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Program Manual

Quick Reference Guide

A - Referral and Application Process

A referral may be received by phone or mail and directed to the Rehabilitation Technician.  Phone contact is made by the Rehabilitation Technician to the individual:

  1. Explain application requirements and available services.
  2. Inform individual that in order to receive Vocational Rehabilitation services, they must intend to and have the ability to achieve an employment outcome.
  3. Obtain information to begin assessment/ eligibility process.
  4. Establish applicant status once signed application is received or make appropriate referral (Send Introduction letter within 10 days of receiving application).
  5. Conduct informal needs assessment.
  6. Discuss individual rights.

B - Requirements to Open a Case

  1.   Signed Application
  2.   Demographics
  3.   Income (primary source at application)
  4.   Disability Summary 
  5.   Voter Registration

*** Application Status is automatically generated by AWARE

NOTE: If existing information is not available regarding the individual’s visual impairment, an eye exam with an ophthalmologist must be scheduled for the individual by the Rehabilitation Technician

Mail the following documents for applicant response and/or information:

  1. Consent for Release form, located in the S Drive/FORMS/Client Services Forms folder (if existing eye exam or other assessment data is available).
  2. Appointment letter (if eye exam has been scheduled and is to be sponsored by Division of Blind Services).

Where it has been determined that a bilateral visual impairment exists, the Rehabilitation Technician:

  1. Staffs case with Supervisor/District Administrator.
  2. Makes a caseload assignment according to the district’s protocol; and
  3. Transfers the record of service in AWARE.

C - Ineligibility Determination Process

Where it has been determined that a bilateral visual impairment does not exist, based on eye medical reports, the Rehabilitation Technician:

  1. Staffs case with Supervisor/District Administrator.
  2. Prepares a Certificate of Ineligibility.
  3. Prepares a Closure Letter.
  4. Submits the Certificate of Ineligibility to the Supervisor for approval. 
  5. Documents staffing with the Supervisor in the AWARE Case notes.
  6. Mails Closure Letter and places copy in paper file.
  7. Closes record of service with the appropriate closure reason and summary and files paper file accordingly.

NOTE: Only Specialist, Supervisor, or District Administrator can determine ineligibility and approve closures.

D - Eligibility and Program Development Process

Initial Interview

Rehabilitation Specialist should conduct an initial interview including a counseling session with the applicant and, as appropriate, his/her representative to:

  1. Determine eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation services, based on a bilateral visual impairment and any other impediments to employment.
  2. Conduct the My Vocational Situation Assessment.  
  3. Determine the need for a comprehensive assessment for the purpose of identifying an employment outcome, intermediate objectives, and scope of needed services.
  4. Provide an accessible copy of Division of Blind Services Guidelines for Development of an Individualized Plan for Employment (See S Drive VR program folder).
  5. Determine the development method of the IPE based on the individual’s informed choice.
  6. Develop the Individual Plan for Employment as appropriate.
  7. Review Client Rights and provide an additional copy if requested by individual.   
  8. Offer voter registration information. If application is completed original copy is to be mailed and a second copy is to be kept in a designated file in the office. 
  9. Inform client of Bureau of Business Enterprise program and training.
  10. Complete the Application for Economic Need and Assessment for Financial Assistance Form DBS-007 only if client is requesting services based on ENA. 
  11. Review, sign and provide client copy of Professional Disclosure Form (S Drive/VR Program Folder) with copy placed in file folder.

Individualized Plan for Employment

Once an Individualized Plan for Employment has been developed and approved, the following documentation should be prepared in the AWARE case file by the Specialist:

  1. Certificate of Eligibility.
  2. Individualized Plan for Employment including a review schedule.
  3. Vocational Goal statement (located in the Goal sub function of the AWARE plan).

***Obtain Supervisor approval/signature until independent status has been designated.

NOTE: A copy of the Plan should be mailed to the client in the format of his/her choice.  (Signature of the individual is required on the Plan of Services prior to services beginning).

Trial Work or Extended Evaluation Plan of Services

If trial work experiences or an extended evaluation is required to determine the individual’s eligibility for services, a Trial Work/Extended Evaluation plan should be developed during the initial interview.  This plan should include the use of trial work experiences to explore the individual’s abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in a work situation.  The following documentation should be prepared in the AWARE by the Specialist:

  1. Certificate of Eligibility for Trial Work Experiences or Extended Evaluation.
  2. Trial Work or Extended Evaluation plan including review schedule.
  3. Statement of justification for trial work or extended evaluation (located in the Goals sub function of the AWARE plan).

