- § 720. Declaration of policy; authorization of appropriations
- § 721. State plans
- § 722. Eligibility and individualized plan for employment
- § 723. Vocational rehabilitation services
- § 724. Non-Federal share for establishment of program or construction
- § 725. State Rehabilitation Council
- § 726. Evaluation standards and performance indicators
- § 727. Monitoring and review
- § 728. Expenditure of certain amounts
- § 728a. Training and services for employers
For the purpose of making grants to States under part B to assist States in meeting the costs of vocational rehabilitation services provided in accordance with State plans under section 721 of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated $3,302,053,000 for each of the fiscal years 2015 through 2020, except that the amount to be appropriated for a fiscal year shall not be less than the amount of the appropriation under this paragraph for the immediately preceding fiscal year, increased by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index determined under subsection (c) for the immediately preceding fiscal year.
The reference in paragraph (1) to grants to States under part B shall not be considered to refer to grants under section 732 of this title.
No later than November 15 of each fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 1979), the Secretary of Labor shall publish in the Federal Register the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index published for October of the preceding fiscal year and October of the fiscal year in which such publication is made.
If in any fiscal year the percentage change published under paragraph (1) indicates an increase in the Consumer Price Index, then the amount to be appropriated under subsection (b)(1) for the subsequent fiscal year shall be at least the amount appropriated under subsection (b)(1) for the fiscal year in which the publication is made under paragraph (1) increased by such percentage change.
If in any fiscal year the percentage change published under paragraph (1) does not indicate an increase in the Consumer Price Index, then the amount to be appropriated under subsection (b)(1) for the subsequent fiscal year shall be at least the amount appropriated under subsection (b)(1) for the fiscal year in which the publication is made under paragraph (1).
For purposes of this section, the term “Consumer Price Index” means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The amount authorized to be appropriated for the additional fiscal year described in subparagraph (A) shall be an amount equal to the amount appropriated for such program for fiscal year 2003, increased by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index determined under subsection (c) for the immediately preceding fiscal year, if the percentage change indicates an increase.
For the purposes of paragraph (1)(A), Congress shall not be deemed to have passed legislation unless such legislation becomes law.
In any case where the Commissioner is required under an applicable statute to carry out certain acts or make certain determinations which are necessary for the continuation of the program authorized by this subchapter, if such acts or determinations are required during the terminal year of such program, such acts and determinations shall be required during any fiscal year in which the extension described in that part of paragraph (1) that follows clause (ii) of paragraph (1)(A) is in effect.
To be eligible to receive funds under this subchapter for a fiscal year, a State shall submit, and have approved by the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor, a unified State plan in accordance with section 102, or a combined State plan in accordance with section 103, of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3112
The State shall not be required to submit, as part of the vocational rehabilitation services portion of the unified or combined State plan submitted in accordance with subparagraph (A), policies, procedures, or descriptions required under this subchapter that have been previously submitted to the Commissioner and that demonstrate that such State meets the requirements of this subchapter, including any policies, procedures, or descriptions submitted under this subchapter as in effect on the day before the effective date of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the unified or combined State plan submitted in accordance with subparagraph (A) shall remain in effect until the State submits and receives approval of a new State plan in accordance with subparagraph (A), or until the submission of such modifications as the State determines to be necessary or as the Commissioner may require based on a change in State policy, a change in Federal law (including regulations), an interpretation of this chapter by a Federal court or the highest court of the State, or a finding by the Commissioner of State noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter.
If the State has designated only 1 State agency pursuant to subparagraph (A), the State may assign responsibility for the part of the plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind to an organizational unit of the designated State agency and assign responsibility for the rest of the plan to another organizational unit of the designated State agency, with the provisions of subparagraph (B) applying separately to each of the designated State units.
The State plan shall provide for financial participation by the State, or if the State so elects, by the State and local agencies, to provide the amount of the non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out part B.
The State plan shall provide for such methods of administration as are found by the Commissioner to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the plan.
The State plan shall provide that the designated State agency, and entities carrying out community rehabilitation programs in the State, who are in receipt of assistance under this subchapter shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities covered under, and on the same terms and conditions as set forth in, section 793 of this title.
