The contractor and contractor staff that provide services described in this chapter also must comply with Chapters 1-3 of the VR Standards for Providers manual.

On this page:

18.1 Supported Employment Overview

VR Supported Employment (SE) is a comprehensive service package for VR customers.

VR SE enables customers with the most significant disabilities to enter competitive integrated employment by:

  • providing individualized assistance in finding an appropriate job match;
  • providing ongoing support services; and
  • establishing extended services, sometimes called long-term supports, for the customer to maintain a long-term competitive integrated employment outcome by:
    • identifying resources to deliver the extended services;
    • training extended services providers;
    • confirming that extended services are in place, if needed, to make sure the job is stable; and
    • ensuring all known needs are met before achievement of SE Benchmark 6, Service Closure.

The VR Supported Employment Outcome-Based System uses the "Place, Then Train" model of employment placement to place customers in a job and then train them in order to help them find and keep long-term competitive integrated employment.

By being matched to a job first and then receiving ongoing supports and training, the customer develops job-readiness skills while on the job. An employer who hires a VR customer is expected to provide the same training to the VR customer as the employer would provide to other new employees, with help and support from the VR counselor and the SE specialist.

Customized employment practices develop the best job match for the customer, using flexible strategies to meet the individual's needs and the employer's unmet business needs. These practices address the unique skills, interests, abilities, capabilities, and support needs of an individual with a most significant disability. Many times, jobs must be created and/or designed with flexible strategies to allow for a suitable job match.

A VR counselor authorizes the purchase of SE if the customer:

  • has been determined a customer with a most significant disability;
  • requires extended services and long-term supports provided by another individual, organization, or other resource through on-site or off-site services and/or monitoring after VR-funded services end;
  • will benefit from the Place, Then Train model of job placement;
  • needs extensive comprehensive training and support to compete in the labor market;
  • needs ongoing supports to maintain an employment outcome;
  • requires considerable help competing in the open job market;
  • has not had competitive integrated employment;
  • has experienced interrupted or intermittent employment; and
  • is likely to be able to find and keep a competitive integrated job when necessary supports are in place.

When a customer obtains a new position with the current employer or begins a new job with another employer, an updated VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2), must be submitted to reflect the new position.

SE services may not exceed 24 months. Services may be extended if the customer needs additional time to reach job stabilization. VR3472, Contracted Service Modification Request, must be completed and submitted for approval if a customer's SE services will be provided for longer than 24 months. If an extension is granted, the SE provider receives a copy of the approved VR3472, and the VR counselor issues a new service authorization and sends it to the provider. The VR counselor and the customer must agree to extend services and document the approved extension in the customer's individualized plan for employment (IPE).

SE services must include ongoing support services, such as:

  • social skills training;
  • job skills training;
  • observation of customer performance;
  • setting up or training individuals who are the customer's natural supports or extended service providers; and
  • setting up accommodations at the work site.

Ongoing support services must be provided at least twice monthly to monitor the customer at the work site and, as necessary, off-site to ensure the customer maintains successful competitive integrated employment. If under specific circumstances, especially at the request of the customer and with approval from the VR counselor, the required monitoring meetings may take place off-site, and must occur at least twice monthly. If off-site monitoring is determined to be appropriate, at least one contact with the employer each month is required.

The following VR services may not be purchased while a customer is receiving SE services from an Employment Services Provider:

  • Job Development
  • Bundled Job Placement
  • Job Skills Training
  • Non-bundled Job Placement
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT)
  • Personal Social Adjustment Training (PSAT)
  • Vocational Adjustment Training (VAT)
  • Environmental Work Assessment
  • Vocational Evaluation
  • Work Adjustment Training (WAT)
  • Work Experience Services (WE)

Return to Top

18.2 Staff Qualifications

Before services are provided to customers, the director of the Employment Service Provider must approve the VR3455, Provider Staff Information, completed by each SE specialist and job skills trainer, and submit the approved form to the provider's assigned contract manager and to the assigned VR regional program specialist. The VR3455 must document staff qualifications and provide evidence that staff meets all qualifications by means of transcripts, diplomas, reference letters, credentials, or licenses.

Staff qualifications for each service are described in Sections 18.2.1 through 18.2.2. For information on the University of North Texas Workplace Inclusion and Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE) Texas Credentials, see Texas Credential Training.

A noncredentialled provider staff member may provide services to a VR customer only when the Temporary Waiver of Employment Services Credential Standards is followed. For more information, see VR-SFP Chapter 3: Basic Standards, 3.1.6.4 Temporary Waiver of Staff Qualifications.

18.2.1 Supported Employment Specialist

The SE specialist:

  • identifies and develops the best possible job match and provides short-term supports to address the customer's barriers to employment;
  • arranges for paid supports from resources other than VR and natural supports, such as peers or coworkers, to meet the customer's long-term needs;
  • ensures adequate, regular support is provided to the customer by the job skills trainer; and
  • works in coordination with the VR counselor throughout the SE process to ensure the best possible employment outcome for the customer.

An SE specialist must have a:

  • current UNTWISE Texas Supported Employment Specialist Credential; and
  • high school diploma or GED; however, a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation, business, marketing, or related human services is preferred.

18.2.2 Job Skills Trainer

The required qualifications for a job skills trainer are set forth in VR-SFP Chapter 17: Basic Employment Services, 17.2.2 Job Skills Trainer General Qualifications.

Return to Top

18.3 Supported Employment Services

18.3.1 Referral for Supported Employment Services

The VR counselor completes the VR1640, Referral for Supported Employment Services, and submits it to the provider. The VR counselor may include pertinent information with the referral, including, but not limited to, a copy of the IPE, medical and/or psychological reports, vocational testing, and case notes. The VR counselor is responsible for overseeing the SE services provided to VR customers.

