​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Chapter 0 Contents:

RS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 10-01

To:                   DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:               January 27, 2010 

The following policies will become effective February 1, 2010.  Because the online manual is being reformatted for a new computer program, there will be a delay in publishing the attached policies. Until further notice, please keep these written changes available for reference.

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 1.2, LIABILITY, Policy 1

  1. Counselors have been requesting insurance for clients participating in situational assessment or unpaid work experience (UWE). This revision explains the health insurance coverage that DRS has re-purchased from Nationwide for injury to a client that occurs during either a situational assessment or unpaid work experience (UWE). For injury or property damage caused by a client at the work site of the situational assessment or UWE, this would be reported to the Division of Risk Management for coverage by the State. Any damage caused DRS staff to a client or his/her property also would be reported to Risk Management for coverage. 
  2. It is not necessary to send client information to Central Office at the start of situational assessment or UWE because insurance is automatically provided for clients participating in those identified VR services.  
  3. The new procedure requires the counselor to submit the Vocational Rehabilitation Accident/Incident form for any property damage or personal injury regardless of fault , and to also provide assistance to clients in submitting  the Nationwide Claim Form as soon as possible following the  injury to the client including any medical expenses that have been incurred by the client.

 

 

  1. Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1

    Revising Section A9 to update criteria for referral to SMI counselor to be consistent with Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services criteria. 

     

  2. Chapter 2.2, ORDER OF SELECTION, Policy 2

    Clarifying Section B2. When DRS is operating under an Order of Selection, supervisor written pre-approval for post employment services is required except when all priority categories are open.

     

  3. Chapter 8.22, POST, Policy 1

    Revising Section A(d) to refer to Order of Selection Policy 2.

     Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-4a

    Removing instructions to complete Certificate of Eligibility and replacing with instructions to complete Serious Functional Limitations Checklist. The Certificate form was retired in March 2008 and the “RS-4a” form number was reassigned to the SFL checklist and Disability Codes cheat sheet.

    FORMS

    Chapter 12, FORMS, is being updated to remove instructions to retired paper copy forms made obsolete by data entry directly into AWARE:

    Form                                   Removed instructions from Chapter 12        Retired from Forms Cabinet

     

    RS-4-0 Continuation Sheet               Feb 2010                                                     Dec. 2009

    RS-4e Closure Entry                           Feb. 2010                                                    Dec. 2008

    RS-4f Post Employ. Closure             Feb. 2010                                                    Dec. 2008

    RS-6 Authorization                               Feb. 2010                                                   Jan. 2010

    RS-6a Auth. Cancellation                   Feb. 2010                                                   Jan. 2010

    RS-31 Case Transfer                         Feb. 2010                                                    Dec. 2008       

     

    TECHNICAL CHANGES

    Chapter 8.19, TRAINING, Policy 1

    Deleting information under Section A3(g), insurance and injury, and adding a link that refers the reader to Chapter 1.2, LIABILITY, Policy 1

     

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 10-02

To:                   DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              March 22, 2010

The following policies are effective as of April 1, 2010 and the three release forms and instructions are effective as of March 2010. A new computer program will allow the following policies to be published on their effective date. Because the manual is no longer being drafted in a word document, policies will no longer be provided with the transmittal. If a hard copy is desired, the policies may be printed from the online manual on the effective date.  

POLICY CHANGES

 

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 1

The entire policy was re-written for clarity. Policies 2, 3, 4, and 5 were moved into Policy 1.

Section A1 includes information which used to be in Section B on definitions and policy on informed written consent to obtain or disclose personal information and when disclosure is required or permitted without informed written consent.

Section A2 includes policy and procedure on subpoenas, which used to be in Policy 4.

Sections A3 is policy on client access to VR case information, which used to be in Policy 3.

Section A5 includes requirement to record instances of disclosure unless specifically not required or prohibited, which used to be in Section B.

Section A6 is policy on parent access to child’s VR case information, which used to be in Policy 3.

Section B now includes only the policy on required notification at Intake of consumer right to confidentiality, which used to be in Section C. The other policies from Section B are moved into Section A.  