The State plan shall provide that facilities used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under the State plan shall comply with the Act entitled “An Act to insure that certain buildings financed with Federal funds are so designed and constructed as to be accessible to the physically handicapped”, approved on August 12, 1968 (commonly known as the “Architectural Barriers Act of 1968”) [42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.], with section 794 of this title, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.].
For purposes of clause (i), comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.
An identification of, or a description of a method for defining, the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services, and a provision stating the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services.
Information specifying the conditions, terms, and procedures under which a designated State unit shall be reimbursed by other public entities for providing such services, based on the provisions of such agreement or mechanism.
Information specifying procedures for resolving interagency disputes under the agreement or other mechanism (including procedures under which the designated State unit may initiate proceedings to secure reimbursement from other public entities or otherwise implement the provisions of the agreement or mechanism).
Information specifying policies and procedures for public entities to determine and identify the interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity to promote the coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services (except those services specified in paragraph (5)(E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title), and accommodations or auxiliary aids and services.
Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), if any public entity other than a designated State unit is obligated under Federal or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy or under this paragraph, to provide or pay for any services that are also considered to be vocational rehabilitation services (other than those specified in paragraph (5)(E) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title), such public entity shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, either directly or by contract or other arrangement.
If a public entity other than the designated State unit fails to provide or pay for the services described in clause (i) for an eligible individual, the designated State unit shall provide or pay for such services to the individual. Such designated State unit may claim reimbursement for the services from the public entity that failed to provide or pay for such services. Such public entity shall reimburse the designated State unit pursuant to the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism described in this paragraph according to the procedures established in such agreement or mechanism pursuant to subparagraph (B)(ii).
The State plan shall include an assurance that an individualized plan for employment meeting the requirements of section 722(b) of this title will be developed and implemented in a timely manner for an individual subsequent to the determination of the eligibility of the individual for services under this subchapter, except that in a State operating under an order of selection described in paragraph (5), the plan will be developed and implemented only for individuals meeting the order of selection criteria of the State.
The State plan shall include an assurance that such services will be provided in accordance with the provisions of the individualized plan for employment.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State agency will submit reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the Commissioner regarding applicants for, and eligible individuals receiving, services under this subchapter.
In specifying the information to be submitted in the reports, the Commissioner shall require annual reporting of information, on eligible individuals receiving the services, that is necessary to assess the State’s performance on the standards and indicators described in section 726(a) of this title that are determined by the Secretary to be relevant in assessing the performance of designated State units in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation program established under this subchapter.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the information submitted in the reports will include a complete count, except as provided in subparagraph (E), of the applicants and eligible individuals, in a manner permitting the greatest possible cross-classification of data and that the identity of each individual for which information is supplied under this paragraph will be kept confidential.
The disaggregation of data under this chapter shall not be required within a category if the number of individuals in a category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information, or if the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual.
The State plan shall specify that the Commissioner will provide an annual comprehensive report that includes the reports and data required under this section, as well as a summary of the reports and data, for each fiscal year. The Commissioner shall submit the report to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, not later than 90 days after the end of the fiscal year involved.
The State plan shall provide for the replication of such cooperative agreements at the local level between individual offices of the designated State unit and local entities carrying out activities through the statewide workforce development system.
The State plan shall include descriptions of interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the services and facilities of, Federal, State, and local agencies and programs, including the State programs carried out under section 3003 of this title, programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the Department of Agriculture, noneducational agencies serving out-of-school youth, and State use contracting programs, to the extent that such Federal, State, and local agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce development system.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State unit, the Statewide Independent Living Council established under section 796d of this title, and the independent living centers described in subpart 3 of part A of subchapter VII within the State have developed working relationships and coordinate their activities, as appropriate.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State unit has entered into a formal cooperative agreement with the State agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) and the State agency with primary responsibility for providing services and supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals with developmental disabilities, with respect to the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services, including extended services, for individuals with the most significant disabilities who have been determined to be eligible for home and community-based services under a Medicaid waiver, Medicaid State plan amendment, or other authority related to a State Medicaid program.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State unit, and the lead agency and implementing entity (if any) designated by the Governor of the State under section 3003 of this title, have developed working relationships and will enter into agreements for the coordination of their activities, including the referral of individuals with disabilities to programs and activities described in that section.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State unit will coordinate activities with any other State agency that is functioning as an employment network under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program established under section 1148 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b–19).
