DARS - ESRD Network of Texas

Christel Veals, MRC, M.ED., CRC
Margo Wheeler Rye, MSM, VRCIII
Steven Mabry, MS VRC
Treneva Parks, LCSW, NSW-C
1. Participants will have a general understanding of the
eligibility criteria to qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation
2. DARS Representatives will share some of the Barriers to
receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
3. Participants will receive some basic guidelines on how to
apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
4. Job Retention and other support services will be identified
and discussed.
Eligibility Criteria
Patients must meet one or more of the
following criteria to qualify for DARS services:
• A physical or mental condition
• An illness or disability that results in a large
hurdle to employment
• Requires VR services to prepare for, go into, take
part in, or maintain gainful employment
• The patient can have a successful employment
Eligibility Criteria, cont:
• ESRD patients applying for DARS services must
be stable in their illness
• There can not be any use of illegal drugs or
abuse of alcohol or prescription medications
• If prescribed medication for medical or
psychological conditions, the patient must be
stable on their meds and taking them as
Eligibility Criteria, cont:
• If diagnosed with a mental health condition
they must be actively involved in a program to
treat that condition and be stable
• If a physical condition exists, a patient must be
stable in that condition and following doctors
• DARS will request medical records to prove
the information above and will utilize drug
Barriers to Employment
• Many people around us have disabilities, but are
capable of working without assistance from DARS
• DARS looks at what keeps a person from getting
or keeping a job
• Sometimes the disability does not interfere with
employment and DARS services are not needed
• DARS does work with people who have felony
backgrounds, but expects the person to be up
front and honest about their criminal background
How to Apply for Services
(some variations may exist based on VRC preferences)
• The social worker or the patient contact the
DARS office to begin the process for services
• The VRC will set up an appointment for the
 Some counselors also include a packet to
complete which helps with the application
How to Apply for Services
(some variations may exist based on VRC preferences)
• You will need to bring:
Your picture ID (TXID, TXDL or passport)
Original Social Security Card
Medical records also help with
documentation of your disability
Names and addresses of your treating
How to Apply for Services, cont
• Additional testing or evaluations may be
needed to identify strengths and limitations
• Once all records are received and reviewed
eligibility determination is made
• If eligible, a follow up appointment is
Top 5 questions patients ask
1. Will I automatically lose my Financial support from
social security When I return to Work?
• The Answer is No with some planning and
communication with social security and Your employer.
• For those on SSI and SSDI you have a trial work period
of 9 months that will allow you to work as much as you
like for this period. It is recommended that you contact
the benefits analyst that is assigned to your county for
an interview (See list Below for contact numbers ).
• If you are earning less than your SSA grant, part time
employment should not impact your grant.
Top 5 questions patients ask, cont.
2. Will returning to work endanger my
medical coverage?
Most Dialysis patients are
covered by Medicare/Medicaid
Top 5 questions patients ask, cont.
3. How can I find an employer that
is flexible with a job using my skill
level that will work with me on
hours around my dialysis?
The answer is working with your social
worker to develop a referral to the
local DARS office
Top 5 questions patients ask, cont.
4. Does the Dialysis center in the area offer the
flexibility of treatment times in order to allow me to
work ?
The answer is yes in most cases
Top 5 questions patients ask, cont.
5. Are there jobs in the area for individuals that are
undergoing dialysis treatment?
 The answer is a resounding Yes
= Success!!!!
Here are the Action Steps ….
Accomplishing our Goal is a three step
First…Talk with your social worker and
your attending physician!
Ask them if they feel that your medical
condition is stable and can tolerate the
stressors of part time employment
Here are the Action Steps …. Cont.
NEXT… Have a discussion with your
dialysis social worker to determine
the clinic’s flexibility to reassign you
to other treatment shifts
Great now we are moving toward
Success ….
Next…The DARS counselor will contact you!
 Bring your picture ID and your social security card
 You will work one on one with the counselor to
determine what type of work you would be able to
Job Retention Services through
Job Placement Services Helps with:
Finding, getting, and keeping a job that
may require a variety of skills such as:
– completing job applications
– developing a résumé
– job searching
– interviewing for a job
Job Retention Services through
Supported Employment Services
DARS assists patients with significant disabilities
to enter competitive employment by providing:
-individualized assistance
-ongoing support within the work environment
Job Retention Services through
DARS, cont:
• Individuals receiving supported
employment services who need
assistance to:
compete in the open market,
meet potential employers, and
receive ongoing supports to
maintain a job
Job Retention Services through
Comparable Benefits:
Services offered through other resources or
agencies that DARS does not have to purchase.
Depending on the service and the individualized
need, individuals may, or may not have to pay a
portion of the cost.
Examples include:
Services through Texas Work Source Solutions
Assurance Wireless
Public Housing
SSI Benefits
SSDI Benefits
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)/ Federal Pell
Parkland Hospital System
The 2-1-1 helpline in Central Texas

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