LUZERNE – State Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) today applauded the state Department of Labor and Industry’s announcement that significantly and non-significantly disabled individuals seeking vocational rehabilitation services will no longer be on a waitlist for assistance.
“I have been fighting for the elimination of this waitlist ever since I joined the Legislature in 2015, and I’m glad to see that these services will soon be available to the citizens in Luzerne County currently waiting for services,” Kaufer said. “This is a huge victory for the men and women who have a disability and are seeking the services they need for finding employment and leading successful and independent lives.”
Specifically, the department’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is lifting what is called OOS, or order of selection. When funds are limited OOS is invoked, and services are available based on levels of severity of the disability. For the last 28 years, only those individuals labeled as having a “most significant disability” were receiving services, while those labeled having a “significant” or “non-significant” disability were placed on a waitlist.
Some of the services individuals are seeking can be for things like counseling, evaluations, medical diagnostic services, medical restoration services, employment training, placement services and career support services.
Citizens in Luzerne County currently on the waitlist will be notified by their vocational rehabilitation counselors that access to services are now available. Those not on the waitlist but seeking services can contact the local Office of Vocational Rehabilitation office in Wilkes-Barre at 570-826-2361 or toll-free at 866-224-4163.
Representative Aaron Kaufer
120th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Melissa Fox