The State plan shall describe how the designated State agency or agencies (if more than 1 agency is designated under paragraph (2)(A)) will collaborate with the State agency responsible for administering the State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), the State agency responsible for providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities, and the State agency responsible for providing mental health services, to develop opportunities for community-based employment in integrated settings, to the greatest extent practicable.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the State will not impose a residence requirement that excludes from services provided under the plan any individual who is present in the State.
The State plan shall include an assurance that, except as otherwise provided in part C, the designated State agency will provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the State to the same extent as the designated State agency provides such services to other significant populations of individuals with disabilities residing in the State.
The State plan shall identify the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out the program. The goals and priorities shall be jointly developed, agreed to, and reviewed annually by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council. Any revisions to the goals and priorities shall be jointly agreed to by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council. The State plan shall provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding revisions in the goals and priorities, for any year in which the State revises the goals and priorities.
If the designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph (5), the State shall also identify in the State plan service and outcome goals and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
The State plan shall include an assurance that applicants and eligible individuals or, as appropriate, the applicants’ representatives or individuals’ representatives, will be provided information and support services to assist the applicants and individuals in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process, consistent with the provisions of section 722(d) of this title.
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State agency will implement an information and referral system adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities will be provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment, and will be appropriately referred to Federal and State programs (other than the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this subchapter), including other components of the statewide workforce development system in the State.
In the case of a State that, under subsection (a)(2), designates a State agency to administer the part of the State plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind (or to supervise the administration of such part by a local agency) and designates a separate State agency to administer the rest of the State plan, the State shall either establish a State Rehabilitation Council for each of the two agencies that does not meet the requirements in subparagraph (A)(i), or establish one State Rehabilitation Council for both agencies if neither agency meets the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i).
The State plan shall include an assurance that the State has an acceptable plan for carrying out subchapter VI, including the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under part B of this subchapter to pay for the cost of services leading to supported employment.
The plan shall include an assurance that the State will submit to the Commissioner reports containing annual updates of the information required under paragraph (7) (relating to a comprehensive system of personnel development) and any other updates of the information required under this section that are requested by the Commissioner, and annual reports as provided in paragraphs (15) (relating to assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress) and (18) (relating to innovation and expansion), at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate.
The State plan shall provide that the designated State agency has the authority to enter into contracts with for-profit organizations for the purpose of providing, as vocational rehabilitation services, on-the-job training and related programs for individuals with disabilities under part A of subchapter VI, upon a determination by such agency that such for-profit organizations are better qualified to provide such rehabilitation services than nonprofit agencies and organizations.
The State plan shall describe the manner in which cooperative agreements with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers will be established.
The State plan shall provide an assurance describing how the State will utilize initiatives involving in-demand industry sectors or occupations under sections 106(c) and 108 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3121(c), 3123] to increase competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Nothing in this part shall be construed to reduce the obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) of a local educational agency or any other agency to provide or pay for any transition services that are also considered special education or related services and that are necessary for ensuring a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities within the State involved.
For purposes of this section, an individual shall be presumed to be an individual that can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services under section 705(20)(A) of this title.
Prior to determining under this subsection that an applicant described in subparagraph (A) is unable to benefit due to the severity of the individual’s disability or that the individual is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the designated State unit shall explore the individual’s abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, through the use of trial work experiences, as described in section 705(2)(D) of this title, with appropriate supports provided through the designated State unit. Such experiences shall be of sufficient variety and over a sufficient period of time to determine the eligibility of the individual. In providing the trial experiences, the designated State unit shall provide the individual with the opportunity to try different employment experiences, including supported employment, and the opportunity to become employed in competitive integrated employment.
Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to create an entitlement to any vocational rehabilitation service.
To the maximum extent appropriate and consistent with the requirements of this part, for purposes of determining the eligibility of an individual for vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter and developing the individualized plan for employment described in subsection (b) for the individual, the designated State unit shall use information that is existing and current (as of the date of the determination of eligibility or of the development of the individualized plan for employment), including information available from other programs and providers, particularly information used by education officials and the Social Security Administration, information provided by the individual and the family of the individual, and information obtained under the assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs.
