Louisiana Language Access Coalition Invites YOU to Attend the Upcoming Conference

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) Closes Orders of Selection


 February 29, 2016.


  • Federal regulations mandate state VR agencies to implement an “order of selection” to prioritize services

      to individuals with the most significant disabilities when it anticipates that it will not have sufficient

      funds to fully serve all individuals eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.


  • Effective 4:30 P.M., February 29, 2016, LRS closed Order of Selection (OOS) Categories 1 - 3.

      Because OOS Categories 4 and 5 were already closed, this means all categories are now closed.


  • LRS projects that the remaining budget for SFY 2016 is insufficient to continue serving new

      applicants. Furthermore, anticipated reductions for SFY 2017 further support the closing of

      Categories 1 - 3.


  • 99.4% of the current program year's funding has been expended, or obligated to serve LRS’ existing

      Vocational Rehabilitation consumers.


  • LRS is developing a staffing plan that will reflect a significant reduction in LRS’ staff in order to maximize

      available funding for direct services to consumers.


  • Applicants determined eligible for services shall be placed in a delayed status in the appropriate

      OOS category.


  • All consumers in Eligible status and assigned to an OOS Category who have not had an

      Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) developed and signed as of 4:30 P.M. on

      February 29, 2016 shall be placed in delayed status.


  • All consumers with approved plans in place for OOS Categories 1-5 as of February 29, 2016 will continue

      to receive services per LRS' policy regarding Continuity of Services until such time

      as funding is depleted.


  • Counselors will continue to obtain diagnostic services on both new referrals and on consumers in application status in order to determine their placement under the Order of Selection. Those consumers will be placed on a deferred service waiting list until LRS can once again serve these categories.



  • LRS will strategically work with other programs within LWC to maximize employment

      opportunities to those consumers in delayed status and waiting for services.


  • Those consumers on the waiting list will be referred to the Career Solution Centers for

      placement. LRS will also collaborate with the LWC Career Solution Centers for training

      resources for consumers on the waiting list.


  • Note: Any individual who receives an OCDD waiver can access SE services through the                                        waiver without having to exhaust LRS funding first.


For advocacy assistance with issues related to LRS, contact the Advocacy Center's Client Assistance Program (CAP) at 1-800-960-7705! 


The Louisiana WIOA Combined State Plan is now available at the following link:

Louisiana WIOA Combined State Plan Draft

Although goals and strategies have been identified, the planning process is not complete. This is your opportunity to participate in the planning process, and Louisiana welcomes your input.

The draft of Louisiana’s Combined State Plan is available for public comment until 11:59 p.m., March 30, 2016. Louisiana is seeking input and comments from subject matter experts, required partners and other stakeholders. Comments are welcomed for content, language, and overall implementation of Louisiana’s Combined State Plan.



Work Pay$ and Louisiana APSE (LAAPSE) Joined forces moving forward in 2016.  

We believe that by doing so, we can focus our commitment to enhance access to employment, the "Employment First Initiative", and allow us to direct and focus our shared goals. The plan is to join our Work Pay$ and LAAPSE quarterly meetings. 

Further discussion on how to structure our collaboration will take place at our next quarterly meeting. Your input is important. Thank you for all you do both individually and through your work and support as agency representatives! .

Advocacy Center's "South Louisiana Benefits Planning Program"

Benefits Planning Community Work Incentives Coordinators 

Vincenzo Pasquantonio       &      Elizabeth Whiteside

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2015, the Social Security Administration re-funded Advocacy Center to continue providing “FREE” help to individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits. Call 1-855-877-8599! 

We provide benefits planning services to individuals receiving Social Security or SSI. Our certified Benefits Planners can assist clients understand the impact of work on SSA and other state and federal benefits. Benefits Planners will develop an individualized benefits analysis plan that can be used as a guide to help  achieve one's employment goals

Advocacy Center is authorized by SSA to provide benefits planning services in the following Parishes:

Cameron, Plaquemines, St. James, St. Helena, Assumption, Iberville, St. Charles, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, Vermilion, St. Martin, St. Mary, Acadia, Washington, Iberia, Lafourche, Livingston, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Jefferson, Orleans, Lafayette

Advocacy Center South Louisiana Benefits Planning Service Map

To refer clients for in-depths services or request assistance call Advocacy Center’s South Louisiana Benefits Planning Program Intake at 1-855-877-8599


For general questions about your Social Security Benefits call the Ticket to Work Help Line at: 1-866-968-7842

For answers to the following questions and more:

  1. How does work affect my Social Security or SSI? 
  2. Can I work and keep my Medicaid and Medicare coverage?
  3. How will work affect my other benefits like food stamps, subsidized housing, Waiver services, Va benefits, and workers compensation
  4. How do I report my income to Social Security?
  5. What is a PASS Plan?
  6. What other services are available to help me prepare for or to continue working?