The SE provider must receive a:

18.3.2 Forms

All the required VR forms for SE services must be:

  • completed on a computer;
  • completed thoroughly and correctly;
  • clearly documented;
  • unique and individualized for each customer for whom a report is being completed; and
  • signed by all required parties. (Note: The SE specialist and/or job skills trainer who provided the services must sign the form.)

The VR1642, Supported Employment Services Plan – 1 (SESP-1), must be completed by VR staff in the Supported Employment Service Plan meeting and approved by the customer and VR counselor before job placement.

18.3.3 Signatures on Forms

All signatures must be original, handwritten, and dated; electronic signatures are not acceptable.

Before signing a form, the provider reviews the applicable standards and the VR verification section of each form to ensure the report is complete and accurate before submission. If VR verification indicates the provider submitted inaccurate information, repayment of funds might be required.

18.3.4 Invoices

The following are required when a provider submits an invoice:

  • Completion of services, achieving all required deliverables
  • Fully complete, accurate, signed, and dated forms documenting services provided
  • A complete and accurate invoice

The date on which a benchmark is achieved is the date of service on the invoice (for example, the date of the Supported Employment Assessment (SEA) meeting; the date that the SESP-1 is completed; the fifth, 28th, and 56th day or shift of paid employment; the date of the job stability meeting; and the 90th day after stability is achieved). The billing documentation must not be submitted until the day after achieving the service benchmark.

If at any point the customer loses his or her job, the customer's progression within the benchmark is frozen until:

  • the VR counselor, the customer, and the SE specialist meet in an SESP-1 meeting to:
    • discuss the reasons the customer lost the job;
    • review the SESP-1 and create a new SESP-1, if necessary; and
    • determine the plan for finding another placement;
  • the customer becomes reemployed in a new position; and
  • a new SESP-2 is completed to reflect the new position.

If an invoice is incomplete or inaccurate, or if supporting documentation is incomplete or inaccurate, the provider will receive a VR3460, Vendor Invoice Additional Data Request. Payment will not be made until corrections are submitted.

Each benchmark is authorized only once per customer, unless VR determines it is in the customer's best interest to authorize a benchmark more than once. Any change to the benchmarks must be approved using the VR3472, Contracted Service Modification Request.

18.3.5 Benchmarks for Supported Employment

VR SE includes the following benchmarks and components required for payment to providers:

  • Benchmark 1A: Supported Employment Assessment (SEA) and SEA Review Meeting
  • Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Service Plan – 1
  • Benchmark 2: Job Placement and completion of five days or shifts worked and Supported Employment Service Plan – 2
  • Benchmark 3: 28 days (four weeks) of job maintenance
  • Benchmark 4: 56 days (eight weeks) of job maintenance
  • Benchmark 5: Job Stability
    • At least 56 days of employment
    • Completion of the job stability meeting
  • Benchmark 6: Service Closure
    • 146 cumulative days of employment
    • 90 cumulative days after achievement of Benchmark 5: Job Stability

18.3.6 Premiums

When authorized, the following premiums must have a service authorization issued with the service authorization for Benchmark 1A and are invoiced at Benchmark 1B:

  • Autism
  • Deaf

When authorized, the following premiums must have a service authorization issued with the service authorizations for Benchmarks 2–6 and are invoiced after achievement of Benchmark 6:

  • Autism
  • Criminal Background
  • Deaf
  • Professional Placement
  • Wage

18.3.7 Other Changes That Might Occur

Before the completion of Benchmark 5: Job Stability, if the customer does not meet the nonnegotiable employment conditions on the SESP-1 within the workweek, the customer's progression within the benchmark is frozen until the customer returns to work and meets the nonnegotiable employment conditions outlined in the SESP-1.

If, at any point, the customer wants to change his or her targeted job tasks, negotiable employment conditions, or nonnegotiable employment conditions, an SESP-1 meeting must be held to update the VR1642, Supported Employment Services Plan - 1 (SESP-1).

If the customer obtains a new position with the current employer or begins a new job with another employer, the customer must complete at least 30 cumulative days of employment in the new job before Benchmark 5 is established or reestablished.

18.3.8 Extended Services

VR counselors coordinate the provision of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Department of State Health Services, and Managed Care Organization funding for long-term support services. These state agencies may provide extended services for a customer at completion of Benchmark 5: Job Stability, through programs such as Community Living Assistance and Support Services, Community First Choice, Home and Community-Based Service, and Texas Home Living waivers. VR providers coordinate with and train all extended service providers before a case achieves job stability.

Return to Top

18.4 Benchmark 1A: Supported Employment Assessment and Supported Employment Assessment Review Meeting

18.4.1 Service Description

The completion of the Supported Employment Assessment (SEA), using the discovery process, and the SEA review meeting are required for Benchmark 1A.

The provider achieves Benchmark 1A when the provider:

Benchmark 1A is authorized only once per customer.

18.4.2 Process and Procedure

Discovery

The SE specialist begins the process for achieving Benchmark 1A by completing the discovery process.

The discovery process helps the provider gather the information needed to answer all the questions on the VR1641, Supported Employment Assessment Report (SEA). The SEA report must clearly describe the customer and the customer's skills, abilities, and interests related to employment.

VR recommends the person-centered planning process be used when collecting information for the SEA. The SEA is based on a person-centered planning approach to holistically assess all aspects of a customer's life.