Determinations made by officials of other agencies, particularly education officials described in section 721(a)(11)(D) of this title, regarding whether an individual satisfies one or more factors relating to whether an individual is an individual with a disability under section 705(20)(A) of this title or an individual with a significant disability under section 705(21)(A) of this title shall be used, to the extent appropriate and consistent with the requirements of this part, in assisting the designated State unit in making such determinations.
For an individual entitled to benefits under title II or XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq., 1381 et seq.) on the basis of a disability or blindness, the designated State unit shall provide to the individual general information on additional supports and assistance for individuals with disabilities desiring to enter the workforce, including assistance with benefits planning.
An individualized plan for employment shall be a written document prepared on forms provided by the designated State unit.
An individualized plan for employment shall be developed and implemented in a manner that affords eligible individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting an employment outcome, the specific vocational rehabilitation services to be provided under the plan, the entity that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods used to procure the services, consistent with subsection (d).
A copy of the individualized plan for employment for an eligible individual shall be provided to the individual or, as appropriate, to the individual’s representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native language or mode of communication of the individual or, as appropriate, of the individual’s representative.
The individualized plan for employment shall be developed as soon as possible, but not later than a deadline of 90 days after the date of the determination of eligibility described in paragraph (1), unless the designated State unit and the eligible individual agree to an extension of that deadline to a specific date by which the individualized plan for employment shall be completed.
Each State shall establish procedures for mediation of, and procedures for review through an impartial due process hearing of, determinations made by personnel of the designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to applicants or eligible individuals. The procedures shall allow an applicant or an eligible individual the opportunity to request mediation, an impartial due process hearing, or both procedures.
Each State shall ensure that procedures are established and implemented under this subsection to allow parties described in paragraph (1) to disputes involving any determination described in paragraph (1) to resolve such disputes through a mediation process that, at a minimum, shall be available whenever a hearing is requested under this subsection.
The State shall maintain a list of individuals who are qualified mediators and knowledgeable in laws (including regulations) relating to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter, from which the mediators described in subparagraph (B) shall be selected.
The State shall bear the cost of the mediation process.
Each session in the mediation process shall be scheduled in a timely manner and shall be held in a location that is convenient to the parties to the dispute.
An agreement reached by the parties to the dispute in the mediation process shall be set forth in a written mediation agreement.
Discussions that occur during the mediation process shall be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding. The parties to the mediation process may be required to sign a confidentiality pledge prior to the commencement of such process.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude the parties to such a dispute from informally resolving the dispute prior to proceedings under this paragraph or paragraph (5), if the informal process used is not used to deny or delay the right of the applicant or eligible individual to a hearing under this subsection or to deny any other right afforded under this subchapter.
A due process hearing described in paragraph (2) shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer who, on reviewing the evidence presented, shall issue a written decision based on the provisions of the approved State plan, requirements specified in this chapter (including regulations implementing this chapter), and State regulations and policies that are consistent with the Federal requirements specified in this subchapter. The officer shall provide the written decision to the applicant or eligible individual, or, as appropriate, the applicant’s representative or individual’s representative, and to the designated State unit. The impartial hearing officer shall have the authority to render a decision and require actions regarding the applicant’s or eligible individual’s vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter.
If the State establishes impartial review procedures under subparagraph (D), either party may request the review of the decision of the hearing officer within 20 days after the decision.
A decision made after a hearing under subparagraph (A) shall be final, except that a party may request an impartial review if the State has established procedures for such review under subparagraph (D) and a party involved in a hearing may bring a civil action under subparagraph (J).
A decision made under subparagraph (F) shall be final unless such a party brings a civil action under subparagraph (J).
If a party brings a civil action under subparagraph (J) to challenge a final decision of a hearing officer under subparagraph (A) or to challenge a final decision of a State reviewing official under subparagraph (F), the final decision involved shall be implemented pending review by the court.
Any party aggrieved by a final decision described in subparagraph (I), may bring a civil action for review of such decision. The action may be brought in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States of competent jurisdiction without regard to the amount in controversy.
A fair hearing board, established by a State before January 1, 1985, and authorized under State law to review determinations or decisions under this chapter, is authorized to carry out the responsibilities of the impartial hearing officer under this subsection.
