The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) Fact Sheet

July 2012, Pub #F068.01

What is an IPE?

The Individualized Plan for Employment is a critical document in the vocational rehabilitation process you will go through with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The IPE contains important information on your employment goal, and what services and supports the DOR has agreed provide to assist you in meeting that goal.

Your IPE is like a contract between you and the DOR.  Under federal and state law, the DOR is only required to provide the services written into your IPE (or amendments) which you need to return to work and are directly related to your work goal (i.e. obtain a job, keep a job, or advancement in employment).  If you need to change your work goal, need to take additional steps to reach your work goal, or need additional services that are not a part of your IPE, you must request that your IPE be amended to include the changes.

How is the IPE developed?

The IPE should be developed, implemented and evaluated in cooperative relationship between you and your DOR counselor.   DOR must develop your IPE with you within 90 days of the date of your eligibility determinationTitle 9 of the California Code of Regulations § 7128. 

DOR must ensure that you are afforded “informed choice” during the development of your IPE. tit 9 CCR § 7029.6.  This means that, among other things, DOR must help you to get necessary information about the specific vocational rehabilitation services, including the providers of those services,  that are needed to achieve your employment outcome.

The IPE must be reviewed at least annually and, if necessary, amended if there are substantive changes in the employment outcome, the DOR services to be provided or the service providers.  Any changes will not take effect until agreed to by the individual and the DOR counselor. 29 U.S.C. § 722(b)(2)(E).  You should always be provided a copy of your IPE and any amendments.

What should an IPE Include? 

According to State and Federal law, (29 U.S.C. § 722(b)(3); tit 9 CCR  §§ 7128-7131.2), an IPE must include:

 The specific employment outcome, chosen by you (i.e. a description of your work goal), consistent with your unique strengths, concerns, abilities and interests.

  1. The specific DOR services to be provided which will enable you to reach your work goal (i.e. return to work) or achieve the employment outcome (i.e. keep your employment or advance in employment).
  2.  The timeline for initiating services and for achieving the employment outcome.
  3. The specific entity responsible to provide the DOR services and the method chosen to obtain those services.
  4. The criteria for evaluating progress toward achieving the employment outcome.
  5. The terms and conditions of the IPE including: 1) the responsibilities of the DOR agency, 2) your responsibilities (including costs or related to obtaining comparable benefits) and 3) any other agencies responsibilities (to provide comparable benefits).
  6. For individuals with the most significant disabilities that are expected to need supported employment, the extended services to be provided.
  7. The projected need for post employment services.  

What services can be provided in an IPE?

The DOR will only provide services necessary to assist you reach your work goal.  It is thus important to make sure you fully develop your IPE and identify all of the services you need to meet your work goal. tit 9 CCR § 7149.

Remember, all services provided or funded by DOR must be specified on the IPE.  Any incidentals that were purchased by you, without prior authorization DOR may not be reimbursed.  You must always get prior approval for purchasing anything. Always speak to your counselor before purchasing anything.

If you have questions or problems with your IPE, you can contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) at Disability Rights California at 1-800-776-5746.