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OVR Individualized Employment Services

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation provides individualized services to assist people with disabilities to pursue, obtain, and maintain satisfactory employment. An OVR counselor can help you select an employment goal and develop a comprehensive strategy so that you can find the type of job that meets your needs. OVR placement services are provided at no cost to eligible individuals with disabilities.

An Overview of OVR Individualized Services

An OVR Counselor can assist you in planning your job search. You will receive ideas, practice, and advice on finding job leads, filling out job applications, getting interviews for a job, and how to interview for a job. Your counselor may also give you job leads or contact employers to explain available tax credits and other hiring incentives. The more contacts with employers you make, the better your chances are of finding a job. Your Counselor can help you explore employment trends, your capabilities, and possible job accommodations, so that you are better prepared to make informed vocational decisions and effectively look for a job.

Eligibility Requirements

You will be eligible for OVR services if:

You have a disability that is, a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which results in a substantial impediment to employment, and you can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from services provided, and, Vocational Rehabilitation services are required for you to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment.

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On-the-Job Training

Many jobs require on-site training. Many people learn a job better and faster when they work in a real job situation. Depending on the job and the time it takes to train a new employee, OVR can reimburse employers for a percentage of the weekly wage for a specified period of time. Both the percentage and the time are negotiable. The employer is responsible for providing the trainer.

Job Coaching is also available for individuals needing intensive on site job training. Individuals needing this service require more extensive training time or assistance than an employer is able to provide. OVR can hire a Job Coach who does the actual skill training rather than the employer. The Coach works alongside the employee until the employee learns the job to the employer's and employee's satisfaction. Job Coaches provide follow-up support to both the employee and the employer.

These training programs enable employers to acquire trained skilled employees capable of satisfying the specific needs of their business. The employee has the added advantage of earning wages while undergoing training.

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Tax Incentive Programs that Work

WOTC - The Work Opportunities Tax Credit Program:


The legislative authority for the WOTC program, which had expired on December 31, 2013, has been extended. President Obama signed the tax extension bill (the Act) on December 19, 2014. The current Act extends the WOTC program through December 31, 2014, and retroactively reauthorizes the program for new employees hired on or after January 1, 2014.

In anticipation of a retroactive reauthorization, the PA Department of Labor & Industry, Bureau of Workforce Partnership and Operations, will continue to accept applications (certification requests) of all expired target groups. Employers should continue to submit WOTC applications to state workforce agencies within 28 calendar days after the new hire's start date.

What is WOTC?

WOTC is a Federal tax credit available to employers who hire and retain veterans and individuals from other target groups with significant barriers to employment. Employers claim about $1 billion in tax credits each year under the WOTC program. There is no limit on the number of individuals an employer can hire to qualify to claim the tax credit, and there are a few simple steps to follow to apply for WOTC.

Learn more about WOTC

Consider these tax advantages:

Disabled Tax Credit (Title 26, IRS, Section 44)

The Disabled Tax Credit is specifically geared to eligible small business for meeting increased expenses incurred in complying with the ADA. To qualify, a business must have fewer than 30 employees or a gross yearly income of less than $1 million. The allowable amount of tax credit is equal to 50 percent of the expenditures in excess of $250, but not more than $10,250. In other words, the maximum that can be claimed in any tax year under this provision is $5,125.

Eligible expenditures may include removing architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, providing qualified readers, taped texts, interpreters, the myriad of technical assistive devices, and offsetting the purchase or modification of equipment and devices for individuals with disabilities.

Architectural and Transportation Barrier Removal Tax Deduction (Title 26, IRS, Section 190)

Any private business may claim up to $15,000 in deductions per tax year for making its premises or public transportation vehicles more accessible to persons with disabilities or the elderly. Eligible expenditures may include installing ramps, widening doorways, modifying restrooms, or equipping a shuttle van with a lift.

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About Job Accommodation and Assistive Technology

OVR Counselors are knowledgeable about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They can provide valuable information regarding essential job functions, reasonable job accommodations, and work-site modifications that will result in greater worker productivity. Should you have a need for work-site modifications, adaptive equipment, or to overcome particular physical barriers, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation can work with you and employers to conduct work-site evaluations to determine the skills and abilities needed to perform a job and the most suitable technology or accessibility options. For more information about OVR Assistive Technology services, visit the OVR Assistive Technology page on this Web site.

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The OVR Office Directorywill help you find an OVR district office near you.