The provisions of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) that relate to due process hearings do not apply, and paragraph (5) (other than subparagraph (J)) does not apply, to any State to which subparagraph (A) applies.
Unless the individual with a disability so requests, or, in an appropriate case, the individual’s representative, so requests, pending a decision by a mediator, hearing officer, or reviewing officer under this subsection, the designated State unit shall not institute a suspension, reduction, or termination of services being provided for the individual, including evaluation and assessment services and plan development, unless such services have been obtained through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct on the part of the individual, or the individual’s representative.
The Director of the designated State unit shall collect information described in subparagraph (B) and prepare and submit to the Commissioner a report containing such information. The Commissioner shall prepare a summary of the information furnished under this paragraph and include the summary in the annual report submitted under section 710 of this title. The Commissioner shall also collect copies of the final decisions of impartial hearing officers conducting hearings under this subsection and State officials conducting reviews under this subsection.
The confidentiality of records of applicants and eligible individuals maintained by the designated State unit shall not preclude the access of the Commissioner to those records for the purposes described in subparagraph (A).
For the purpose of determining the amount of payments to States for carrying out part B (or to an Indian tribe under part C), the non-Federal share, subject to such limitations and conditions as may be prescribed in regulations by the Commissioner, shall include contributions of funds made by any private agency, organization, or individual to a State or local agency to assist in meeting the costs of establishment of a community rehabilitation program or construction, under special circumstances, of a facility for such a program, which would be regarded as State or local funds except for the condition, imposed by the contributor, limiting use of such funds to establishment of such a program or construction of such a facility.
Except as provided in section 721(a)(21)(A)(i) of this title, to be eligible to receive financial assistance under this subchapter a State shall establish a State Rehabilitation Council (referred to in this section as the “Council”) in accordance with this section.
A State that designates a State agency to administer the part of the State plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind under section 721(a)(2)(A)(i) of this title may establish a separate Council in accordance with this section to perform the duties of such a Council with respect to such State agency.
The Director of the designated State unit shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Council.
Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor or, in the case of a State that, under State law, vests authority for the administration of the activities carried out under this chapter in an entity other than the Governor (such as one or more houses of the State legislature or an independent board), the chief officer of that entity. The appointing authority shall select members after soliciting recommendations from representatives of organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities and organizations interested in individuals with disabilities. In selecting members, the appointing authority shall consider, to the greatest extent practicable, the extent to which minority populations are represented on the Council.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Council shall select a chairperson from among the membership of the Council.
In States in which the chief executive officer does not have veto power pursuant to State law, the appointing authority described in paragraph (3) shall designate a member of the Council to serve as the chairperson of the Council or shall require the Council to so designate such a member.
No member of the Council, other than a representative described in clause (iii) or (ix) of paragraph (1)(A), or clause (iii) or (x) of paragraph (1)(B), may serve more than two consecutive full terms.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.
The appointing authority described in paragraph (3) may delegate the authority to fill such a vacancy to the remaining members of the Council after making the original appointment.
The Council shall prepare, in conjunction with the designated State unit, a plan for the provision of such resources, including such staff and other personnel, as may be necessary and sufficient to carry out the functions of the Council under this section. The resource plan shall, to the maximum extent possible, rely on the use of resources in existence during the period of implementation of the plan.
To the extent that there is a disagreement between the Council and the designated State unit in regard to the resources necessary to carry out the functions of the Council as set forth in this section, the disagreement shall be resolved by the Governor consistent with paragraph (1).
Each Council shall, consistent with State law, supervise and evaluate such staff and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions under this section.
While assisting the Council in carrying out its duties, staff and other personnel shall not be assigned duties by the designated State unit or any other agency or office of the State, that would create a conflict of interest.
No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under State law.
The Council shall convene at least four meetings a year in such places as it determines to be necessary to conduct Council business and conduct such forums or hearings as the Council considers appropriate. The meetings, hearings, and forums shall be publicly announced. The meetings shall be open and accessible to the general public unless there is a valid reason for an executive session.