Sections C1 and C2 includes policy on reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child or adult, which used to be in Policy 5.

Section D removes the requirement to use a new RS-3j form each and every time alcohol/SA abuse information is requested or disclosed. The consent is valid for one year, unless the consumer stipulates an earlier date/event/condition on the form, or the consumer revokes consent in writing. The instructions on when to use the RS-3e, RS-3i and RS-3j form and how to complete and distribute them is moved into Chapter 12, FORMS. 

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 2 – Removed from Manual

Moved policy on staff access to, and use of, VR case information into Policy 1. The policy has not changed. There is no longer a policy 2.

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 3 – Removed from Manual

 Moved policy on client and parent access to VR case information into Policy 1. The policy has not changed. There is no longer a policy 3.

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 4 – Removed from Manual

Moved policy on subpoenas into Policy 1. The procedure still requires staff to immediately fax the subpoena to the Policy Director, notify the custodian of records (the office supervisor), and to respond to the subpoena as directed by the Policy Director. We still cannot release VR (including SE) or IL records in response to a subpoena, even for clients with a Workers Compensation case. There is no longer a policy 4.

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 5 – Removed from Manual

Moved policy on reporting suspected abuse or neglect of child or adult into Policy 1. The policy has not changed. There is no longer a policy 5.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1, Section A2

No longer require color tabs or color folders to distinguish alcohol and substance abuse cases form other VR cases. However, the RS-3j is still required for alcohol/SA information.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1, Section B1

   Clarifying procedure when client challenges the information in the case record; however, the actual procedure has not changed.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1, Section C1

Clarifying what documents are filed on left side of paper case folder, what is filed on right side of paper case folder, and whether to save electronic forms, e-mails, and other electronic information in AWARE or in an electronic folder on shared drive.

Chapter 1.4, FOIA, Policy 1, Section A1

Updated the link to Confidentiality chapter.

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 5, Section C2

Updated the link to Confidentiality chapter.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-3e

Added “or successor” so the form does not have to be re-done when there is a change in VR counselor or in personnel at the other agency or organization.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-3i

Added “dates of service” – if requesting records, enter the time frame (if known) that the record was created. This helps locate the record or whether it might have been destroyed under Library of Virginia record retention guidelines.

Added “or successor” so the form does not have to be re-done when there is a change in VR counselor or in personnel at the other agency or organization.

Removed requirement to send revocation notice to DRS Central Office – it is now handled within the local office.   

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-3j.

No longer need client to sign a new form each and every time you release, exchange, or request information; the form is effective until the condition/event that is written in on the form or one year from signature date - whichever comes first.

Added “or successor” so the form does not have to be re-done when there is a change in VR counselor or in personnel at the other agency or organization.

Removed requirement to send revocation notice to DRS Central Office – it is now handled within the local office.  

Added “PID or SSN” – optional, may enter AWARE Participant ID number or social security number of leave blank.

 

FORMS

Revised RS-3e, RS-3i, and RS-3j as of March 2010. The 3 revised forms have been distributed to the local office supervisors, including Mary Nunnally and Mary Kaye Johnston. The forms were submitted to be published in the Forms Cabinet and translated into Spanish (Policy unit staff do not know when they will be published or translated).

 

 

10-03. Transmittal issued May 2010

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 10-03

To:                   DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              April 29, 2010

The following policies will become effective May 1, 2010.  

POLICY CHANGES  

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 3

Section B1 is revised to remove reference to the DRS Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. Requirements for counselors qualified to serve clients with a Workers’ Compensation case remains the same (see Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 3). 

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1

Section A1 is revised to remove reference to the DRS Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. 

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1

Section A3 and Section A4 are revised to remove the statement that RSA does not allow two state VR agencies to close same consumer’s case as Closed-Rehabilitated in the same year.

Section A8 is revised to add direction and guidance on serving a case that is open with another state VR agency. Both agencies may close the case as Closed-Rehabilitated in the same year if:

  1. The individual requires multiple services,
  2. Each agency provides a significant service that the other agency does not typically provide to its consumers, and
  3. The service is substantial in removing limitations to employment.

