After determining eligibility, the next steps in the VR process are to
At every step in the rehabilitation process, *provide the consumer information to make informed choices.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(b)
Consider with the consumer which options are consistent with the consumer's needs and attributes. *This approach supports the consumer's ability to make informed choices about
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.52(b)(4)(i–v)
Many consumer characteristics can affect the selection of a suitable employment goal. You and the consumer work together to identify and assess the consumer’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests that pertain to selecting a suitable employment goal. Obtain and provide sufficient information, resources, and support to allow the consumer to exercise informed choice.
*To the greatest extent possible, use existing information obtained during the eligibility assessment.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(f)
Review the information gathered for your eligibility decision, such as academic, medical, or psychological records to determine whether you have sufficient information for a complete picture of the consumer’s disability-related functional limitations and impediments to employment.
If existing records do not provide adequate information, you may need to obtain additional assessments.
Seek additional psychological or medical examinations if necessary to gather further information about the consumer’s condition and its
Seek vocational evaluations, functional capacity evaluations, or situational assessments if necessary to gather further information about the consumer’s work capacities and capabilities.
*Ensure that assessments are provided in the most individualized and most integrated setting possible that is consistent with the consumer's informed choice.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(f)(2)(i)
During the process of evaluating consumer information, you might obtain new information that affects the consumer’s disability classification. If necessary, update the classification in the electronic case management system. See Chapter 11: Technical Information and References, 11.2.1 Selecting a Disability Classification.
The employment goal may be *full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment, supported employment, or any other type of employment in an integrated setting, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership* that is consistent with characteristics identified in the consumer assessment.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.5(b)16
A suitable employment goal is one that closely matches the consumer’s current or potential key attributes and characteristics. To the extent necessary to select an appropriate employment goal, explore the consumer’s
Depending on the individual consumer situation, the selection of an employment goal may be easily made. In other situations, it may be necessary to consider a broader range of employment goals by assessing, as appropriate,
When a consumer has a work history, explore his or her
For additional information about a consumer’s condition and treatment and the condition’s possible impact on employment, consult the Medical Disability Guidelines.
If the consumer wants to return to work with the same employer but is unable to return to the same position, determine whether the employer provides training opportunities so that the consumer can return to a different position. Do not pay for training if equivalent training, such as on-the-job training, is provided by the employer.
If the consumer chooses to work for another employer in a different job, use counseling and guidance to help him or her determine how current skills and work history can transfer to a different job. As needed, discuss job requirements and conditions, training, work environment and duties, local demand for workers, and the possibility of relocating to find employment.
When a consumer has no work history, begin the process of selecting an employment goal by investigating the consumer’s pertinent
If the consumer has no ideas about what job he or she wants to do, you may identify possible employment outcomes by exploring
Explore with the consumer life circumstances that could impact his or her choice of employment goal so you can focus on occupations compatible with the consumer’s unique situation.
If the consumer has religious or cultural beliefs that require adherence to a specific schedule, dress code, or other tradition, discuss occupations that accommodate these requirements and explain why others may not be appropriate. If the consumer chooses to wear long or loose clothing traditional in his or her culture, for example, explain that a job operating machinery with exposed moving parts would not be appropriate because there’s potential for the clothing to be caught in the equipment.
If the consumer has ongoing responsibility for child care every afternoon, consider jobs that can be done in the early morning or evening, and options for split-shift work.
If the consumer has ongoing responsibility for child care every afternoon, consider jobs that can be done in the early morning or evening, and options for split-shift work. If the consumer reports a criminal history, explain that he or she may be barred from certain jobs requiring a license or other credential. If the consumer wants to pursue employment requiring a license or credential, obtain a criminal background check before committing to services on an IPE. You must check the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) website, Texas State Department of Health Services licensing and regulations website or other relevant credentialing board for information about which criminal convictions may prevent the consumer from obtaining a specific license. See also 4.3.2 Criminal Background Checks.
