Consumer Perspectives on Reasons for Unsuccessful VR Case Closure: An Exploratory Study

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Unsuccessful case closure contributes not only to great financial loss for the federal/state vocational rehabilitation (VR) system but also to consumer disappointment. There is a lack of research on factors related to unsuccessful closure. In this mixed design study, VR consumers from eight states were randomly selected following the Longitudinal Study of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (LSVRS) weighting schemes. Consumers (n = 111) and matched counselors (n = 54) were asked to identify factors they thought contributed to the unsuccessful closure. Consumer most commonly reported reasons were disability severity (48%), no jobs were available (37%), lack of additional services (33%), and missed appointments (30%). Counselors cited missed appointments (61%), followed by consumers' not being ready for work and disability severity (both 52%), and service refusal (41%). Contrary to our hypotheses, transportation, potential benefit loss, and substance use disorders were not among the most frequent factors cited in unsuccessful closure by either consumers or counselors. The results of this study can assist administrators and vocational counselors in addressing the needs of their consumers. The single most important factors identified by matched consumers and counselors (n = 54 each) were not significantly different and both parties identified disability severity as the most common primary factor in unsuccessful case closure.



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