​​Chapter 8.18 Contents:

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Occupational tools and equipment definition.
    Occupational tools and equipment means devices, instruments, implements, appliances, machines, machinery, gadgets, or other manual or power-driven aids for doing or facilitating work or training. It includes (per OMB Circular A-87 revised August 29, 1997) any necessary supplies (such as paper and ink for computer printer), attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus. This policy does not apply to the following:

    Assistive technology devices, see Chapter 8.02, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, Policy 1

    Wheelchairs, orthotics and prosthetics, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES.

    Home modification, see Chapter 8.06, HOME MOD, Policy 1

    Vehicle modification, see Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 5.

     Vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft purchase, see Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 4.
  1. Theft.
    If occupational tools or equipment are stolen, within one week the client must file a stolen property report with the local police (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120), notify the insurance carrier if insured, and notify the counselor.  The counselor is not obligated to, but may, authorize replacement if the item is still needed for a VR assessment service, immediate job placement, self-employment start up, or school or job training.  A copy of the police report may be used to justify the need for replacement. Insurance is a comparable benefit.  If DARS retains title, unless the current depreciated value is $0, the goods are state property and the counselor shall call the State Police local office.  DARS General Services staff do not need to be involved.

  2. Comparable benefits.
    Occupational tools and equipment shall be subject to comparable benefits policy. Comparable benefits include, but are not limited to: product warranty; product extended warranty, client insurance policy, items the employer/trainer/school traditionally provides for all employees with the same job duties, trainees in the same program, or students taking the same course; employer obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 P.L. 101-336; secondary (junior and senior high) school obligations under Individuals With Disabilities Education Act as amended P.L. 105-17; secondary and post-secondary (college, vo-tech, career, etc.) school obligations under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 P.L. 101-336 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended Public Law 114-28).

  3. Fee-based.
    Occupational tools and equipment shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation policy (see Chapter 14.3 FINANCIAL, Policy 1), including when needed to access a VR assessment service.

  4. Encumbering funds.
    Purchased services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1).  Occupational tools and equipment and books and supplies needed for school training subject to the RS-25 are funded and authorized as part of the school Cost of Attendance (COA) (see Chapter 7, SCHOOL).  Goods needed for self-employment or SEE are funded and authorized as part of the SEE cost (see Chapter 8.17, SELF-EMPLOYMENT, Policy 3).  For S/I Code, see the DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.

  5. Lowest cost.
    For policies on lowest cost, add-ons, and upgrades, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6.

  6. Repair.
    See Chapter 8.08, REPAIRS, Policy 1.

  7. Client debts.
    See Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8.

  8. Case status.
    The counselor may provide occupational tools and equipment under a Trial Work Experience Plan or Extended Evaluation Plan when needed for a VR assessment service. Under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), the counselor may provide occupational tools and equipment needed for (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) either an immediate job placement or for vocational training (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120), or school training. DRS staff shall not authorize occupational tools or equipment required to maintain client current employment because this is client financial responsibility, including clients exempt from consumer financial participation and regardless of the Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results.

  9. Needs assessment.
    An itemized list from the employer, training vendor, or school will suffice as the needs assessment and product specifications. For self-employment, the approved SEE proposal shall be sufficient.

  10. High school student.
    For a secondary (junior and senior high) school student, the counselor may authorize occupational tools and equipment needed for vocational training that is not part of the high school curriculum. If the goods are required for both the school curriculum and DRS vocational training, the counselor shall determine if the school will pay all or part of the cost as a comparable benefit and shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) document the negotiation attempt.

  11. Service and warranty contracts.
    The counselor may authorize a service maintenance contract and extended warranty contract.

  12. Client training on use and care.
    The counselor may (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(8)) authorize client training on use and care of the occupational tools and equipment. If authorized, the client shall complete the training.

  13. Client use.
    Occupational tools and equipment are (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120for the exclusive use of the client for whom they are purchased and shall remain in client possession and/or under client control as long as the client engages in the job or training for which the goods are provided. Employees of a client self-employment enterprise (SEE) may use the tools and equipment to conduct SEE business. To protect the goods, DRS discourages shared use by family members, roommates, or others - even if the client has shared in the purchase cost. The client shall properly use and maintain the occupational tools and equipment and protect them from theft or damage. The client shall not dispose of, sell, lend, give away, or borrow against the item while it is needed for VR or employment. The client shall inform the counselor right away if the client stops using it.

  14. Ownership.
    The occupational tool or equipment, or tool set shall (per § 51.5-126 of the Code of Virginia​ and OMB Circular A-87 revised August 29, 1997) remain DARS state property unless it is personalized and therefore not appropriate for reassignment to another client (signage, letterhead, etc.), or is depleted (not depreciated) with normal use (livestock feed, paper and ink for copier, etc.), or DRS paid less than $5,000 for it (order splitting a large purchase violates state purchasing laws). When DRS retains title, the counselor and client shall follow policy in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 7

  15. Renting goods.
    When appropriate, feasible, readily available, and more cost effective to DRS than purchasing, the counselor shall pay to rent any occupational tool or equipment required infrequently, or for trial work, extended evaluation, unpaid work experience, trial college semester, or a short period of time.​

Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.