Each program has unique requirements for assessing, planning, and developing an IPE that are based on the
Review the appropriate program policy related to plan development (for example, Transition, Supported Employment).
Services may be provided before the IPE is developed when they are necessary for the consumer to participate in the assessment; for example, services that are not related to a specific employment goal such as providing eyeglasses, preparatory prosthetics, orthotics, or insulin and syringes. See Can I Buy It? in the DRS Counselors' Toolbox.
Explaining and/or sharing assessment information with the consumer (and/or representative, if any) is a valuable service that may help the consumer better understand
*Avoid sharing directly with the consumer information that might be harmful.* If the consumer demands to see medical or psychological records considered harmful, make an appointment with the physician or psychologist who provided the report to review the information with the consumer.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.38(c)(2)
Disclose medical and psychological records to the consumer (and/or representative, if any) only under the guidelines regarding release and confidentiality of consumer records in Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 20: Confidentiality and Use of Consumer Records and Information.
Occupations that require a license or other credential frequently include a criminal background check (CBC) on the applicant as part of the credentialing process. Massage therapist, cosmetologist, barber, and licensed chemical dependency counselor are examples of a few occupations that require a CBC. Some training programs (for example, security guard training) may also require a CBC before a person is admitted to the program.
If a consumer wants to work in an occupation that requires a license or other credential, you must obtain a CBC. Explain to the consumer why the CBC is necessary and document your reasons in the case file. See the guidance document, Procedure for Requesting a Criminal Background Check (CBC). DARS has been granted authority (Texas Government Code, Section 411.117 and Texas Human Resources Code, Section 111.058) to obtain a CBC on consumers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
If the consumer’s CBC shows a criminal history and his or her chosen occupational goal is licensed by TDLR, you and the consumer must request a criminal history evaluation to determine if the consumer’s criminal history will prevent him or her from being licensed in that occupation. See the TDLR Criminal History Evaluation Letter page for more information. Do not select as a vocational goal any occupation for which TDLR has determined the consumer may not be licensed. For occupations not licensed by TDLR, contact the appropriate licensing entity to determine if it is feasible for the consumer to be licensed. This should be a shared responsibility between you and the consumer. If it is not feasible for the consumer to be licensed in a particular occupation, do not select that occupation as a vocational goal.
Provide a copy of the CBC to the consumer if he or she makes a written request. For more information, see Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 20: Confidentiality and Use of Consumer Records and Information,
Because the CBC report is critical to the decision-making process, it must be maintained as a permanent part of the consumer’s case record, but should not be kept in the paper case file. In accordance with your unit procedures, maintain CBCs in a separate confidential file where you can access them as necessary. CBC reports are often incomplete and difficult to interpret. Consult your supervisory chain, and Legal Services, if necessary, for assistance in interpreting them.
Develop the IPE within the framework of informed consumer choice. Provide necessary information so that the consumer
Every consumer must make informed decisions for his or her personal plan. This participation and ownership will greatly increase the probability of a successful outcome.
Craft the IPE to be consistent with the consumer's unique rehabilitation needs. It must include
*You must complete the IPE within 90 days after determining eligibility. If the IPE cannot be completed within 90 days, the case file documentation must reflect a good-faith effort to meet this time standard.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(a)(1)
For high school students, develop the IPE as soon as practical but at the latest by the time the student graduates from high school. (See Chapter 5: Services, 5.6.4 Planning for the IPE.) *If the student is receiving special education services, you must coordinate the IPE with the goals, objectives, and services identified in the student's individualized education program (IEP).*)
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.46(d)
Although the IPE is generally written within 90 days of eligibility, a student may need more time for vocational exploration and skill building before selecting a vocational goal. Consider developing an Assessment Action Map (AAM) to plan vocational experiences. See also Chapter 5: Services, 5.6.3 Description of Services/The Assessment Action Map for more information about AAMs.
*Develop the IPE with the consumer, or as appropriate, with the consumer's representative, in his or her native language or mode of communication. Inform the consumer of the available options for developing the IPE. The consumer may get help from friends, family members, private counselors, or others interested in the consumer's progress toward work.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(c)
DRS does not pay for assistance with IPE development.