The discovery process completed by the SE specialist includes:

  • an interview with the customer;
  • development of the person-centered plan;
  • interviews with members of the customer's circle of support and discussions with any extended services providers the customer will use (see Texas HHS Employment Guide for People with Disabilities);
  • observing the customer's work skills, life skills, and behaviors at home and in the community;
  • visiting current or potential work environments with the customer;
  • identifying and observing vocational interests and preferences;
  • collecting personal, school, and employer reference information;
  • assessing the customer's learning styles and needs for adaptive technology, accommodations, and on-site supports;
  • assessing and identifying the customer's strengths, challenges, and transferable skills by exploring the customer's interests, capabilities, preferences, motivations, learning styles, challenges, ongoing support needs, and resources;
  • learning about employment conditions related to the customer's preferences, resources, and support needs to achieve and maintain employment outcomes;
  • understanding the customer's need for extended services and support at or away from the jobsite to ensure competitive integrated employment success;
  • informational interview and work skills observations completed by the customer; and
  • an assessment summary.

Best practice indicates the discovery process takes 20 to 30 hours per customer.

Supported Employment Assessment

When completing the VR1641, Supported Employment Assessment Report (SEA), the SE specialist incorporates information that is:

  • obtained during the discovery process;
  • provided by VR on benefits planning; and
  • gathered from assessments of the customer's cognitive and physical abilities.

The VR1641 must include the following information:

  • Findings of the discovery interview
  • Findings of the Circle of Support interviews
  • Residential history and domestic information
  • Customer's community resources and supports
  • Medical and psychological history
  • Customer's education history
  • Customer's volunteer and work history
  • Discovery of customer's interests leading to informational interview and work skills observations
  • Findings of the informational interview and work skill observations
  • Summary of the customer's present level of functioning as observed by the provider
  • Support needs that family, friends, and professionals provide to help the customer maintain a high-quality life at home and in the community (for example, financial assistance, assistive technology, room and board, supervision for safety, and transportation)
  • Extended services and support needs that might be necessary for a successful employment outcome

Use of Environmental Work Assessment

If an Environmental Work Assessment (EWA) is purchased for a customer, the SEA must be prorated. The findings of the informational interview or work skills observations section of the SEA will not be completed, and information from the EWA will be used in place of this section in the SEA. For more information about fees, refer to 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule .

Deadline for Submission of the SEA

The SEA must be submitted to the VR counselor at least one week before the SEA review meeting. If the SEA does not meet the above-mentioned standards, the SEA is returned to the provider, so the necessary information can be added before the SEA review meeting.

SEA Review Meeting

The SEA review meeting is held after the discovery process and the VR1641, Supported Employment Assessment Report, have been completed. The SEA review meeting is held to determine whether an employment outcome for the customer can be achieved through SE or if no employment outcome will be pursued, and to identify the next steps that must take place.

The SEA review meeting may be held by teleconference.

The SEA review meeting must include the:

  • VR counselor;
  • SE specialist;
  • customer; and,
  • as appropriate, the customer's representatives and circle of support.

The SEA review meeting must:

  • be led by the VR counselor and the SE specialist;
  • include a review of the SEA for accuracy and completeness;
  • occur before the SESP-1 meeting (Benchmark 1B); and
  • help determine whether the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan - 1 , must be completed.

The SESP-1 meeting to develop the Supported Employment Service Plan can be held immediately following the SEA review meeting if the customer and, as appropriate, the customer's representative, are present.

18.4.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 1A is made after:

A complete, accurate, signed, and dated VR1641 is required before the provider can be paid for achieving Benchmark 1A.

On the VR1641, the SE specialist must clearly identify:

  • the customer's interests, assets, and abilities in work and nonwork areas that were explored, identified, and appropriately summarized;
  • information that supports how the employment goal for the customer may be gained; and
  • specific support needs and/or interventions the customer might require to obtain and maintain successful competitive integrated employment.

The VR1641 must be completed on a computer and include handwritten signatures. VR may contact the customer and/or the customer's circle of support to verify that information on the form is correct.

18.4.4 Fees

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule

Return to Top

18.5 Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Services Plan – 1

18.5.1 Service Description

SEA information and recommendations are used to develop the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1) .

The SESP-1 is used to identify:

  • preferences and interests;
  • assets and abilities;
  • employment conditions;
  • job tasks; and
  • extended services (long-term supports).

18.5.2 Process and Procedure

The VR counselor, SE specialist, customer, customer's circle of support, and identified extended support providers meet to develop and complete the VR1642.

Benchmark 1B is met by attending the SESP-1 meeting and signing the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1), after it is completed by VR staff at the SESP-1 meeting.

The VR1642 identifies the:

  • members of the SESP team;
  • customer's preferences and interests;
  • customer's assets and abilities;
  • negotiable and nonnegotiable employment conditions;
  • targeted job tasks the customer can perform or potentially perform;
  • potential extended services and support needs; and
  • eligible premium services.

VR staff completes the VR1642 during the SESP-1 meeting. The provider should not bring a completed VR1642 to the meeting or complete the VR1642 after the meeting. The customer leads the meeting with assistance from the team. All attendees must sign the VR1642 to complete the SESP-1 at the end of the meeting, indicating their agreement with the plan.

The VR1642 must be:

  • completed electronically;
  • completed before any SE placement services are provided to the customer;
  • team-developed with the customer's participation in identifying (with or without assistance from team members) the required information; and
  • printed by VR staff upon completion.

When necessary, an updated VR1642 is completed during a new meeting with the VR counselor, provider, customer, and customer's representative, if applicable, before the achievement of any benchmark.

18.5.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 1B is made after the SESP-1 meeting and after the VR counselor receives and approves a complete, accurate, signed, initialed, and dated:

The VR1642, which must be filled out initially by VR staff, must then be submitted by the provider back to VR after the SESP-1 meeting, with the provider's credentials, signature, and invoice. The VR1642 must include:

  • entries to indicate each employment condition is written in measurable terms and determined to be either negotiable or nonnegotiable;
  • entries of at least three targeted job tasks;
  • potential natural and paid extended services and related resources identified;
  • entries to indicate any premiums for which the customer's case is eligible; and
  • required signatures, including, at a minimum, the signatures of the customer, VR counselor, and SE specialist.

