WSR 18-06-050
(Rehabilitation Administration)
[Filed March 2, 2018, 11:33 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 17-21-098.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to repeal chapter 388-891 WAC, Vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities; and create sections in a new chapter 388-891A WAC, Vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.
The proposed new chapter of Washington Administrative Code (WAC) regulates the scope and provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities by the division of vocational rehabilitation (DVR). A crosswalk table of existing and new WAC sections is available upon request.
Hearing Location(s): On May 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., at Office Building 2, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504. Public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than May 9, 2018.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, email, fax 360-664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., May 8, 2018.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jeff Kildahl, DSHS rules consultant, phone 360-664-6092, fax 360-664-6185, TTY 711 relay service, email, by April 24, 2018.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: DSHS, DVR is proposing to repeal rules contained in chapter 388-891 WAC, Vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, and replace those rules with new chapter 388-891A WAC. The proposed new chapter supports DVR's purpose, which is to empower people with disabilities to achieve a better quality of life by obtaining and maintaining employment. The rules are intended to inform the public about DVR's vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and the conditions under which DVR provides them.
DVR proposes the repeal of one hundred forty-five existing WAC sections, to be replaced by a new chapter with one hundred fifty-nine WAC sections. Of the repealed sections, one hundred forty-three are being amended and moved into new sections in the newly created chapter. DVR WAC must comply with federal VR regulations requiring written policy (WAC) that defines the nature and scope of VR services, the criteria under which each service is provided or paid for, and the reasons for closing a case service record. The state Administrative Procedures [Procedure] Act (chapter 34.05 RCW) requires WAC when a state agency regulates the public or affects the rights or ability of the public to get services from a state agency. DVR is repealing existing WAC and creating new WAC to meet federal and state requirements. The proposed chapter 388-891A WAC is intended to clarify the scope of VR services and the conditions for DVR to provide or pay for them, as well as increase understanding of customer rights and customer confidentiality.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: DVR has not revised WAC since June 2007. Since that time, guidance has been added to the DVR customer services manual (division procedures) and these changes will better align WAC with standard operating practices. DVR is making changes to WAC in order to comply with new requirements resulting from the reauthorization of the federal Rehabilitation Act and to increase the ease of locating WAC concerning payment for VR services. Several WAC sections are being moved from the "vocational rehabilitation services" section to the "paying for services" section.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Parts 361, 363, 397; RCW 74.29.020(8).
Statute Being Implemented: 29 U.S.C. 701 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
Rule is necessary because of federal law, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—29 U.S.C. 701.
Name of Proponent: DSHS, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, and Enforcement: Michele Mulhern, P.O. Box 45340, Olympia, WA 98504, 360-725-3621.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Michele Mulhern, P.O. Box 45340, Olympia, WA 98504, phone 360-725-3621, email
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Is exempt under RCW 19.85.061 because this rule making is being adopted solely to conform and/or comply with federal statute or regulations. Citation of the specific federal statute or regulation and description of the consequences to the state if the rule is not adopted: All changes in the scope of services follow from amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 following WIOA, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Parts 361, 363, and 397.
The proposed rule does not impose more-than-minor costs on businesses. Following is a summary of the agency's analysis showing how costs were calculated. Any nonexempt changes in this proposed rule regulate the provision of VR services to individuals, and provide for the rights an individual with a disability has with respect to their progress through and access to services while participating in the VR process. There are no substantive changes to the regulations affecting any small businesses with which DVR does business, such as those found under chapter 388-892 WAC.
March 1, 2018
Katherine I. Vasquez
Rules Coordinator
Reviser's note: The material contained in this filing exceeded the page-count limitations of WAC 1-21-040 for appearance in this issue of the Register. It will appear in the 18-08 issue of the Register.