​Chapter 4.02 Contents:​

A1. Criteria to Put Case in Application - T Status

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Criteria.
    Before closing a case from Application status or Application–E status because the applicant, including cases presumed eligible (see Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBLITY, Policy 1, Section A2) is incapable of benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome because of the severity of the disability, the counselor shall first conduct an exploration of the applicant’s abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in realistic work situations to determine whether there is clear and convincing evidence to support such a determination. The requirement to use trial work experiences does not apply when closing a case i) from Application or Application–E status for a reason other than disability is too severe, or ii) after Eligible status even if the closure reason is that the individual is incapable of benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome because of the severity of the disability

  2. Clear and convincing evidence means that the counselor shall have a high degree of certainty before concluding the disability is too severe for the applicant to achieve an employment outcome. Clear means unequivocal. Given these requirements, a review of existing information generally would not provide clear and convincing evidence. For example the use of an intelligence test result alone would not provide clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence might include, but is not limited to, a description of assessments (including situational assessments and supported employment assessments) from service providers who have concluded that they would be unable to meet the individual’s needs due to the severity of the individual’s disability. Clear and convincing evidence must include, if appropriate, a functional assessment of skill development activities, with any necessary supports (including assistive technology) in real life settings (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42).

  3. The counselor shall use trial work experiences of a sufficient variety and duration and with appropriate supports to accommodate the rehabilitation needs of the applicant (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42). The counselor shall develop a Trial Work Experience Plan and shall move the case into Application–T status when the eligibility assessment includes trial work experiences.
            
 

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Eligibility criteria.
    For eligibility criteria for diagnostic and evaluation and assessment services, see the policy for the particular service and see Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTIC, Policy 1.

  2. Necessary.
    The counselor may provide only those services listed below that are necessary to determine eligibility (and to assign priority category if DRS is on Order Of Selection) and to determine the nature and scope of services required to achieve an employment outcome (per 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(d)). The counselor shall not provide or commit to provide any other services until the counselor makes a final eligibility determination and the individual and counselor have mutually agreed upon and signed the Employment Plan.

    1. Assessment of personality, interests, interpersonal skills, intelligence and related functional capacities, educational achievements, work experience, vocational aptitudes, personal and social adjustments, and employment opportunities of the individual, and the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and other pertinent vocational, educational, cultural, social, recreational, and environmental factors, that affect the employment and rehabilitation needs of the individual.

    1. Trial work experiences to explore the individual’s abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations. Trial work experiences include, but are not limited to, supported employment, on-the-job training, and other experiences in realistic work settings. Trial work experiences shall be of sufficient variety and duration to determine eligibility or that there is clear and convincing evidence that the individual cannot benefit in terms of an employment outcome due to the severity of the individual’s disability (per Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in 1998 Title I Section 102(a)(2)(B)).

    1. Appraisal of the individual’s patterns of work behavior and the services needed for the individual to acquire occupational skills and develop work attitudes, work habits, work tolerance, and social and behavior patterns necessary for successful job performance, including supported employment assessments and situational assessments in real work settings to assess the capacities of the individual to perform adequately in a work environment.

    1. Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance.

    2. Referral to other agencies, facilities, and Centers for Independent Living, as appropriate.

    1. Support services (transportation, personal assistance services, dependent or child care, maintenance) required for the individual to participate in DRS-approved trial work experiences and diagnostic, assessment, and evaluation services.

    1. Rehabilitation technology assessment.

    1. Personal assistance services assessment.

    1. Interpreter services for the deaf, note taking services, native language interpreters, and other reasonable communication accommodations needed to participate in diagnostic and evaluation services (per P.L. 101-336 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 104.4 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(5)), but not goods (e.g., hearing aids, telecommunication systems, assistive listening devices, and alerting devices).

    1. Physical and mental restoration services to the degree needed to determine eligibility.

    2. Training that is diagnostic in nature (e.g., work adjustment training, situational assessment).

    1. Other services to the degree needed to determine eligibility.
                   
                             

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. The counselor shall determine the individual eligible or ineligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program as soon as possible but within 18 months from the start date of the Trial Work Experiences Plan.

  2. If the case is re-opened, a new eligibility determination assessment period is allowable.
              

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. The individual (or representative, as appropriate) and counselor shall jointly develop a written plan for determining eligibility and for determining the nature and scope of services required to achieve an employment outcome (per 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(d)). For this purpose DRS mandates use of the Trial Work Experiences plan in AWARE. The counselor shall provide a copy to the applicant and keep a copy in AWARE.

  2. Integrated setting. Services must be provided in the most integrated setting possible, consistent with the informed choice of the individual (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(d)).

  3. Pre-approval. Supervisory written pre-approval is required for purchase of any goods and services that are not diagnostic in nature (per agency mandate).

  4. Fee-based services.
    The individual must complete a Client Financial Statement RS-13 form if the individual will be receiving services that are subject to consumer financial participation. Fee-based goods and services (such as., textbooks and training materials, tools and equipment, rehabilitation technology goods and services, eyeglasses, hearing aid(s), wheelchair, other assistive technology devices, home modification or vehicle modification service) needed for DRS-approved trial work experiences and diagnostic, assessment, and evaluation services shall be provided on a rental or borrow free of charge basis rather than by purchase, if appropriate, feasible, and cost effective. Goods and services are subject to consumer financial participation (per agency mandate) unless it meets all three criteria:  

    1. are diagnostic in nature, and

    1. are provided for the sole purpose of evaluating eligibility for the Vocational Rehabilitation program, and

    1. are not provided for the exclusive use of an individual applicant but will be retained by DRS for use with other consumers after the termination of the trial work period.

      Example: If the applicant and counselor agree that the applicant shall retain a wheelchair (or other goods or equipment or devices) after termination of the period — regardless of whether the applicant is determined eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation program — the item is subject to the financial participation policy

  5. Comparable benefits. Physical and mental restoration services are subject to DRS established comparable benefits policy. This includes personally-prescribed devices such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, etc. Other services are exempt (2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53).


     

  6. Purchasing. Goods and services are subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1).

                
 
 

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

The counselor shall assess the individual’s progress as frequently as necessary but at least every 90 calendar days (per agency mandate) while the case is in Application–T status, and shall document the results of the review in the case record (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47), and shall justify in a case note the reason why the case must remain in that status.

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[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. The counselor shall terminate trial work experiences at any point during the eligibility determination assessment period if the counselor determines that i) there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the applicant can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome, or ii) there is clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is incapable of benefiting from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(d)).

    cross-reference: For “clear and convincing evidence,"See Policy 1: Section A1 of this chapter.

    cross-reference: For case closure, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1.

  2. When the counselor determines that rehabilitation potential exists, a Certificate of Eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation Services is required to continue services (per RSA Manual issued April 19, 1991) and the counselor shall move the case into Eligible status in AWARE and begin to develop the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with the individual. See Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 1

                   

[Revised: 4/1/14]

The counselor who develops the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) for a Workers Compensation case must meet qualifications in the Workers Compensation Act (see Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1, Section A1).

                      

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

When the counselor determines an applicant is eligible for services under a Trial Work Experiences Plan, the individual (or representative, as appropriate) and counselor shall jointly develop a written plan for determining eligibility and for determining the nature and scope of services required to achieve an employment outcome (per 2001 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(d)), using the Application-T screen . The counselor must keep documentation supporting the need for trial work in the case record. For instructions on completing the screen, see AWARE Manual.

                       
 

Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.