Additional guidance in provided in this section that substantial services for persons who are served by two state VR agencies include training services, physical restoration services, or direct job placement that results in employment. The provision of guidance and counseling services alone is not sufficient to close a dually served case as Closed-Rehabilitated.

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 2

Section A1 is revised to remove reference to the DRS Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. 

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 4

Section A1 is revised to remove reference to the DRS Workers’ Compensation Coordinator and remove the requirement to provide feedback at referral of consumer with a Workers’ Compensation case. 

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 2

Section A4 is revised to update contact information when requesting medical records from Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Commission address when completing the RS-3i release form.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2

Section A3 is revised to add a link to the Workers’ Compensation Commission Website guidance on working with Workers’ Compensation cases.

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Section A3 (12) is revised to remove the reference to the DRS Workers’ Compensation Coordinator.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5c

Instructions for the RS-5c remain the same, but the date is changed to reflect the form revision date.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

Instructions for the RS-13 remain the same, but the date is changed to reflect the form revision date. 


FORMS

The following forms will be available on the forms cabinet.

RS-5c is revised. References to the old VRIS case status system have been removed. In addition, the instructions remind the user to conduct information and referral services as required under Federal Regulations.

RS-13 is revised. For Part 2, you only need to enter the taxable income, non-taxable income, and assets on Sheet 2 and any disability-related expenses on Sheet 3. The revised form will calculate the allowance for taxes/health insurance/retirement savings, the family size allowance, the total disability-related expenses you entered on Sheet 3, and the client’s percentage/dollar cap contribution.      

Remember to keep a copy of the tax return, or proof of TANF/GR/SSI/SSDI and amount of aid received.

The client percentage contribution table on sheet 4 has been revised to correct minor errors. Please discard any old tables that you may be using.

Health and Human Services has extended the 2009 Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2010. Therefore, the 2009 amounts listed in the Family Size Table on sheet 3 will be used until further notice.

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 10-04

To:                   DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              

The following policies will become effective June 1, 2010.  

POLICY CHANGES  

Chapter 8.14, PHYSRES, Policy 1, Section A18

Revised prosthetic and orthotic policy to add a link to see exceptions to vendor approval process in Chapter 14.1. 

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 2, Section A3

Revised to correct the list of services subject to the vendor approval process described in the Training and Facilities Manual.

FORMS
none

TECHNICAL CHANGES
none

Back to Chapter Index

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 10-05

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:               September 15, 2010

  The following policies will become effective October 1, 2010.    

 

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1, Section A7

Revising policy to make summer school subject to the RS-25.  A Financial Aid Program change allows schools to offer a Pell Grant to part-time and summer school students who meet the other Pell Grant eligibility criteria.

FORMS

The RS-25 has been revised with a date of Aug 2010.

The forms cabinet has a new RS-25 Summer to be used for summer school.

 

Forms that mimic AWARE status screens have been created by the AWARE team and others and posted in the Forms Cabinet.  You are still required to complete the AWARE screens.  These forms are intended as a part of a contingency plan in case the AWARE system is down for a substantial period of time. 

 

AWARE Letters

Referral Letter to Doctor for SFL & Eligibility
To help you get the right information from the medical professional to document your eligibility and MSD/SD determination, please use the new letter in AWARE.  DRS Chief Medical Consultant Dr. Duff wrote this letter using terminology so that medical professionals will understand exactly what information you need to document SFL and work restrictions.

Schedule A Letter
The letter is now in AWARE for you to use to certify a client is ready to work and is recommended for federal government jobs under the Schedule A hiring authority (no applicant competition from the general public). 

PES Closure Letter
The letter to notify a client of successful case closure from PES status is now in AWARE.  For unsuccessful closure from PES status, please use the RS-5c.

 

Spanish version of VR client forms have been moved into the English VR Forms Cabinet.  The Spanish Forms Cabinet will be eliminated.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Chapter 1.2, LIABILITY, Policy 1, Section B1(a)(ii)

Corrected a typo to refer to RS-22. 