The VR1642 indicates whether the provider is eligible for any Employment Premium Service payments as approved by the VR counselor. A service authorization is required before any services are provided, including premiums; therefore, any premiums that would be paid at Benchmark 6 must be included with the service authorizations for Benchmarks 2–6.   

For additional information on Employment Premium Services, see VR-SFP Chapter 20: Premiums.

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule.

Return to Top

18.6 Benchmark 2: Job Placement and Supported Employment Service Plan – 2

18.6.1 Service Description

The customer achieves Benchmark 2 when the customer:

  • starts work in a job that is consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1) , matching:
    • 100 percent of the nonnegotiable conditions;
    • 50 percent or more of the negotiable conditions; and
    • at least one job task; and
  • works at the job for five days/shifts.

Note: Do not start the day/shift count until the placement abides by the conditions of the SESP-1. If the customer begins employment in the middle of the employer's workweek, the days worked can count toward the five days/shifts as long as all other nonnegotiable hours/shifts criteria are met. Any updates to the SESP-1 must be approved and signed by the customer, provider, and VR counselor before starting the day count. See VR-SFP 18.5.2 for further information.

The job in which the customer is placed must be in an organization or a business that is not owned, operated, controlled, or governed by the provider of SE services. Exception: State agencies, state universities, and facilities that are a part of a state university system that are also employment service providers are exempt from this requirement.

To achieve Benchmark 2, the SE specialist must have a minimum of two contacts with the customer, and one contact with the employer to monitor the employer's satisfaction of the customer's performance during the benchmark period, and must:

  • complete the VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan – 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2) ;
  • collect all signatures from the customer and, as appropriate, the customer's representative, on the VR1643; and
  • receive approval from the VR counselor.

18.6.2 Process and Procedure

The SE specialist must collect all information needed to complete an accurate SESP-2 through interviews with and observations of the customer, employer, supervisor, and coworkers.

To achieve Benchmark 2, the SE specialist submits the VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan – 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2) matching the customer's employment criteria as indicated on the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1).

Job Placement

To achieve Benchmark 2, the SE specialist must assist the customer in activities related to gaining the job placement, such as, but not limited to:

  • writing résumés and proposals to assist in placement;
  • contacting employers from target lists and developing customer jobs;
  • performing a job analysis;
  • reviewing job match information;
  • assisting the customer with:
    • job applications;
    • preemployment forms;
    • practice interviews; and
    • preemployment testing or physicals;
  • accompanying the customer to interviews and business visits, when necessary;
  • assisting the employer with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit;
  • providing disability awareness training;
  • assisting the employer and customer with tasks related to job carving, job matching, task analysis, job restructuring, or job creation to establish job responsibilities and/or a job description for the customer;
  • developing the customer's transportation plan;
  • training the customer to travel to and from the job;
  • ensuring the customer's supports, training, and accommodation needs are met and implemented to ensure successful employment at placement;
  • identifying potential extended services and supports necessary for the customer to maintain employment after achievement of Benchmark 5: Job Stability; and
  • evaluating the job placement and customer's performance to collect information to establish the customer's training and support plan to ensure long-term job stability through the completion of the VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan – 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2).

Job leads may come from the customer's circle of support and other sources.

Documentation

Services provided must be documented on VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan – 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan. Hours worked must be documented on the VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log.

The information documented in the VR1643 must include the following:

  • Employer's contact information (for example, name, phone, email)
  • Supervisor's contact information (for example, name, phone, email)
  • Customer's employment information (for example, job title, work schedule, first day of employment)
  • Customer's rate of pay and earnings
  • Job analysis (for example, essential work duties, episodic work duties, physical and other demands of the job)
  • Accommodations
  • Training plan
  • Extended services necessary for a successful employment outcome

The information included in the VR1643 must be unique and individualized for each customer. VR may contact the customer, customer's representative (if applicable), or employer to verify the employment conditions on the SESP-1 have been met and the SESP-2 information is accurate.

If the customer does not achieve 100 percent of the nonnegotiable employment conditions, at least 50 percent or more of the negotiable employment conditions, and at least one targeted job task listed on the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1), the VR1642 must be updated to be accurate through a new SESP-1 meeting  before the count of days of employment can begin. (See the policy in 18.5 Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Service Plan Part 1.) If the VR counselor and customer or the customer's representative do not choose to make changes to the original SESP-1, the customer does not achieve all the nonnegotiable conditions (at least 50 percent of the negotiable conditions) and at least one job task listed on the VR1642, VR will not accept the job placement.

18.6.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 2 is made when the VR counselor approves a complete, accurate, signed, and dated:

The SE specialist submits a fully complete, accurate, signed, and dated VR1643 that has been completed on a computer and includes handwritten signatures.

The VR1643 must verify and document that the customer:

  • has maintained employment by working for five days/shifts in the job that is described in the SESP-2;
  • is in a competitive integrated work setting; and
  • is being compensated at or above the minimum wage but not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who do not have disabilities.

The VR1643 must also document:

  • ongoing support services;
  • monitoring of the customer at the work site or during off-site visits to ensure the customer maintains successful competitive integrated employment; and
  • the customer's job placement, training needs, and supports, including:
    • the job placement activities the SE specialist has provided for the customer;
    • the customer's position and job responsibilities;
    • the name of the customer's employer and contact information for the customer's supervisor;
    • the customer's employment information and earnings;
    • the results of a job analysis (for example, essential work duties, episodic work duties, and physical and other demands of the job);
    • the training the employer provides to individuals in the customer's position; and
    • specific training needs, accommodation needs, and identified extended services the customer might require to maintain successful competitive integrated employment.

