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DIVISION POLICY 2.16

SUBJECT

Timeliness of Services

EFFECTIVE DATE

August 12, 2003

REVISION DATE

October 18, 2017

EXPIRATION DATE

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

PURPOSE

To ensure timely provision of services for clients.

AUTHORITY

34 CFR 361.41

POLICY

Referrals

When a referral is received, a reasonable effort must be made to contact the client and inform him or her of application requirements and to gather information necessary to initiate an assessment for determining eligibility. The rehabilitation technician or district office designee is responsible for this process and must demonstrate that an effort has been made to contact the individual within 10 working days of receipt of the referral.

Eligibility Determination Timeframes

Eligibility determinations must be made within 60 calendar days after the client has submitted an application unless:

  1. Exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the agency preclude a determination within 60 calendar days and the individual agrees to a specific extension of time; or
  2. An exploration of the client's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations or an extended evaluation is being conducted.

When exceptions to this time period are necessary, the case file should clearly document the client's involvement and the specific extension of time agreed upon by the agency and the client. This must be documented in the client's record of services in AWARE.

Those clients who will possibly suffer loss of employment, during the normal processing time frames for "Eligibility Determination," shall be expedited to prevent such loss. This shall be done without making any exceptions to the eligibility criteria. This provision shall also apply to clients who have pending start dates for employment.

For previously served clients who are reapplying for services (returning clients), medical and/or other current relevant documentation from the closed case file may be used to expedite the application process for the client. DBS staff using records from existing case files will be required to ensure that the information is current and accurate, and make a duplicate copy of the material available in new case file, while maintaining the full file from the closed case. The applicant/client may be required to certify/acknowledge the use of and validity of such file information.

IPE Development Timeframes (VR)

An Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) must be designed to achieve an employment outcome that is consistent with the individual's strengths, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice. The development of an IPE must occur within 60 calendar days following the eligibility determination for vocational rehabilitation services. Plans must contain scheduled review dates. The case record must indicate timely progression toward the individual's employment goal.

Those clients who will possibly suffer loss of employment, during the normal time frames for "IPE Development", shall be expedited to prevent such loss; without making any exceptions to the individual's strengths, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice. This provision shall also apply to clients who have pending start dates for employment.

IPS Development Timeframes (All other programs)

An Individualized Plan for Services (IPS) must be developed within 60 calendar days following the eligibility determination for services. Plans must contain scheduled review dates. The case record must indicate timely progression toward the client's goal. (These are the plans in the non-VR programs and may be called something other than IPS, IPS simply refers to the fact that there is an Individualized Plan for services for the client)

Signed by Robert L. Doyle, III, Director, on October 18, 2017.