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 11-01

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:  

The following policies will become effective March 15, 2011.  

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 2.2, ORDER OF SELECTION, Policy 2, Section B3

Clarifies that the guidance statement at the end of this section is now policy. Consumers in delayed status may receive limited guidance and counseling, use the DRS employment resource center services and job clubs, and receive resume and job application assistance and specific job referrals provided by FRS staff. However, the delivery of these limited services shall not interfere with the counselor’s ability to take applications and to provide full services to those in Service, Service-J, or Employed statuses.

Chapter 3, DISABILITY CODES, Policy 1, Section A4

Clarifies that SSDI cases means the client receives SSDI as the claimant and not as a dependent of a claimant. If the consumer is the SSDI claimant, the presumption of eligibility/SD with 1 SFL and RS-13 Part 1 (“short form”) apply. The consumer, especially a spouse/child with no work history, may be receiving SSDI payments under the consumer’s SSN as the dependent rather than as the claimant. The presumption of eligibility/SD and RS-13 Part 1 do not apply to these consumers. 

 

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 1, Section A1(c)

Clarifies that SSDI cases means the client receives SSDI as the claimant and not as a dependent of a claimant. If the consumer is the SSDI claimant, the presumption of eligibility/SD with 1 SFL and RS-13 Part 1 (“short form”) apply. The consumer, especially a spouse/child with no work history, may be receiving SSDI payments under the consumer’s SSN as the dependent rather than as the claimant. The presumption of eligibility/SD and RS-13 Part 1 do not apply to these consumers. 

 

Chapter 8.10. MAINTENANCE, Policy 1, Section C1

Adds a subsection “d” that clarifies that under a Trial Work Experience Plan, Extended Evaluation Plan, or Employment Plan, the counselor may authorize the cost for any meals taken during time at the unpaid work experience. The maximum is the actual cost of the meals not to exceed the current maximum reimbursement rate allowed in the Meals and Incidental Expenses table for state employees in the geographic area in which the consumer is working.

Chapter 8.19, TRAINING, Policy 1, Section C2.

Removing the stipend for unpaid work experience as required by RSA (per 2010 Monitoring Report).

Counselor may authorize for transportation services according to transportation policy. Counselor may reimburse (not pay in advance) client for actual cost of a meal eaten during work hours; a receipt shall be required and the actual cost shall not exceed the state employee rate for a working lunch.

Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION, Policy 1, Section A1

 Removes unpaid work experience (UWE) from the list of services that are exempt from financial participation. Because DRS can no longer provide a stipend to consumers participating in a UWE, there is no reason to maintain the financial participation exemption for UWE. Support services such as maintenance and transportation costs require financial participation when the UWE is provided under an employment plan (IPE). If unpaid work experience is being provided as a diagnostic or evaluation service, these support services are exempt from financial participation.

FORMS

Updated RS-4a DC. The Oct 2005 version replaces the old 2001 version, but there are no changes to the actual codes you enter into the Eligibility Screen as Impairment codes and Cause codes

Retired AWARE-6 Case Notes Conversion Instructions. This form is retired because policy requires all Word doc case notes to have already been moved into AWARE and for all new case notes to be written in AWARE.

The Spanish Forms Cabinet has been eliminated and all Spanish forms are in the English Forms Cabinet.

 

AWARE Letters

New OOS Waiting List Letter has been added.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Updating citation form old OMB Circular A-87 to most recent OMB Circular A-87 issued May 10, 2004, but there are no actual changes to disallowed services. This impacts Policy 1 (unless otherwise noted), Section A1 of these chapters:

            Chapter 7

            Chapters 8.01 and 8.02

            Chapters 8.05 through 8.20

            Chapter 8.21, Policies 1, 3, and 5

            Chapter 8.24

            Chapter 9.01  

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 11-02

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:  

The following policies will become effective April 1, 2011.  