The Council may use funds allocated to the Council by the designated State unit under this subchapter (except for funds appropriated to carry out the client assistance program under section 732 of this title and funds reserved pursuant to section 730(c) of this title to carry out part C) to reimburse members of the Council for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care and personal assistance services), and to pay compensation to a member of the Council, if such member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment, for each day the member is engaged in performing the duties of the Council.
The Council is authorized to hold such hearings and forums as the Council may determine to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Council.
The evaluation standards and performance indicators for the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this subchapter shall be subject to the performance accountability provisions described in section 3141(b) of this title.
A State may establish and provide information on additional performance accountability indicators, which shall be identified in the State plan submitted under section 721 of this title.
In accordance with regulations established by the Secretary, each State shall report to the Commissioner after the end of each fiscal year the extent to which the State is in compliance with the standards and indicators.
If the Commissioner determines that the performance of any State is below established standards, the Commissioner shall provide technical assistance to the State, and the State and the Commissioner shall jointly develop a program improvement plan outlining the specific actions to be taken by the State to improve program performance.
If the Commissioner determines that a State whose performance falls below the established standards has failed to enter into a program improvement plan, or is not complying substantially with the terms and conditions of such a program improvement plan, the Commissioner shall, consistent with subsections (c) and (d) of section 727 of this title, reduce or make no further payments to the State under this program, until the State has entered into an approved program improvement plan, or satisfies the Commissioner that the State is complying substantially with the terms and conditions of such a program improvement plan, as appropriate.
Beginning in fiscal year 1999, the Commissioner shall include in each annual report to the Congress under section 710 of this title an analysis of program performance, including relative State performance, based on the standards and indicators.
If the Commissioner issues a report detailing the findings of an annual review or onsite monitoring conducted under this section, the report shall be made available to the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, for use in the development and modification of the State plan described in section 721 of this title.
Until the Commissioner is so satisfied, the Commissioner shall make no further payments to such State under this subchapter (or shall reduce payments or limit payments to projects under those parts of the State plan in which there is no such failure).
The Commissioner may, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, disburse any funds withheld from a State under paragraph (1) to any public or nonprofit private organization or agency within such State or to any political subdivision of such State submitting a plan meeting the requirements of section 721(a) of this title. The Commissioner may not make any payment under this paragraph unless the entity to which such payment is made has provided assurances to the Commissioner that such entity will contribute, for purposes of carrying out such plan, the same amount as the State would have been obligated to contribute if the State received such payment.
Any State that is dissatisfied with a final determination of the Commissioner under section 721(b) of this title or subsection (c) may file a petition for judicial review of such determination in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the State is located. Such a petition may be filed only within the 30-day period beginning on the date that notice of such final determination was received by the State. The clerk of the court shall transmit a copy of the petition to the Commissioner or to any officer designated by the Commissioner for that purpose. In accordance with section 2112 of title 28, the Commissioner shall file with the court a record of the proceeding on which the Commissioner based the determination being appealed by the State. Until a record is so filed, the Commissioner may modify or set aside any determination made under such proceedings.
If, in an action under this subsection to review a final determination of the Commissioner under section 721(b) of this title or subsection (c), the petitioner or the Commissioner applies to the court for leave to have additional oral submissions or written presentations made respecting such determination, the court may, for good cause shown, order the Commissioner to provide within 30 days an additional opportunity to make such submissions and presentations. Within such period, the Commissioner may revise any findings of fact, modify or set aside the determination being reviewed, or make a new determination by reason of the additional submissions and presentations, and shall file such modified or new determination, and any revised findings of fact, with the return of such submissions and presentations. The court shall thereafter review such new or modified determination.
Section 706 of title 5 shall apply to the review of any determination under this subsection, except that the standard for review prescribed by paragraph (2)(E) of such section 706 shall not apply and the court shall hold unlawful and set aside such determination if the court finds that the determination is not supported by substantial evidence in the record of the proceeding submitted pursuant to paragraph (1), as supplemented by any additional submissions and presentations filed under paragraph (2).
Amounts described in subsection (b) may not be expended by a State for any purpose other than carrying out programs for which the State receives financial assistance under this subchapter, under subchapter VI, or under subchapter VII.
The amounts referred to in subsection (a) are amounts provided to a State under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) as reimbursement for the expenditure of payments received by the State from allotments under section 730 of this title.