​​Chapter 14.4 Contents:

[REVISED: 4/6/22]

  1. DRS gives preference to in-state vendors, as is our option under federal regulation (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.50).  However, clients and counselors may choose out-of-state vendors when necessary and appropriate (such as no in-state vendor meets client VR service needs, no in-state vendor meets client disability-related needs, total cost of out-of-state service is less expensive than the in-state service, the out-of-state vendor facility is closer and would enable the client to maintain critical support systems at reasonable cost more so than an in-state vendor that is further away).  

  2. Out-of-state vendors are subject to the same Virginia regulations and licensing or certification requirements established for in-state vendors and must be approved by the DARS designated vendor services personnel.  For vendor approval process, See Policy 2 of this chapter.

  3. For out-of-state school training and Academic Common Market agreement (which waives out-of-state tuition for specified degree programs), see Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1.

  4. If the client chooses an out-of-state service at a higher cost than an in-state service, if either service would meet the client vocational rehabilitation needs, DRS is not responsible for those costs in excess of the cost of the in-state service, regardless of Client Financial Statement RS-13 results (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.50).  For client informed choice policy, see Chapter 1.6, CHOICE, Policy 1.

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[REVISED: 4/6/22]

  1. In providing vocational rehabilitation services, the client and DRS shall use public or other vocational or technical training programs or other appropriate community resources to the maximum extent feasible.

  2. DRS vendors must meet the Standards For Vendor Approval/Re-Approval, which are published in the DARS Training and Facilities Manual. 

  3. For additional requirements for qualified vendors, see the policy for the specific service.

  4. When state law and regulations require the service provider to be licensed or certified, the service provider must be licensed or certified to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This includes  (per Title § 54.1-100 of the Code of Virginia) physicians and other healing arts professions, dentists, hearing aid specialists, therapists, nurses, opticians, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, speech pathologists, substance abuse counselors, day care providers, and building contractors.  This includes (per § 22.1-323 of the Code of Virginia) schools.  It is the vendor’s responsibility to comply with the rules and regulations issued by the state regulatory agencies.  It is a violation of state law to consider a quote from an unlicensed or uncertified vendor when a license or certification is required.

  5. Before issuing the Authorization, DRS staff must ensure that the vendor is listed in “active” status in the AWARE vendor file.  The counselor cannot authorize services from a vendor in “inactive” status.

  6. The vendor approval processes published in the DARS Training and Facilities Manual shall be followed for ESOs, and vendors of training services, driver training services, work incentive services, community support services (CSS) for people with brain injury, and independent living services (ILS).  All other vendors are subject to approval by the designated DARS vendor services personnel, unless exempt from the vendor approval process.  DRS exempts from the vendor approval process any goods that are low in cost and also do not require specialized expertise in their preparation or delivery, (such as simple modification to shoes, stump socks, elastic stockings, frames for eyeglasses, etc.).  Consult the designated vendor services personnel if you have questions as to whether a vendor is exempt.

  7. To add or update vendors exempt from the vendor approval process to the vendor file (such as physician, retail store, etc.), send an email to VendorRequests@dars.virginia.gov.  Before requesting a new vendor, check the Vendor Inquiry to see if a vendor number already exists to avoid duplicate requests  To request a newvendor, specify in the subject line  “Please Add New Vendor”. In the body of the email, provide Vendor name, Tax ID number or SSN, address, fax number, name and telephone number of the vendor’s contact person.  If modifying an existing record, specify in the subject line the vendor name and vendor number (such as Star Inc. V# 123456) and include the new information in the body of the email.  If changing vendor name or tax ID number, attach their updated W-9 reflecting this change. 

    Note:  To add a new Hearing Aid Vendor, send an email to the Audiologist Consultant to initiate discussion on hearing aid purchasing process with potential new vendor.  

    Note:  To add a new Sign Language Interpreter, send an email to the Deaf Services Program Manager to ensure the vendor meets criteria to provide interpreting to the agency.

  8. DARS vendor services personnel will check the licensing status of vendors in health professions upon request from DRS staff or DARS Central Office staff.

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[REVISED: 2/15/16]

  1. Due date.

    1. DRS staff must make every effort to request vendor payment in a timely manner.  Payment to vendors, including payment for the completely delivered service or goods by the required payment due date, shall (per § 2.2-4350 of the Code of Virginia) comply with the Virginia Prompt Payment Act and related state regulations. The payment due date is established by the terms of the purchase contract.  If there is no contract, the payment due date is (per § 2.2-4347 of the Code of Virginia) 30 calendar days from (i) receipt of an accurate invoice, or (ii) receipt of services or goods in good working order, whichever date is later.  Some invoices (such as telephone, electric, water, etc.) have a specific due date that must be used. 
    2. A due date is not necessary for payment of a vendor-required deposit charge.
    3. In exceptional cases for some services (such as lodging, utilities, etc.) DRS staff may request payment before the service is rendered when a deposit or advance payment is required. Staff must note on the invoice the date the services were actually received.


  2. DRS staff shall not request vendor payment until DRS has:

    1. Received necessary vendor reports when required by written policy and procedures for the service provided (see the policy for the specific service).
    1. Received an accurate invoice from the vendor. The vendor invoice should be clearly marked “invoice” or “bill” or “amount due” etc.  If the invoice contains a billing error, DRS staff shall (per § 2.2-4351 of the Code of Virginia) inform the vendor within fifteen days, so the vendor may submit a corrected invoice.   
    1. Obtained the client signature on an invoice or Reimbursement Request (RS-7) submitted by a private vendor or submitted by the client for room and board costs, transportation costs, lunches, and other incidental allowances.
    1. Verified (or, when delivery is to the client, DRS staff has checked with the client) that goods were received and in good working order.  Staff must write on the invoice the date the goods or services were received.  DRS staff shall (per § 2.2-4351 of the Code of Virginia) notify the vendor of any defect or problem within fifteen days after receipt of the goods.
    1. Followed special procedures, if any, to request payment for the specific service (see the policy for the specific service).
    1. Ensured the Authorization line number is still open and that the total dollar on the Authorization, payment request, and vendor invoice all agree.  

  3. The first payment for a service rendered may be processed after the first 15 days of service.

  4. DRS staff complete the payment stamp when approving vendor payment.  Staff must follow any special approval procedures in the policy for the specific service/goods being purchased.  The DRS Unit at the University of Virginia Hospital, due to their unique and liaison relationship with UVA Hospital, uses a different operational procedure.

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[REVISED: 12/1/12]

When a vendor owes DARS a refund, the counselor shall consult Fiscal Services in the DARS Central Office for the processing procedure.​


[REVISED: 3/1/08]

The counselor should notify the DARS designated Vendor Services personnel of complaints or concerns regarding a vendor.  All complaints must be made on the State Complaint to Vendor Form, which is the only way to officially inform the vendor of unsatisfactory performance. Vendor Services will investigate and may re-code the vendor as “inactive” in AWARE.

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