18.6.4 Fees

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule.

Return to Top

18.7 Benchmark 3: Four-Week Job Maintenance

18.7.1 Service Description

The customer achieves Benchmark 3, Four-Week Job Maintenance, when the customer:

The job must be consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1) including:

  • the requirement that 100 percent of nonnegotiable conditions and at least 50 percent of negotiable conditions must be met; and
  • the requirement that at least one job task listed on the VR1642 is met.

The supported employment specialist must have at least two contacts with the customer and one contact with the employer each month, to monitor the employer's satisfaction with the customer's performance and the customer's satisfaction with the job, during the benchmark period.

To complete Benchmark 3, the SE specialist:

  • must have at least two contacts with the customer and one contact with the employer during the 28 days of the benchmark period to monitor the employer's satisfaction with the customer's performance and the customer's satisfaction with the job;
  • provides or arranges for a job skills trainer to provide intensive on- and off-jobsite supports, as described in VR1643 and/or VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report, during the benchmark period;
  • who provided the services and supports or who supervises the assigned job skills trainer completes the VR1645; when a job skills trainer is used with a customer, the trainer may complete the job skills training sections of the VR1645 and sign the report; and
  • completes the VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log.

When necessary, the VR1642 must be updated with changes to employment or job skills by means of a new SESP-1 meeting before the count of days of the benchmark period can begin or resume. For more information, see the policy in 18.5 Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Services Plan Part 1.

18.7.2 Process and Procedure

To achieve Benchmark 3, the SE specialist completes the VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report , which describes:

  • the goals necessary to assist the customer with maintaining competitive integrated employment; and
  • the training and supports that were provided to or ordered for the customer by the SE specialist, job skills trainer, employer, individuals providing other natural supports, and extended service providers.

Job skills training goals and other activities that help the customer adjust to the demands of the competitive integrated work environment include:

  • intensive on- and off-jobsite supports provided by the SE specialist or job skills trainer;
  • ensuring that extended services are documented and approved on the customer's Long-Term Supports and Services (LTSS) Plan of Care when funded by other state agency programs;
  • orienting and training the customer in work-related tasks at the jobsite;
  • training or consulting with employers, coworkers, or advocates to maximize natural supports;
  • establishing and training the extended service providers;
  • transportation training;
  • establishing or ensuring primary and secondary transportation plans to and from the job are in place for the customer;
  • meeting with managers and supervisors to gather input and plan training;
  • meeting with company personnel or support system individuals to resolve problems and ensure job retention; and
  • systematic training methods to train the customer in work-related tasks or behaviors to ensure job retention (for example, grooming or anger management).

18.7.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 3 is made when the VR counselor approves a complete, accurate, and signed:

  • VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report, for the 28th cumulative day of employment, listing the progress and/or achievement of the identified goals, contacts, and services provided; employer contacts; identified extended services; and average number of hours worked by the customer, including signatures that confirm the customer has met:
    • 100 percent of nonnegotiable employment conditions;
    • at least 50 percent or more of negotiable employment conditions; and
    • at least one targeted job task listed on the current VR1642, Supported Employment Services Plan 1;
  • VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log; and
  • invoice.

The customer must maintain employment for 28 cumulative days without a seven-day or greater break within a workweek that is consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1, that 100 percent of the nonnegotiable requirements and at least 50 percent of the negotiable requirements were met, and at least one job task listed on the VR1642 was met.

The SE specialist monitors, arranges, and/or provides:

  • short-term supports;
  • long-term supports;
  • training; and
  • accommodations.

The SE specialist submits a fully complete, accurate, signed, and dated VR1645 that has been completed on a computer and collects all signatures, which must be handwritten.

The completed VR1645 describes the customer's identified goals and the training supports and accommodations used to assist the customer in maintaining competitive integrated employment. The SE specialist and/or the job skills trainer documents the goals and focus areas in descriptive terms. Goals and focus areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • challenges the customer encountered while meeting the employer's expectations;
  • training, strategies, support needs, and accommodations that were identified in the VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2) and were addressed during the benchmark reporting period;
  • plans to address outstanding training, supports, and accommodation needs before job stability;
  • the SE specialist's and the job skills trainer's roles in the setup, delivery, or monitoring of services designed to help the customer meet the employer's expectations;
  • the customer's and, if applicable, the customer's legal representative's level of satisfaction with the job and the work environment;
  • the training the employer provided for the customer; and
  • verification of customer employment for four weeks (28 cumulative days), working at least one day in each week and without a break of a full workweek ("workweek" as defined by the employer) for reasons such as illness, injury, vacation, or short-term disability.

The SE specialist records the customer's status at the 28th cumulative day of employment on the VR1645, listing any identified extended services. The VR1644 indicates the dates and hours worked and is completed by the SE specialist.

The information documented in the VR1645 must be unique and individualized for each customer. VR contacts the customer, the customer's representative (if applicable), or employer to verify the information in the VR1644 and VR1645 is accurate.

18.7.4 Fees

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule.

Return to Top

18.8 Benchmark 4: Eight-Week Job Maintenance

18.8.1 Service Description

The customer achieves Benchmark 4, Eight-Week Job Maintenance, when the customer is employed by the employer listed on the most recent VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan – 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2) and:

  • has achieved 56 cumulative days of employment;
  • has worked at least one day for each workweek included in the reporting period; and
  • the job is consistent with the requirements in the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1) , including:
    • 100 percent of the nonnegotiable conditions and at least 50 percent of the negotiable conditions were met; and
    • at least one job task listed on the VR1642 was met.

