Economic Need

Rehabilitation Services (RS) will consider the economic need of eligible individuals or individuals with an IPE who are receiving services during an extended evaluation for purposes of determining the extent of their participation in the costs of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. The RS policy is based on the individual’s financial need, including consideration of disability-related expenses paid by the individual.

This policy will be applied uniformly to all individuals in similar circumstances. Exception: Individuals determined eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) because of their disability are exempt from a determination of economic need. Their family resources may not be considered.

For Kansas residents, the economic or financial needs test will apply to all services except:

These exemptions do not apply for non-Kansas residents who are participating in Kansas services or programs on a fee basis.

Determination of economic need involves negotiation and counselor judgement. The Economic Needs Summary is used to compute the amount of financial assistance provided by RS and the amount of financial participation expected of the client. RS must still seek and use comparable services and benefits to pay for exempted services.

The income of parents will not be considered when determining economic need for individuals who are considered independent under these standards. Parents’ income will be considered an available resource for individuals who do not meet these standards.

Determination of available resources:

Figuring Income Reduction

Income may be reduced by payments for disability related expenses (medical supplies, medication, therapies, etc.), child support and alimony. Monthly payment for health insurance may also count toward income reduction unless they were previously deducted when determining net income. Child care expenses may not be used for income reduction.

Effective dates

The purchase of a durable good is subject to economic need for at least three months. Examples of durable goods include, but are not limited to, home modifications, assistive technology devices and vehicles. Economic need standards will be applied for each month of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The Economic Need Summary may cover a maximum of 12 months, after which time it must be redetermined. Economic need must also be redetermined if financial resources change.

Cost of living standards

The cost of living standards used in the Economic Need calculation are indexed to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Annual changes to the FPL indexed amount will be announced by Rehabilitation Services Administration prior to implementation. 


Effective March 23, 2016:

1 person family:  $1,980 per month.

For each additional family member, add $693 per month.

Number in family

The number in the family is based upon the number of exemptions on the latest federal income tax return.

In the case of a client who is a parental dependent and age 22 or younger, the number in the family will be based on the number of exemptions claimed on the parents’ tax return.

An unmarried client who is age 23 or older with no dependents is considered a family of one.

For clients who are single, separated or divorced, family size is based upon the number of exemptions on the client’s latest tax returns.

For married clients filing separate income tax returns, family size will be determined by the total number of exemptions claimed on both returns.

Determination of dependency status and family size must be reviewed each year. A change in dependency occurs when the client’s earnings constitute a majority of financial support and the client would no longer qualify as a dependent.


Counselors must request verification of information, such as income tax returns or current pay stubs. Tax forms will be the only source for identifying income of self-employed individuals.

Relationship between economic need and maintenance

It is not the intent of RS to supplement a client’s resources up to the cost of living standard when the payment of maintenance is involved, but rather to address the client’s needs and increased expenses that are a result of the rehabilitation plan.