*Work with the consumer to
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(c)
Once you and the consumer have agreed on an employment goal, encourage the consumer to tell you how much he or she wants to be involved in choosing the services, service providers, and methods for providing the services. *When you and the consumer agree, you and the consumer approve the plan by signing the electronic or paper plan. The consumer or consumer's representative receives a written copy of the IPE. At a minimum, review the IPE every 12 months.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(d); 34 CFR Section 361.47(a)(7), 34 CFR Section 361.45(d)(4), 34 CFR Section 361.45(d)(5)
Complete all sections of the IPE in the electronic case management system. The electronic signatures indicate understanding of, and agreement with, the plan.
State the employment goal, as selected by the consumer, on the IPE specifically enough to be meaningful to the consumer, considering his or her level of vocational development. If necessary, state initial goals, particularly for transition students, in terms of a particular type of career or industry, such as Office Clerk-General (43-9061.00), and revise them later as the consumer focuses on specific employment goals. See O*net/electronic search for industry categories.
If the assessment results in more than one appropriate choice, list the vocational objective closest to the consumer's choice that reflects his or her interests and expectations for salary and benefits. As the case develops, amend the IPE if a different vocational objective is more appropriate. Do not use general vocational objectives such as “to be determined” or “competitive employment.” If a consumer is interested in a vocational objective that requires a license, background check, or drug screening test, address the ability of the consumer to meet those requirements
If the consumer's best job fit is to provide homemaking services in his or her own home, use
Similarly, if the best job match for the consumer is to work without pay on a family farm or in a family business, use the occupational title “Unpaid Family Worker.” Use the occupational code from the Standard Occupational Codes that most closely matches work activities.
Each plan is unique and depends on the consumer's individual situation. The consumer must be involved in all decisions related to the IPE, to the extent of his or her abilities and interest. Provide enough information so that the consumer can make informed choices
The assessment of the consumer's identified rehabilitation needs and suitable employment goal drives the selection and delivery of services that will help the consumer prepare for, secure, retain, or regain the planned employment outcome.
The IPE may contain any of the following services that are reasonable and necessary for the consumer to reach the employment outcome. *Specific services available through the public VR program include
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.48(a)–(t)
Explain DARS' best-value purchasing guidelines to the consumer and the impact they may have on selection of goods and services necessary to achieve the employment goal. (See Chapter 7: Purchasing, 7.6.3 Best-Value Approach to Purchasing.)
You must provide each of these services in accordance with the policies that govern that service. Review these policies carefully before adding the service to the IPE to ensure that the consumer's unique rehabilitation needs can be met (see Chapter 5: Services).
*Services should be provided in the most integrated setting possible, and you may
The decision-making process should include deliberation of
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.52(c)(1-6)
Ensure that the dates on the IPE realistically reflect the anticipated start and end dates of each service. The duration of the plan should adequately support both the individual services and the eventual employment outcome.
If you have designated the consumer’s disability as significant,
If the consumer chooses a provider outside Texas, you must take specific purchasing actions, as shown in the following table.
The service is ordinarily regulated in Texas.
The out-of-state provider also must be regulated.
You must check with Consumer Procurement and Client Services Contracting to ensure that providers are properly credentialed before obligating state funds.
The service is ordinarily regulated in Texas, but is not regulated in the state where the service is provided.
You must make a best-value decision regarding the purchase.
If you think the purchase is reasonable and the service provider reflects the consumer's informed choice, you must submit the proposed purchase for approval by
The service provider is a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP), but the standards in the other state are different from DRS standards.
You must get approval from the Area Manager after consult with CO (Central Office) program specialist for CRPs.
The purchase ordinarily requires a contract between DRS and the provider; for example hospital services or a wheelchair.