During the benchmark period, the SE specialist must have a minimum of two contacts with the customer and one contact with the employer to monitor the employer's satisfaction with the customer's performance and the customer's satisfaction with the job.

To complete Benchmark 4:

  • the SE specialist provides or arranges for a job skills trainer to provide the customer with intensive on- and off-jobsite supports, as described in the VR1643;
  • the job skills trainer (if different from the SE specialist) who provided the supports completes the job skills training sections of the VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report, and signs the report;
  • the SE specialist and/or job skills trainer provide training to any paid or unpaid extended support providers addressing the customer's needs; and
  • the SE specialist completes the VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log.

When necessary, the VR1642 must be updated with changes to employment or job skills by means of a new SESP-1 meeting before the count of days in the benchmark period can begin or resume. For more information, see 18.5 Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Services Plan – 1 (SESP-1).

18.8.2 Process and Procedure

To achieve Benchmark 4, the SE specialist completes the VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report , which describes:

  • the identified goals necessary to assist the customer with maintaining competitive integrated employment; and
  • the training and support that were provided to or ordered for the customer by the SE specialist, job skills trainer, employer, individuals providing other natural supports, and extended service providers.

Activities that help the customer adjust to the demands of the competitive integrated work environment include:

  • intensive on- and off-jobsite supports provided by the SE specialist or job skills trainer;
  • ensuring the extended services are documented and approved on the customer's Long Term Supports and Services (LTSS) Plan of Care when funded by other state agency programs;
  • continuation of training the customer in work-related tasks at the jobsite;
  • training or consulting with employers, coworkers, or advocates to maximize natural supports;
  • establishing and training extended service providers;
  • transportation training;
  • establishing or ensuring primary and secondary transportation plans to and from the job are in place for the customer;
  • meeting with managers and supervisors to gather input and plan training;
  • meeting with company personnel or support system individuals to resolve problems and ensure job retention; and
  • systematic training methods to train the customer in work-related tasks or behaviors to ensure job retention (for example, grooming or anger management).

The on- and off-jobsite supports from the SE specialist or job skills trainer begin to taper off until no support from the SE specialist and/or job skills trainer is needed, and support is being provided by the employer, natural supports, or extended service providers so the customer can achieve job stability.

18.8.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 4 is made when the VR counselor approves a complete, accurate, and signed:

  • VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report, for the 56th cumulative day of employment, listing the progress and/or achievement of identified goals, contacts and services provided, employer contacts, and identified extended services; employment conditions; targeted job tasks; extended services; and hours worked by the customer, with signatures to confirm meeting:
    •  100 percent of nonnegotiable employment conditions;
    •  at least 50 percent or more of negotiable employment conditions; and
    •  at least one targeted job task listed on the current VR1642, Supported Employment Services Plan 1 (SESP1);
  • VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log; and
  • invoice.

The customer must maintain employment for a minimum of 56 cumulative days, without a break of seven days or more and is consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1) that 100 percent of the nonnegotiable conditions and at least 50 percent of the negotiable conditions were met, and at least one job task listed on the VR1642 was accomplished.

The SE specialist must have at least two contacts per month with the customer.

The SE specialist monitors, arranges, and/or provides:

  • short-term supports;
  • long-term supports;
  • training; and
  • accommodations.

The completed VR1645, Supported Employment Training and Progress Report, describes customer's identified goals and the training supports and accommodations used to assist the customer in maintaining competitive integrated employment. The SE specialist or job skills trainer documents the goals and focus areas in descriptive terms. Goals and focus areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • challenges the customer encountered while meeting the employer's expectations;
  • training, strategies, support needs, and accommodations that were identified in the VR1643, Supported Employment Services Plan 2, Placement, Job Analysis, & Training Plan (SESP-2), and addressed during the benchmark's reporting period;
  • plans to address—before job stability—outstanding training, supports, and accommodation needs;
  • the SE specialist's and the job skills trainer's roles in the setup, delivery, or monitoring of services designed to help the customer meet the employer's expectations;
  • the customer's and, if applicable, the customer's legal representative's level of satisfaction with the job and the work environment;
  • the training the employer provided for the customer; and
  • verification of customer employment for four weeks (56 cumulative days), working at least one day in each week and without a break of a full workweek ("workweek" as defined by the employer) for reasons such as illness, injury, vacation, or short-term disability.

The SE specialist records the customer's status at the 56th cumulative day of employment on the VR1645, listing any identified extended services. The VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log, indicating the dates and hours worked is also completed by the SE specialist.

The information documented in the VR1645 must be unique and individualized for each customer. VR contacts the customer, customer's representative (if applicable), or employer to verify the information on the VR1644 and VR1645 is accurate.

18.8.4 Fees

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule.

Return to Top

18.9 Benchmark 5: Job Stability

18.9.1 Service Description

Benchmark 5 is achieved when the customer:

  • maintains employment for 56 days or more;
  • meets 100 percent of the nonnegotiable conditions on the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1);
  • meets at least 50 percent or more of the negotiable conditions on the VR1642;
  • performs at least one job task on the VR1642;
  • meets or exceeds the employer's performance expectations;
  • has in place all extended services and supports, as identified on the VR1646, such as Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report, or that have emerged, such as:
    • the customer's LTSS; or
    • alternate funding, agencies, or individuals established to provide extended services for the customer; and
  • attends a job stability meeting with the customer, his/her representative, if any, the SE, and VR counselor, and all agree the customer has achieved job stability. Extended service providers are invited to attend, but their attendance is not mandatory.

The extended services long-term support identified on the VR1646, Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report, must be in place and working effectively before the VR counselor can determine whether the customer is stable in the job.

