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Order of Selection

Date: November 30, 2017

Descriptions of Priority Categories
  • Priority Group 1: Has a severe physical or mental impairment resulting in a rating of very low in two or more functional areas.
  • Priority Group 2: Has a severe physical or mental impairment that results in a very low rating in one functional area or receives SSDI or SSI based on a disability. Individuals who receive SSDI or SSI automatically qualify for priority group two and are assessed to determine whether they qualify for priority group one.
  • Priority Group 3: All eligible individuals. These individuals must have a low rating in at least one of the seven functional areas.
Process reminders
  • Assessment services can only be used to determine eligibility and priority group classification
  • Use Functional Capacity Checklist to determine Priority Groups
  •  Client meeting to discuss eligibility and the assigned priority group is required. This discussion needs to take place prior to the actual approval of the QE2 Priority Group Determination being completed.
  • Information and Referral form is required for all applicants.
Exception for Job Retention cases
The client must be currently working and is at immediate risk of losing his or her current job and is in the need of specific services or equipment that would enable him or her to maintain that employment.
Note: This exemption does not apply to:
·       Losing jobs because the employer is going out of business, eliminating the job or for other business-related decisions. 
·       Underemployed or seeking to maximize their employment. 
·       Seeking to change employers.

Pre-Employment Transition Services
  • Students who are considered “potentially eligible” for VR services will receive pre-employment transition services regardless of the OOS and are served when a signed Pre-Employment Transition Consent and Release is in place.
  • Students with disabilities who apply for VR services and who began receiving pre-employment transition services prior to applying for and being determined eligible will continue to have access to pre-employment transition services even if their priority group is closed.
  • Any student with a disability that has applied for VR services who is not yet participating in pre-employment transition services when the eligibility determination is made, and who is placed in a closed priority group will be served when funding is sufficient, by the date the application is signed by the client. VR will take steps to initiate pre-employment transition services during the VR application intake appointment, so that any student who qualifies may be able to receive pre-employment transition services while on the waiting list.
  • Any student with a disability who is determined eligible for VR services and placed in an open priority group can receive the full range of services offered though VR including pre-employment transition services and individualized VR services.
  • It is required all cases that are pre-employment transition services eligible have at least one pre-employment transition service added in the case record under the assessment tab (task note is not sufficient). This includes those who have a pre-employment transition services consent and release or a VR application and are pre-employment transition services eligible.
  • For cases that have an application and have services added in assessment, VR staff must assure these are pre-employment transition services rather than “adult” services (e.g., job exploration counseling vs. career planning). These services need to be added prior to Nebraska VR entering OOS.

The agency must provide the full range of vocational rehabilitation services, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals who apply. In the event these services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals, the agency must implement an Order of Selection policy (OOS).

An individual’s priority in the OOS will be determined at the time of eligibility based on the individual’s current situation and not based on projected job goals or limitations the individual might have in the future. A client can subsequently be moved to a higher priority group if information becomes available indicating additional or more severe functional limitations.

When funding is not sufficient to serve all eligible individuals those in Priority Group One will be served first, those in Priority Group Two second and those in Priority Group Three served last. Should a client be assigned to a closed priority group, the client will be given the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list until resources are available to remove clients from the waiting list to receive services.

Descriptions of Priority Categories

  • Priority Group 1: Has a severe physical or mental impairment resulting in a rating of very low in two or more functional areas.

  • Priority Group 2: Has a severe physical or mental impairment that results in a very low rating in one functional area or receives SSDI or SSI based on a disability. Individuals who receive SSDI or SSI automatically qualify for priority group two and are assessed to determine whether they qualify for priority group one.

  • Priority Group 3: All eligible individuals. These individuals must have a low rating in at least one of the seven functional areas.

Procedure for Applicants

1. The VR Specialist meets with applicant to have the Employment Discussion/Intake and provides the client an overview of VR Services to include the OOS, priority groups, waiting list, how eligibility and priority groups are determined and what that means for the client regarding services in each group. The OOS Factsheet may be provided to clients, parents, schools, agencies and/or organizations to assist with the understanding of the Order of Selection. A thorough Employment Discussion needs to be completed to include the individual’s work experiences and how the impairment has been an impediment to employment. The VR Specialist needs to assess reasons for gaps in work history, jobs ending, and themes and/or repeated issues for getting, keeping or preparing for employment.

2. The VR Specialist should use the Functional Capacity Checklist and the Discovery Booklet to assist with the determination of eligibility and priority group assignment. This will help to ensure a determination can be made for the most appropriate priority group. If you complete the Discovery Booklet, offer the information to the client and maintain a copy or original in client’s case file.