The medical service coordinator (MSC) coordinating hospital services or the counselor purchasing durable medical equipment must contact the regional consumer contract specialist (RCCS) to negotiate a payment rate for the medical service. A DARS3423, Exception to Contracted Hospital Purchase must be completed and submitted through the regional director for final approval by the director of Consumer Procurement and Client Services Contracting (CPCSC).
Note: Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS) payment rates noted on the DARS3423 do not apply to out-of-state hospital services, so the MSC must coordinate with the RCCS to develop an appropriate payment rate.
There is a contract in place between DRS and the out-of-state provider.
You must follow the contract's payment terms.
The consumer is responsible for costs that exceed in-state service costs.
Intermediate objectives are the rehabilitation steps that the consumer must achieve to overcome the impediments to employment identified during the assessment process, both before and after eligibility was determined. In creating intermediate objectives,
*The IPE should include the criteria used to evaluate the consumer's progress toward meeting planned goals. Describe these criteria on the plan clearly enough for both you and the consumer to understand the method of measurement.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.46 (a)(5)
The frequency of needed contact between the counselor and the consumer varies according to the
You and the consumer must discuss and plan for the activities required by each partner, including counseling and guidance goals, and agree on contact times that best support the plan.
You and the consumer agree to a frequency of contact that the consumer will maintain with you. Although the consumer is responsible for maintaining contact, you are responsible for providing sufficient support to the consumer to maintain this commitment.
Substantive consumer contact may be made by a VRC, RST, UPS, CCC or other staff member and occurs as often as necessary to timely move forward the consumer’s program of services.
As in other partnerships, the IPE should clearly define roles and responsibilities of all partners. In the same way that you established the frequency of contact with the consumer based on the need for IPE support, you also should discuss other responsibilities. Review policies related to disability-specific responsibilities to ensure that the
*The role of the consumer is largely defined on the IPE and must be adequately described so that the consumer can follow through successfully. Specific activities or tasks the consumer is expected to perform must be objective and measurable (for example, acquire documented evidence of attendance at seven Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week).*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.46(a)(6)
*Before you provide VR services to a consumer, or a consumer's family members, explore any possible comparable services or benefits under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the consumer. Comparable services and benefits do not include
If the consumer needs postsecondary training in order to reach the IPE goal, require the consumer to apply for and use, if granted, support from the Federal Financial Student Aid Program. List the consumer's responsibility for applying for and/or using those services on the IPE.
Use identified benefits or services first, unless using them would interrupt or delay
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.53(a)
*Diagnostic services and rehabilitation technology, including hearing aids, sensory aids, and other technological aids and devices, do not require the use of comparable services and benefits.*
*Based on 34 CFR 361.53(b)(1) and 34 CFR 361.53(b)(5)
*While assessing the availability of or applying for comparable benefits, purchase services only when one or more of the following circumstances exists:
When a consumer is eligible for comparable benefits that are not yet available at the time needed to ensure the consumer's progress toward the employment goal, purchase those services until comparable services and benefits become available.*
*Based on 34 CFR Sections 361.53(a) and 361.53(c)
Determine the consumer's responsibility for the cost of services. A consumer's eligibility for VR services does not depend on the consumer's income or liquid assets. However, if the consumer's net income or liquid assets exceed basic living requirements (BLR), the consumer must participate in the cost of services, unless the
*Based on 34 CFR Sections 361.54(b)(3)(ii) and 361.54(b)(2), respectively
To determine whether a consumer must participate in the cost of services and his or her financial ability to do so, use the following four-step procedure.
When determining whether the consumer is required to participate in the cost of services,
See 4.6.2 Types of Income, Liquid Assets, and Required Proof and 4.6.3 Basic Living Requirements (BLR) for more information.
Consumers have the right not to disclose their financial information. However, when a consumer declines to provide this information, you must assume that the consumer has resources that exceed the BLR level after including any allowable BLR additions. In such a case, the consumer must fully participate in the cost of planned services, except those listed in 4.6.5 Services Exempt from Consumer Cost Participation.