If the customer finds a new position or new job or requires additional supports from the SE specialist or job skills trainer, at least 30 cumulative days of employment must occur before job stability is reestablished.

18.9.2 Process and Procedure

Before job stability can be achieved, the SE specialist or job skills trainer must continue to provide on- and off-jobsite supports until extended services and long-term supports are being provided by the employer, natural supports, or extended service providers. The SE specialist must monitor the extended services and supports, as outlined in the VR1646, Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report, to verify the supports are effective and to ensure the customer can maintain successful long-term competitive integrated employment.

The VR counselor makes the final decision in determining job stability status. A case is considered "job stable" once the job stability date is established in a job stability meeting.

If the customer does not work for seven or more days of the workweek after the achievement of Benchmark 5: Job Stability, a new job stability date must be established in a job stability meeting.

18.9.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 5 is made when the VR counselor approves a complete, accurate, and signed:

The customer must maintain employment for a minimum of 56 cumulative days, without a break of seven days or more and consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1):100 percent of nonnegotiable employment conditions were met, at least 50 percent of negotiable employment conditions were met, and at least one job task listed on the VR1642 was accomplished.

The SE specialist must:

  • have a minimum of two contacts with the customer each month during the job stability period to monitor the customer's extended services, natural supports, and employment status;
  • have a minimum of one contact with the employer each month to monitor the employer's satisfaction with the customer's performance during the benchmark period; and
  • monitor extended service providers to ensure the customer maintains the competitive integrated employment with the supports, training, and accommodations listed in the VR1646.

Neither the SE specialist nor the job skills trainer may provide the long-term support needs, training needs, and/or accommodations, unless funding from a source other than VR is secured.

The SE specialist submits a fully complete, accurate, signed, and dated VR1646 that has been completed electronically and includes all necessary signatures, which must be handwritten.

The completed form describes the customer's job placement, training supports, and accommodations.

The form must include:

  • a description of the customer's job duties and ability to perform job duties, including whether the customer is meeting the employer's expectations;
  • a list of modifications and/or accommodations necessary to enable the customer to meet the employer's expectations;
  • a description of the customer's transportation plan to get to and from work, with a backup transportation plan in place;
  • documentation that the extended services and natural supports identified on the VR1646 are operational;
  • identification of long-term support providers, extended services providers, and natural supports;
  • information about the frequency and method long-term support providers, extended service providers, and/or natural supports will use to monitor the customer's progress and any employer concerns; and
  • verification by the SE specialist that the:
    • customer's accommodation needs are documented with the employer;
    • customer has primary and secondary transportation plans to get to and from work;
    • customer is working in a competitive integrated work environment;
    • customer is compensated at or above the minimum wage and not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who do not have disabilities; and
    • customer is employed for at least eight weeks (56 cumulative days), working at least one day in each week and without a break for a full workweek ("workweek" as defined by the employer) for reasons such as illness, injury, vacation, and short-term disability, before the customer is determined to be job stable.

If the customer gains a new position or new job, a minimum of 30 cumulative days of employment is required before the customer is eligible to be determined job stable.

The SE specialist records the customer's status at the 56th cumulative day of employment on the VR1646, listing all identified extended services (the customer's Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and Services Plan of Care for other state agencies have been establish or alternate funding, agencies, or people have been established to provide all extended services for the customer). The SE specialist also completes VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log, indicating the dates and hours worked. The information documented in the VR1646 must be unique and individualized for each customer. VR may contact the customer, customer's representative, or employer to verify that the VR1644 and VR1646 information is accurate.

18.9.4 Fees

For information about fees, see 18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule.

Return to Top

18.10 Benchmark 6: Service Closure

18.10.1 Service Description

Benchmark 6 is achieved when the customer:

  • is employed in a job for at least 146 days;
  • completes 90 cumulative days of employment stability from the final job stability date;
  • performs at least one job task on the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1);
  • meets 100 percent of the nonnegotiable conditions on the VR1642;
  • meets at least 50 percent or more of the negotiable conditions on the VR1642;
  • meets or exceeds the employer's expectations; and
  • the customer, and his or her representative, if any, are satisfied with the job placement and the establishment of extended services and support.

Additionally, all extended services and support identified on the VR1646, Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report, must be in place and working.

The SE specialist and the job skills trainer must not have provided any direct services for or on behalf of the customer, such as training the employer or extended service providers, after the job stability date has been set.

At Benchmark 5: Job Stability, the extended service providers, employer, and other supports must be in place and providing the intended supports as defined in the VR1646 and must be submitted on the VR1647, Supported Employment Closure Summary.

18.10.2 Process and Procedure

The SE specialist must:

  • monitor the extended services and support, as outlined in the VR1646, Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report, to verify the supports are effective and to ensure the customer can maintain successful long-term competitive integrated employment; and
  • not provide any direct services to the customer during the cumulative 90-day period between job stability and service closure.

When a job skills trainer is used, the job skills trainer must not provide any direct services to the customer during the cumulative 90-day period between job stability and service closure.

The VR counselor determines whether the customer maintained the required 90 cumulative days of job stability from the most recently established job stability date. Ninety cumulative days of job stability are necessary to achieve Benchmark 6: Service Closure.

If the customer does not work because of illness, injury, vacation, or short-term disability for seven or more days of a workweek after the achievement of Benchmark 5: Job Stability, a new job stability date must be established in a job stability meeting before a new cumulative 90-day count starts for the achievement of Benchmark 6: Service Closure. If a customer does not work during the time periods for Benchmarks 5 and 6, but then returns to work and is still stable, a VR3472 may be submitted to allow for the period of time to be "frozen" so that a new start of the cumulative 90-day count is not required. 