3. Assessment services can only be used to determine eligibility and priority groups. Assessment services may include:

  • Obtaining medical documentation
  • Benefits Orientation
  • Discovery Booklet
  • Vocational Evaluation, OJE/community work assessment (stamina, memory, speed, and quality of work, etc.)
  • Support services required to participate in the assessment services (transportation, clothes, etc.)

4.   Determine eligibility within 60 days from the date of application unless exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the VR Specialist preclude making the decision. The client must agree to the specific extension of time. A QE2 Eligibility Extension is required if the decision will exceed 60 days and this extension needs to be completed PRIOR to the 60 day timeframe actually expiring.

5.   The VR Specialist is required to meet with the client to discuss eligibility and the assigned priority group. This discussion needs to take place prior to the actual approval of the QE2 Priority Group Determination being completed. All the information can be placed into QE2 without the actual approval being completed. This will give the client and VR Specialist the opportunity to review the information and have a discussion as to why the specific priority group was assigned. As part of this discussion, the client will have the opportunity to share any further information that may need to be considered.

6.   At the conclusion of the required meeting to discuss the eligibility and priority group assignment, information and referral are required to be provided.  Nebraska VR must provide information and referral to community resources and partners in the statewide workforce (e.g., American Job Center).  Referrals may also be made to Independent Living Centers, a mental health counseling facility, counseling services, Employment Networks (EN), college and university career centers, and services for students with disabilities offices. VR needs to provide information and guidance when referring to the most suitable services to assist the individual with their employment needs and a specific contact point.

VR is required to provide all individuals information and referral to other appropriate resources. Use the Information and Referral to other Programs form and keep a copy in the file.

Reminder: It is imperative clients receiving Social Security Disability should be given the list of Employment Networks in the State.

7.   An Eligibility/Priority Group letter will be generated upon completion of the priority group determination approval in QE2. The Eligibility/Priority Group letter will be sent by the State Office to the client. An autogenerated task note will be created indicating the letter has been sent.

8.   The VR Specialist will be provided a copy of the Eligibility/Priority Group letter that was sent from the State Office.  This letter will have the date the letter was sent to individual clients and will serve as notification of the next step in the process. The client in an open priority group can begin receiving services and those in a closed priority group will be contacted by the VR Specialist to determine if they want to be placed on the waiting list. If there is no response to the letter and attempted contacts from the VR staff, the case will be closed by the VR Specialist after 30 days. The Eligibility/Priority Group letter needs to be maintained in the casefile.

Exceptions to Policy on OOS

Job retention is a priority of WIOA and Nebraska VR has established an exception to the Priority Groups. The client must be currently working and is at immediate risk of losing his or her current job and is in the need of specific services or equipment that would enable him or her to maintain that employment.

The VR Specialist will determine eligibility and assign a priority group based on the individual’s functional capacities. No matter what priority group the client is assigned to or if the priority group is open or closed, this client will receive specific services or equipment to maintain employment.

Job Retention Services Checklist for Clients in a Closed Priority Group

[  ] Individual is employed and indicates they are in danger of losing their job.

[  ] Client must provide written documentation from their employer they are having difficulty performing the essential functions of the job and in immediate risk of losing their job.

[  ] The VR Specialist must provide a justification for the provision of the service(s) that are needed in order for the client to maintain their current job in a Task Note.

[  ] The VR Specialist will enter the impairment on the Impairment Screen and functional capacities on the Functional Capacities screen.

[  ] The VR Specialist will enter but not approve the Eligibility Determination and Priority Determination for Job Retention approval.

[  ] The Office Director or Team Contact emails Cheryl Ferree when:

• the eligibility and priority group information is entered into the QE2 screens

• the Task Note has been completed describing the applicant’s work situation and how the essential job duties have been effected, and

       • attaches a copy of the required employer letter

[  ] Cheryl Ferree (Mark Schultz/Lindy Foley, backups, if Cheryl is gone) reviews the required information to determine the case meets the requirements of special consideration for job retention. Cheryl will consult with other members of the OOS Committee, as appropriate.

[  ] Cheryl will notify the Office Director and Team Contact when the applicant is approved for job retention by email and will enter a task note:

• Additional information may be requested in order to make this decision

• If not approved, VR staff will be notified

[  ] Upon receiving the notification from Cheryl, the VR Specialist will mark “yes” to Job Retention question and proceed with the APPROVAL process.