When a person applies for services, request documented proof of
A person eligible for Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) need provide only proof of Social Security eligibility. The law exempts recipients of Social Security disability benefits from the requirement to participate in the cost of VR services regardless of income.
When a parent claims the consumer as a dependent on the parent's income tax, obtain proof of income and expenses from both the consumer and the consumer's parent.
For each month in which DRS pays for goods and/or services, the consumer must contribute the difference between the consumer's monthly net income and the BLR level after including any allowable BLR additions.
The consumer's contribution must not exceed the cost of the good and/or service.
For more information, refer to
*You must inform the consumer that failure to provide complete and accurate financial information
(*34 CFR Section 361.57, Texas Penal Code, Chapter 37 Perjury and Other Falsification)
You must, at least annually,
If the consumer's income, liquid assets, or expenses change significantly during the life of the case,
If you develop an IPE before you receive proof of income and expenses, do not include services that require consumer participation in the cost.
When you receive the proof of income and expenses, amend the IPE as needed.
The table below lists the types of income and corresponding proof required of the consumer, spouse, and parent (if the consumer is claimed as a dependent).
Net wages and net income from other enterprises
Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) received by consumer
None required for a consumer's Social Security disability benefits.
All other Social Security benefits (for example, survivors or retirement benefits received by consumer or consumer's spouse or parents, social security disability received by consumer's spouse or parents, etc.)
Child support payments received
Cash and assets from savings or other accounts.
ReHabWorks is designed to automatically calculate consumer participation based on
See the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines for the current fiscal year and DRS Basic Living Requirements tables.
ReHabWorks uses net monthly income and family size related to the poverty guidelines for the current fiscal year to determine the amount a consumer must contribute to the cost of services. This amount is a monthly amount but is applied only in months that a service or good is provided that requires participation in cost of services.
The total monthly costs of the allowable additions below are automatically added to the BLR when entered in the electronic case management system.
Monthly home mortgage or rental payments
Prescribed diets and medicines used by the consumer
Debts imposed by court order
*Medical costs and disability-related expenses.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.54(b)(2)
If feasible, a consumer participating in the cost of goods and/or services directly pays the service provider. If not feasible, arrange for the consumer to refund DRS by check or money order. For procedures, see Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 23: Accounting, 23.1 Cash Receipts.
The consumer may pay "in kind" for services listed on the IPE, for example, paying the additional cost of transportation to receive services, or paying for uniforms, textbooks, etc.
Review with the consumer the extent of his or her agreement to pay for the cost of services.
*Services exempt from consumer cost participation include
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.54(b)(3)(i)(A-G)
You must *apply this policy uniformly to all consumers in similar circumstances.* Exception: Consumers eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) because of their disability are exempt from required cost participation. In addition, do not apply payment limitations (for example, tuition and fees) in these cases.
However, you must apply policy regarding use of comparable services and benefits.
*Based on 34 CRF Section 361.54(b)(2)(ii)
When helping a consumer make an informed choice about residing in an institution, including a nursing home, you must inform the consumer about any community support that may help him or her function in the most independent setting possible. Such support services vary by community.
By definition the following are considered institutional residency:
Texas state agencies that help consumers with community-based support services include
See the DRS Programs Web site for
Refer the consumer to these agencies and organizations as appropriate.
Amend the plan every time you and the consumer agree on a substantial change. Document the reasons for amending the IPE in the electronic case management system. Explain the nature and scope of the changes to objectives, services, or other parts of the plan and why they are necessary.
*Develop an IPE amendment for substantial changes or where there is potential for misunderstanding in
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(d)
A substantial change in employment goal means a change to the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) job family identified in the first two digits of the SOC code.
Use the IPE amendment in the electronic case management system. If the electronic version is not available, use DARS5159, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) Amendment. As with the original IPE, the consumer may use alternate resources (for example, friends, family members, or private counselors) for the development process. *The IPE amendment is not in effect until you and the consumer agree to and sign it.* After agreeing on the IPE amendment, provide a copy to the consumer (or the consumer's representative, if any).