If at any time it becomes necessary to provide direct services to the customer; to train or extensively consult with the extended service provider, the employer, or the customer's natural supports; or to address issues related to the customer's performance, employment situation, or transportation, the current job stability period ends.

If the customer finds a new position or a new job or requires additional supports from the SE specialist or job skills trainer, a minimum of 30 cumulative days of employment must occur before job stability is reestablished and a new 90-day count is started toward the achievement of Benchmark 6: Service Closure.

If the customer works more than 32 weeks, the VR counselor uses the VR1644, Supported Employment Services, Time Tracking Log, the same form used to record earlier employment. VR1644 is used to record all employment hours until Benchmark 6: Service Closure is achieved.

18.10.3 Outcomes Required for Payment

Payment for Benchmark 6 is made when the VR counselor approves a complete, accurate, and signed:

  • VR1647, Supported Employment Closure Summary, 90 days from the last job stability date achieved, stating achievement of 100 percent of nonnegotiable and at least 50 percent or more of negotiable employment conditions, at least one targeted job task, and extended services;
  • VR1644, Supported Employment Services Time Tracking Log ; and
  • an invoice.

The customer must be job stable for a cumulative 90-day period of employment, without a break of seven days or more and consistent with the requirements of the VR1642, Supported Employment Service Plan – 1 (SESP-1): 100 percent of nonnegotiable employment conditions were met, at least 50 percent of negotiable employment conditions were met, and at least one job task listed on the VR1642 was accomplished.

The SE specialist must:

  • have a minimum of two contacts per month with the customer during the job stability period to monitor the customer's extended services, natural supports, and employment status;
  • have a minimum of two contacts per month with the employer to monitor the employer's satisfaction with the customer's performance during the benchmark period; and
  • monitor extended service providers to ensure the customer maintains the competitive integrated employment with the supports, training, and accommodations listed in the VR1646, Supported Employment Services, Job Stability Report.

The SE specialist submits a fully complete, accurate, signed, and dated VR1647, Supported Employment Closure Summary, that was completed electronically, and collects all signatures, which must be handwritten. The customer must be employed on the date the customer signs the VR1647.

The completed forms describe the customer's job placement and extended services.

The forms must include:

  • a description of the customer's employment information;
  • identification of extended services and natural supports;
  • documentation of the extended services and natural supports identified on the VR1647 and verification they are in place and working;
  • a statement of the frequency and method for routine visits from the long-term extended service provider and natural supports who have agreed to monitor the customer's progress with the employer and/or customer; and
  • verification by the SE specialist that the customer:
    • is working in a competitive integrated work environment;
    • is compensated at or above the minimum wage and not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals who do not have disabilities; and
    • was employed at least 146 cumulative days, working at least one day in each week and without a break for a full workweek ("workweek" as defined by the employer) for reasons such as illness, injury, vacation, and short-term disability before the customer was determined job stable.

If the customer obtains a new position, changes employers, or has significant challenges in the job, a new job stability meeting must be held, after the customer is job stable, to set a new 90-day count for achievement of Benchmark 6.

The SE specialist must have at least two monitoring contacts per month with the customer, employer, extended service provider, and/or individuals providing natural supports, as described in the VR1647, to ensure that the customer can maintain a successful long-term competitive integrated employment outcome.

The SE specialist records the customer's status at 90 cumulative days from the final job stability date on the VR1647.

The information documented on the VR1647 must be unique and individualized for each customer. VR may contact the customer, customer's representative, or employer to verify the information on the VR1644 and VR1647 is accurate.

If the VR1642 indicates the provider is eligible for any Employment Premium Service, and if VR staff has verified the required outcomes have been achieved, payment is made at the achievement of Benchmark 6.

18.10.4 Fees

For information about fees, see the following fee schedule.

Return to Top

18.11 Supported Employment Fee Schedule

Supported Employment Service

Unit Rate

Comment

Benchmark 1A: Supported Employment Assessment (SEA)

$975.00

Not paid until after the VR counselor, customer, customer representative (if any), and SE specialist have met to discuss the results and recommendations of the SEA

Benchmark 1A: Supported Employment Assessment (SEA) is prorated when the Environmental Work Assessment (EWA) has been completed.

$525.00

Used when an EWA is completed before the SEA

Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Services Plan – 1 (SESP-1)

$150.00

Benchmark is paid only once, even if multiple SESP meetings occur.

Benchmark 2: Job Placement and SESP-2

$1,500.00

Customer must work five days or shifts before achievement of the benchmark.

Benchmark 3: Four-Week Job Maintenance

$1,500.00

Customer must work 28 cumulative calendar days from the first day of paid employment.

Benchmark 4: Eight-Week Job Maintenance

$750.00

Customer must work 56 cumulative days from the first day of paid employment.

Benchmark 5: Job Stability

$750.00

The stability meeting must take place and the VR counselor must establish the stability date before payment of the benchmark.

The period between achievement of Benchmark 4 and Benchmark 5 is not defined.

Customer may have multiple stability dates, but benchmark is paid only once.

Benchmark 6: Service Closure

$3,000.00

Customer must have maintained employment 90 days from most recent job stability date with no support or assistance from the SE specialist.

Supports must be provided by the employer, extended service providers, long-term supports, and/or natural supports.

Professional Placement Premium

$500.00

N/A

Criminal Background Premium

$500.00

N/A

Wage Premium

$500.00

N/A

Deaf Service Premium at completion of Benchmark 1B

$533.00

N/A

Deaf Service Premium at completion of Benchmark 6

$3,550.00

N/A

Autism Premium at completion of Benchmark 1B

$225.00

N/A

Autism Premium at completion Benchmark 1B is prorated when an EWA is completed

$135.00

N/A

Autism Premium at completion of Benchmark 6

$1,500.00

N/A

Return to Top