct the Commissioner to require State rehabilitation agencies to adhere to the criteria for closing cases as successfully rehabilitated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Aug 27, 2020

Jul 24, 2020

Jul 9, 2020

Jun 5, 2020

Jun 4, 2020

May 21, 2020

Apr 27, 2020

Apr 21, 2020

Apr 10, 2020

Dec 3, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here