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(d)(7)
If the consumer cannot attend a meeting in person but agrees to an IPE amendment, write the amendment and follow the procedures in Chapter 2: Initial Contact and Application, 2.4.9 When DRS Staff May Enter a PIN on Behalf of a Consumer to electronically sign the amendment for the consumer.
*At least every 12 months, review the IPE with the consumer and update any information that has changed. Review the consumer's progress in achieving the employment goal and determine whether you must set additional intermediate goals or adjust existing goals. Review the consumer's responsibilities and adjust as necessary.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.45(d)
Document the joint annual review (JAR) in a case note. If the IPE was amended, explain how the changes are necessary to allow the consumer to achieve his or her employment goal.
Use an IPE amendment, DARS5159, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) Amendment, when services after successful closure are necessary to *help the consumer maintain, regain, or advance in employment.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.5(b)(42)
Consider post-employment services when after successful closure the consumer
*Post-employment services may include
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.48(a–t)
Services may be provided by
You must mutually plan the program of post-employment services with the consumer. If post-employment services are
Close post-employment services when
When terminating post-employment services, document and place in the case file
Note in the electronic case management system whether the consumer is employed.
*If not on the original IPE, use an IPE amendment to describe the DRS services to be provided.* See Chapter 5: Services, 5.5.4 Supported Employment Services.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.46(b)
To amend the IPE for case closure, see Chapter 6: Closure, 6.2 Successful Closures, for information on using DARS5208, VR Successful Closure letter. DARS5208, VR Successful Closure letter is an IPE amendment.
*If you cannot determine whether the consumer is eligible because of the consumer's questionable ability to benefit from services in terms of an employment outcome because of the severity of his or her disability, you and the consumer jointly develop an IPE for extended evaluation.* Use DARS5161, Vocational Rehabilitation Services—IPE for Extended Evaluation to do so.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(e)(2)(i)
An IPE for extended evaluation provides VR services, including trial work experiences, to assess the consumer's knowledge, skills, abilities, and key attributes in order to determine eligibility. *Trial work experiences include supported employment, on-the-job training, and other experiences using real work settings. The trial work experience must be of sufficient variety and duration to provide
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(e)(2)
The standard for clear and convincing evidence must be met before you may determine the consumer ineligible. This standard requires more than a psychological or physical capacity evaluation, and
For more information, see Chapter 3: Eligibility, 3.9.1 Determining Clear and Convincing Evidence.
When developing the IPE for extended evaluation,
*Consider the need for interpreter, translator, reader, or personal assistant services; rehabilitation technology, and/or other support services needed to determine eligibility.* Enter the following as the IPE plan objective: to assess the knowledge, skills, abilities, or other key attributes identified in the eligibility assessment, to determine if the consumer is capable of achieving an employment outcome.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(d)(1)
Do not provide the following goods or services during the extended evaluation and do not add them to the IPE for extended evaluation. Area manager exceptions are not permitted.
Those goods or services not provided during extended evaluation are
For consumers in high school, consider using information in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) when developing the IPE for extended evaluation.
Comply with policies for developing the IPE, with the understanding that the objective for extended evaluation is assessment for eligibility determination, rather than an employment goal. Relevant policies include
If available, use the IPE for extended evaluation in the electronic case management system. If not available,
The IPE for extended evaluation ends when you have gathered required evidence to determine the consumer's eligibility or ineligibility. For more information, see Chapter 3: Eligibility, 3.11.5 Closing a Case after Determining the Consumer Ineligible.
This section covers policy on providing services to recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, including
Unlike most consumers of VR services, Social Security recipients and beneficiaries require special consideration throughout the VR process. The first such consideration is presumptive eligibility for VR services. Others may include the Ticket to Work program, work incentives planning, and other types of employment support programs administered by SSA.
Both SSA programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI-Title II) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI-Title XVI) offer assistance to consumers with disabilities. Each program has its own rules, benefits, and employment supports for beneficiaries who want to work.