To Access Benefits Planning Services in Other Parts of the State contact the Louisiana Benefits Planning Services, LA-BPS. To request services from LA-BPS visit their webste at:  www.hdc.lsuhsc.edu/labps http://www.hdc.lsuhsc.edu/labps or by calling:  (855) 886-5123


The Advocacy Center of Louisiana Launches Access LA Mobile App for People with Mobility Impairments 

The Advocacy Center of Louisiana announces the launch of Access LA, its new mobile application for people with mobility impairments. This mobile app, the first of its kind in Louisiana, will help people with mobility impairments find out the accessibility of restaurants, retail, and public venues across the state.

People with mobility impairments can’t always patronize places of public use due to accessibility issues. The Advocacy Center of Louisiana created the Access Louisiana crowdsourcing accessibility website and accompanying mobile application to aid Louisianans with disabilities, as well as tourists with disabilities, in finding accessible public spaces, and posting reviews of venues not already included in the app.

At a press conference launching the Access LA app and celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Lois Simpson, Executive Director of the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, said, “The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990, has helped thousands of people with disabilities lead more inclusive and meaningful lives. But we can always do more. This Access LA app is just one more tool people with disabilities can use to live life to the fullest.” 

The Access LA app is available now for free download from the Apple App Store, and will be available for Android devices at the end of August. For more information, visit www.access-louisiana.org.

Our sincere thanks to the donors who contributed to AC's 2013 "Go Where You Wanna Go" Year-End Campaign. Your generous support helped us make our dream of a statewide accessibilty crowdsourcing website and mobile app a reality.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Collection site

This site provides information and resources for States, local areas, non-profits and other grantees, and other stakeholders to assist with implementation of WIOA.  Some of the resources currently on this new site include:

  1. WIOA Vision
  2. WOA 101 Modules
  3. Partners' WIOA Sites
  4. Resources
  5. WIOA Stakeholder Consultation Recordings and Materials
  6. USDOL's WIOA Resource Page

Click below to access the resource site-

WIOA Resources


Are you looking for employment-related events?

Click below

Louisiana Workforce Commission Events

Do you need help to address your employment barriers? 

The Advocacy Center can help YOU! 

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program or PABSS.  PABSS focuses on:

*  Assisting people with disabilities who want to enter the workforce or who want to maintain or regain their job, but who need an accommodation in order to do so.  PABSS  helps such people state their need for accommodations in a way that will get them the results they need.

*  Assisting people who believe they have been discriminated against by their employer to file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

*  Working toward systemic changes that will help people with disabilities to have more and better opportunities to work in the competitive work environment. 

*  Providing information and guidance to Social Security beneficiaries who have an overpayment that exists as a barrier to employment. 

Client Assistance Program (CAP) provides assistance to clients of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services.  Examples of services include:  assistance during application for services, denial of services and funding, order of selection decision, assistive technology, employment services/training, communication issues with LRS, transition from school to work, education and other services requested to become employed.  

The Client Assistance Program recently took action to ensure that Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) would not require clients who receive Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) to contribute to the cost of their rehabilitation services. If you were discouraged by LRS from starting a small business, or were asked to contribute to the cost as a condition of receiving LRS services, please contact David Gallegos at 1-800-960-7705 x141 or dgallegos@advocacyla.org

Click here to read more about AC's work regarding this matter.

To request assistance from PABSS and CAP , call Advocacy Center at 1-800-960-7705

Employment Outlook....Governors Promote Employment for People With Disabilities. Full article below.

Employment Outlook

Advocacy Center Employment Programs

In the areas of employment and rehabilitation, the Advocacy Center may be able to help Louisiana residents with issues related to:

  • Ticket to Work/SSI/SSDI and Employment Incentives
  • Requests for reasonable accommodations in hiring, employment or post-secondary education
  • Louisiana Rehabilitation Services
  • Transition from school to work
  • The four core services (advocacy, information & referral, peer support, independent living skills training) provided by Independent Living centers
  • Employment issues for people working in sheltered workshops
  • Representative Payee investigations

Employment Programs Include:

1.  Client Assistance Program (CAP)- Provides advocacy services to clients of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services

2.  Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)- Provides advocacy to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with barriers to employment

Call:  1-800-960-7705 for more information on AC's employment programs

3.  South Louisiana Benefits Planning Program-To request assistance call:  1-855-877-8599

Service Area Effective August 1, 2015 Includes: Cameron, Plaquemines, St. James, St. Helena, Assumption, Iberville, St. Charles, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, Vermilion, St. Martin, St. Mary, Acadia, Washington, Iberia, Lafourche, Livingston, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Jefferson, Orleans, Lafayette

Provides FREE help to people who receive Social Security Disability Benefits! 



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