NOTE: Extended Evaluation Plan can be developed if client needs basic assessments in Orientation and Mobility, Adaptive Daily Living skills training, etc.)

***Obtain Supervisor approval/signature until independent status has been designated.

NOTE: A copy of the Plan should be given to the individual in the format of his/her choice, such as large print, Braille, electronic format, etc. (Signature of the client is required on the plan of services prior to services beginning.)

E - Program Implementation

Implementation should occur as scheduled on the Individualized Plan for Employment and agreed upon by the individual or, as appropriate, his/her representative.

The Specialist and client should jointly review progress toward obtaining the employment outcome as scheduled on the plan, and:

  • Develop amendments to the plan as needed (see Documentation Guidelines located in the S Drive VR Program Folder.)

The following documentation should be entered in the AWARE case file by the Rehabilitation Specialist:

  • Plan amendments
  • Amendment justification

***Obtain Supervisor approval/signature until independent status has been designated.

NOTE: A copy of all amendments should be mailed to the client or, as appropriate, his/her representative in an accessible format for review and signature and placed in the client’s paper file.

Significant progress toward meeting the intermediate objectives must be documented by the Rehabilitation Specialist or designated staff member in the individual’s record of service as either:

  • Scheduled Review Case Progress Notes, or
  • IPE Progress Notes (follow the who, what, why, when, where and how rule)

NOTE: All other documentation necessary for case management must be completed quarterly (see Documentation Guidelines located in the S Drive VR programs folder.)

F - Employment Outcome Process

A meeting should occur between the client, Rehabilitation Specialist, and, if appropriate, the client’s employer once an employment outcome has been reached to address the following: 

  1. Client’s satisfaction with the employment outcome.
  2. Employer satisfaction with client’s job performance.
  3. Possible need for post-employment services.
  4. Identification of extended service providers, if appropriate.
  5. Verification of salary and benefits.
  6. Review of Clients Rights.

NOTE: All efforts to verify employment should be made and documented in AWARE.

Once it has been determined that the employment outcome is successful and satisfactory to the client, the Rehabilitation Specialist should complete the following documentation in the AWARE:

  1. Employment Outcome Summary (Located in the Closure sub function)
  2. Closure letter
  3. Income (primary source at closure)
  4. Closure

***Obtain Supervisor approval/signature until independent status has been designated.

NOTE: A Closure Letter including Client’s Rights and Mediation information should be mailed to the individual or, as appropriate, his/her representative in an accessible format.

The Rehabilitation Specialist should close the client’s case record in successful employment status in AWARE.

G - Trial Work/Extended Evaluation Process

Implementation should occur as scheduled on the Trial Work/Extended Evaluation plan and agreed upon by the client or, as appropriate, his/her representative.

The Specialist and client should jointly review progress toward determining eligibility as indicated on the plan, but at least every 90 days, and develop amendments to the plan as needed.

The following documentation should be entered in the AWARE case file by the Rehabilitation Specialist:

  1. Plan amendments
  2. Amendment justification
  3. Any significant progress toward determining eligibility must be documented in AWARE by the Rehabilitation Specialist

***Obtain Supervisor approval/signature until independent status has been designated.

NOTE:

1) A copy of the amended plan should be mailed to the client or, as appropriate, his/her representative in an accessible format.

2) For all other documentation necessary for case management refer to Documentation Guidelines located in the S Drive VR programs folder.

3) At the point eligibility or ineligibility can be determined; the Rehabilitation Specialist should follow the procedures as outlined. If client is determined eligible plan development, plan implementation and Documentation Guidelines will be followed.

H - Vocational Rehabilitation Status

  • Application signed request for services
  • Eligibility Determination Extension – (status extension will appear in AWARE as Application – X)
  • Trial Work Experiences – (status extension)
  • Extended Evaluation – (status extension will appear in AWARE as Application – E)
  • Service – (plan approved, signed and services have begun)
  • Job Ready – when primary service is job placement 
  • Employed – once all services are completed and client begins job
  • Closed – Rehabilitated successfully employed for 90 days or more (Supported Employment clients may be closed 60 days after making the transition to extended services and have been employed for at least 90 days.  Example, client is placed on the job, is on the job for 30 days and then transitioned into extended services.  Client must now be in extended services for 60 days before being closed, total days 90.  Example, client is placed on the job for 70 days and then transitioned to extended services.  Client must be held in extended services for 60 days before closure, total days 130.
  • Closed – Unsuccessfully closed, no employment outcome (moved, unable to locate, no impediment, etc.).
  • PES – Post Employment Services when a successfully closed case is reopened within 1 year of closure in order to maintain or obtain employment in the same field.