Throughout the VR process, it is important to recognize that these supports and resources can help you coordinate and provide VR services, to ensure that recipients and beneficiaries of Social Security reach their optimal employment potential.
SSA reimburses DRS for certain costs of providing VR services for every SSI and/or SSDI consumer who
The SSA/VR Reimbursement Program is an essential part of the VR process because it helps DRS provide quality services to people with disabilities.
*Social Security disability recipients and beneficiaries are
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(a)(3)
*You may determine that Social Security recipients and beneficiaries are ineligible for VR services only when clear and convincing evidence shows that the consumer cannot benefit from VR services. Use extended evaluation if you have a question regarding the consumer's ability to achieve an employment outcome.* For more information, see 4.9 Developing an IPE for Extended Evaluation.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(e)
*A consumer receiving Social Security disability benefits demonstrates the intent to achieve an employment outcome by completing an application for services after you have explained that the purpose of the VR program is employment.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(a)(4)
When a consumer asserts that he or she is eligible for SSI and/or SSDI benefits, but cannot provide evidence such as an award letter, you may email a request to confirm eligibility to DARS Financial Services at email@example.com with the consumer's
Financial Services responds within two to three working days following a request with
*When you cannot obtain benefit information from DARS Financial Services, you may request the information from the local SSA office. If possible, make this request in a timely manner, so that you can determine eligibility by the 60th day after profile completion.* If you cannot obtain evidence of eligibility for Social Security disability benefits within 60 days from the date of application for VR services, use
For the purposes of determining eligibility, consider a consumer who has a Ticket to Work to be a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI benefits.
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.42(a)(3)(B)
*Consumers who have been determined eligible for Social Security disability benefits, either SSI or SSDI, are not required to participate in the cost of VR services. In addition, do not apply payment limitations (for example, tuition and fees) in these cases.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.54(b)(3)(ii)
DARS Division for Disability Determination Services (DDS) may request records for certain consumers as part of the disability determination process. Release the consumer records to DDS only after DDS sends
You may obtain a consumer’s DDS records from his or her local Social Security Administration (SSA) office by following the procedure in BPM 20.18 Release of Information between DDS and other DARS Divisions. SSA charges a fee for records.
For additional information on releasing consumer records and information, see Business Procedures Manual, Chapter 20: Confidentiality and Use of Consumer Records and Information.
As appropriate, you may refer consumers receiving Social Security benefits to their local SSA-funded Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. Work incentives counseling can help beneficiaries understand how to use SSA Work Incentives to reach their employment goals and achieve self-sufficiency.
See Social Security Administration Information in the DRS Programs Web page.
The Ticket to Work Program is a voluntary program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for beneficiaries (consumers) ages 18 to 64, who receive Social Security disability benefits. The program offers expanded options for
For additional information, see Social Security Administration Information on the DRS Programs Web page.
Complete the following steps for a consumer receiving Social Security disability benefits.
MAXIMUS Ticket to Work
ATTN: Ticket Assignment
PO Box 25105
Alexandria, VA 22313.
Inform each consumer receiving Social Security disability benefits that
Refer consumers with IPEs who are receiving Social Security disability benefits to the local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program for
A Referral Agreement is an agreement required by the SSA when an EN that holds a Ticket assignment refers a Ticket holder to DRS for VR services and maintains a Ticket assignment. This agreement defines the responsibilities of DARS and the EN under the SSA’s Ticket to Work Program.
If you determine that a consumer’s Ticket is assigned to an EN, follow the procedures below.
MAXIMUS Ticket to Work
ATTN: Ticket Assignment
PO Box 25105
Alexandria, VA 22313.
The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Partnership Plus Program is a new approach to service delivery under the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program. Under this option, DARS and the Employment Network (EN), as defined by the SSA, partner to provide job retention or ongoing support services to a consumer after the VR case is closed. This partnership is a critical component in creating a seamless system of service delivery that supports a consumer’s effort toward achieving and maintaining self-supporting employment.
For additional information see Chapter 5: Services, 5.5.5 EN Employment Advancement Payments.