[  ] The VR Specialist completes and approves the Eligibility and Priority Determination.

[  ] The client will receive an Eligibility/Priority Group letter specific to the Retention Services that will be provided.

[  ] Upon qualifying for Retention Services, an IPE can be developed and approved.

[  ] Only the specific service(s) the client needs to retain the job will be available to be provided.

[  ] If the client wishes other services, they will be placed on the waiting list and those services provided when they come off the waiting list.

[  ] If after the provision of job retention services the client loses the job while their case is still open, they will go on the waiting list for services to obtain a new job.

[  ] After the provision of the job retention service and the minimum of 90 days follow along with the client indicating they are satisfied with the job retention services, a successful outcome can be taken. Taking a successful outcome will remove the client from the waiting list.

Note: This exemption does not apply to:

  • Losing jobs because the employer is going out of business, eliminating the job or for other business-related decisions.
  • Underemployed or seeking to maximize their employment.
  • Seeking to change employers.

Procedure for Managing Waiting List

  1. A waiting list will be generated based on priority groups and individual’s date and time of application.
  2. State Office will determine when to open or close a priority group based upon the availability of resources.
  3.  State Office will determine how many clients will be taken off the waiting list based on availability of resources, priority groups, and individual application date and time.
  4. A letter will be generated from the State Office informing clients they are off the waiting list. The letter will inform the clients they have 30 days to contact their local VR Specialist if interested in services.
  5. The local VR Specialist will be mailed a copy of the letter sent to the client to monitor the 30-day timeframe. Upon this notification, VR staff need to attempt contact with the client to see if they are interested in services. Several forms of communication (phone, e-mail, letter, personal contacts) should be utilized by VR staff to contact the client. If, after a couple of attempted contacts, VR does not hear from the client within the 30-day timeframe, the case needs to be closed by the VR staff which will remove the client’s name from the waiting lit. The Off the Waiting List letter needs to be placed in the client’s file.
  6. The VR Specialist will complete the IPE within 90 days from the date the Off the Waiting List letter sent to the client.
  • Reminder: Clients who are determined to be in an open priority group at the time of the eligibility and priority group determination will be provided a seamless continuity of services and will complete the IPE with the VR Specialist within the 90 days from the date of eligibility.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

  • Students who are considered “potentially eligible” for VR services will receive pre-employment transition services regardless of the OOS and are served when a signed Pre-Employment Transition Consent and Release is in place.
  • Students with disabilities who apply for VR services and who began receiving pre-employment transition services prior to applying for and being determined eligible will continue to have access to pre-employment transition services even if their priority group is closed.
  • Any student with a disability that has applied for VR services who is not yet participating in pre-employment transition services when the eligibility determination is made, and who is placed in a closed priority group will be served when funding is sufficient, by the date the application is signed by the client. VR will take steps to initiate pre-employment transition services during the VR application intake appointment, so that any student who qualifies may be able to receive pre-employment transition services while on the waiting list.
  • Any student with a disability who is determined eligible for VR services and placed in an open priority group can receive the full range of services offered though VR including pre-employment transition services and individualized VR services.
  • It is required all cases that are pre-employment transition services eligible have at least one pre-employment transition service added in the case record under the assessment tab (task note is not sufficient). This includes those who have a pre-employment transition services consent and release or a VR application and are pre-employment transition services eligible.
  • For cases that have an application and have services added in assessment, VR staff must assure these are pre-employment transition services rather than “adult” services (e.g., job exploration counseling vs. career planning). These services need to be added prior to Nebraska VR entering OOS.

The agency must provide the full range of vocational rehabilitation services, as appropriate, to all eligible individuals who apply. In the event these services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals, the agency must implement an Order of Selection policy (OOS).

An individual’s priority in the OOS will be determined at the time of eligibility based on the individual’s current situation and not based on projected job goals or limitations the individual might have in the future. A client can subsequently be moved to a higher priority group if information becomes available indicating additional or more severe functional limitations.

When funding is not sufficient to serve all eligible individuals those in Priority Group One will be served first, those in Priority Group Two second and those in Priority Group Three served last. Should a client be assigned to a closed priority group, the client will be given the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list until resources are available to remove clients from the waiting list to receive services.

The Order of Selection shall NOT be based on any other factors, including:

  • Any duration of residency requirement, provided the individual is present in the State; 
  • Type of disability; 
  • Age, gender, race, color or national origin; 
  • Source of referral; 
  • Type of expected employment outcome; 
  • The need for specific services or anticipated cost of services required by an individual; or 
  • The income level of an individual or an individual’s family.

