Vocational Rehabilitation

Additional helpful links include:

Since 1972, when the ESRD Program was established and the U.S. government began paying for treatment of kidney failure, the Networks have been charged with several goals. One of these goals has been to encourage people with kidney failure to take part in vocational rehabilitation programs to work when possible.

Some Network efforts related to this have included:

  • Collecting data on how many people with kidney disease are working
  • Encouraging centers to schedule treatments around work and school
  • Teaching people with kidney failure about rehab programs and working
  • Offering programs and materials on work topics

If you are interested in keeping your job when you learn that your kidneys are failing, an excellent article can be found at this link.

If you are interested in returning to the work force or remaining in the work force in a different type job and need to know your options, you should contact (or have your social worker contact) your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. The following links will open in a new browser.

Alabama Agency: Department of Rehabilitation Services
Phone: (334) 281-8780

Mississippi Agency Department of Rehabilitation Services
Phone: (601) 853-5100

Tennessee Agency Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation Services
Phone: (615) 313-4891


Social Security Resources

Many ESRD patients have questions regarding applying for disability and their benefits. There is a often confusion about the programs and the services available. Social Security has a website that is helpful in understanding the benefits and working while disabled. This information will be helpful in making the best decision for you. The website also provides information on contacting the Social Security office if you have additional questions.

The following links to the Social Security website will be helpful in answering many of your questions:

Information about the Trial Work Period & Other Work Incentives

Social Security Administration – Working While Disabled information

Social Security – Understanding the Benefits

Social Security Administration Fact Sheet – Information about Social Security changes for 2010

Tools and Resources for Patients

  • Debunking the Three BIGGEST Myths about Disability Benefits and Work
  • Rehabilitation: Getting Back to Work
  • Are You Ready?
  • Rob’s Story
  • I Can: Michael
  • Ticket to Work: American Veterans Fact Sheet
  • Reporting Wages When You Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Career One Stop: Employment Network Finder: Click here to visit.

Vocational Rehabilitation Brochures

  • Alabama VR brochure
  • Mississippi VR brochure
  • Mississippi VR offices
  • Tennessee VR brochure