Descriptions of Priority Categories

  • Priority Group 1: Has a severe physical or mental impairment resulting in a rating of very low in two or more functional areas.
  • Priority Group 2: Has a severe physical or mental impairment that results in a very low rating in one functional area or receives SSDI or SSI based on a disability. Individuals who receive SSDI or SSI automatically qualify for priority group two and are assessed to determine whether they qualify for priority group one.
  • Priority Group 3: All eligible individuals. These individuals must have a low rating in at least one of the seven functional areas.

Implementation

Upon the implementation of the OOS, Nebraska VR will continue to provide services to:

  • Those in an open priority group
  • Current clients in a closed priority group who have an approved Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) prior to the implementation of the OOS
  • Clients at immediate risk of losing his or her current job regardless if in an open or closed priority group

Information and Referral

Nebraska VR must provide information and referral to community resources and partners in the statewide workforce (e.g., American Job Center).  Referrals may also be made to Independent Living Centers, a mental health counseling facility, counseling services, Employment Networks (EN), college and university career centers, and services for students with disabilities offices. VR needs to provide information and guidance when referring to the most suitable services to assist the individual with their employment needs and a specific contact point. VR is required to provide all individuals information and referral to other appropriate resources. Use the Information and Referral Sheet to other Programs.

  • Reminder: It is imperative clients receiving Social Security Disability should be given the list of Employment Networks in the State.

Post-Employment Services

  • Post-employment services are limited in scope and duration and are provided subsequent to the successful employment outcome if necessary for an individual to maintain or advance in employment.
  • Post-employment services may only be initiated within 12 months of the date of the successful employment outcome.
  • Considering the limited scope and duration of post-employment services, any authorization should generally not exceed 3 months from the planned start date of the post-employment service.
  • Services necessary to maintain or advance in employment that are provided as a post-employment service will be limited to those team, community and support services that are readily available, easy to arrange, routine, and can be provided within 90 days.

Exceptions to Policy on OOS

Job retention is a priority of WIOA and Nebraska VR has established an exception to the Priority Groups. The client must be currently working and is at immediate risk of losing his or her current job and is in the need of specific services or equipment that would enable him or her to maintain that employment.

The VR Specialist will determine eligibility and assign a priority group based on the individual’s functional capacities. No matter what priority group the client is assigned to or if the priority group is open or closed, this client will receive specific services or equipment to maintain employment.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

  • Students who are considered “potentially eligible” for VR services will receive pre-employment transition services regardless of the OOS and are served when a signed Pre-Employment Transition Consent and Release is in place.
  • Students with disabilities who apply for VR services and who began receiving pre-employment transition services prior to applying for and being determined eligible will continue to have access to pre-employment transition services even if their priority group is closed.
  • Any student with a disability that has applied for VR services who is not yet participating in pre-employment transition services when the eligibility determination is made, and who is placed in a closed priority group will be served when funding is sufficient, by the date the application is signed by the client. VR will take steps to initiate pre-employment transition services during the VR application intake appointment, so that any student who qualifies may be able to receive pre-employment transition services while on the waiting list.
  • Any student with a disability who is determined eligible for VR services and placed in an open priority group can receive the full range of services offered though VR including pre-employment transition services and individualized VR services.
  • It is required all cases that are pre-employment transition services eligible have at least one pre-employment transition service added in the case record under the assessment tab (task note is not sufficient). This includes those who have a pre-employment transition services consent and release or a VR application and are pre-employment transition services eligible.
  • For cases that have an application and have services added in assessment, VR staff must assure these are pre-employment transition services rather than “adult” services (e.g., job exploration counseling vs. career planning). These services need to be added prior to Nebraska VR entering OOS.

 

The distinction between a substantial impediment to employment for purposes of eligibility and a serious functional limitation for purposes of establishing priority for service is one of degree and scope. The degree and scope is serious if an individual can only perform a function, or can only learn to perform a function with a significant accommodation and/or substantial support. A Very Low rating to a functional capacity area is evidence of a serious functional limitation. 

An individual’s priority in the OOS will be determined at the time of eligibility based on the individual’s current situation and not based on projected job goals or limitations the individual might have in the future. A client can subsequently be moved to a higher priority group if information becomes available indicating additional or more severe functional limitations.

Use the Functional Capacity Checklist to evaluate how the disability creates a substantial impediment to employment. Functional limitations are based on disability, NOT situational factors such as no transportation.

 


Date
November 30, 2017 Show this Archived Version
August 29, 2013 Show this Archived Version


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