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 1, Section A5

Changes policy to no longer require a counselor to get supervisory approval for a driver evaluation for an individual enrolled in public school. For an individual enrolled in public secondary school, the counselor may authorize driver evaluation as schools do not typically provide the evaluation and it may be a necessary part of the transition planning process. The IPE must include job placement services and the student must be ready for employment-related transportation, such as a job after school, or transportation to a VR service listed on the Employment Plan, etc. 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-20

Updated RS-20 Unpaid Work Experience enrollment form to remove stipend language and update link to USDoL Wage and Hour Division Web site.

FORMS

Updated RS-20 Unpaid Work Experience enrollment form to remove stipend language.

 

AWARE Letters

None

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 11- 03

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              May 17, 2011

 

The following policies will become effective June 1, 2011                                                                                                                                                        

 

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 1, Section A3

Clarifying that an initial PAS assessment is not required when the VR PAS Coordinator determines an existing PAS assessment accurately reflects the current functional limitations and PAS hours needed, and documents this in a case note in AWARE. 

Revising screening requirement to state that the VR PAS Coordinator must perform a screening by telephone annually for each VR PAS consumer and will authorize an in-person assessment update if there is an indication that the number of PAS hours may need to be changed.  The re-assessment may be handwritten on the most current UAI and a new addendum must be done.

Revising definition of “every day activities” considered in the PAS Assessment to include PAS needed to function in the VR training program classroom and do homework, and PAS in the workplace with accommodations necessary to perform the work. 

Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 2

Revising Section A2 to be consistent with PAS Policy Manual by requiring that the PAS assessment must not only include the UAI, but the PAS Addendum as well.

Revising Section B1 to require the VR PAS Program staff to publish the standard allotment of time formula in the PAS Policy Manual.

Updating Section C1 to reflect revised category heading in Services Reference Manual.

Revising Section D1 to require that client has scheduled a screening for long-term care services with Social Services before VR PAS Coordinator processes the PAS application, and to specify documentation needed as evidence of search for comparable benefit.

Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 1, Section C1

Revising Section C1 to remove information already in another policy and replace it with a link to that policy.

Revising Section C2 to reflect revised category heading in Services Reference Manual and to add a link to nursing services maximum rate policy.

Chapter 8.13, PAS, Policy 1

Revising Section A1 as follows:

  1. For PAS cases in Post Employment Services status, VR counselor is required to contact PAS client every 90 days regarding employment situation and PAS hours needed, document contact in case note in AWARE, and share the results with the VR PAS Coordinator.
  2. VR counselor is required to document in AWARE case note and notify the VR PAS Coordinator when VR services are interrupted and later reinstated for PAS cases.
  3. Clarifies that DRS is not responsible for an Attendant Registry maintained by other entities.
  4. Allows client with a legal guardian to have consumer-directed PAS provided the legal guardian directs the PAS or designates someone else to do so.

Revising Section B1 for PAS cases to require counselor to contact VR PAS Coordinator every 90 days while case is open, at least 30 days before case closure, every 90 days while case is in PES status, and  whenever VR services are interrupted and reinstated.  All contacts with VR PAS Coordinator are to be documented in AWARE case note.  Revision also requires the counselor to assist the client to apply for comparable benefits through Medicaid Waiver.

Revising Section C1 to remove information already in another policy and replace it with a link to that policy

 Updating Section C2 to reflect revised category heading in Services Reference Manual and to add a link to nursing services maximum rate policy.

Revising Section D3 to require VR PAS Coordinator to arrange for PAS Orientation for the PAS consumer. 

Revising Section E1 to require PAS consumer to participate in PAS Orientation before hiring a personal assistant and clarify that DRS does not pay personal assistants for hours worked before the PAS consumer submits the employment paperwork to DRS.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

Updating the living expenses exclusion on the family size table. The revised Federal HHS Poverty Guidelines were published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2011.  When the Federal Poverty Guidelines are revised, DRS updates the Client Financial Statement, which is based on these guidelines.

Chapter 12, FORMS, SSA-1365

Revising form revision date.

FORMS

 Revised RS-13 Client Financial Statement

 Revised SSA-1365 State Agency Assignment of Ticket to Work

 AWARE Letters

None

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 11- 04

To:                  DRS Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:         August 31, 2011

The following policies will become effective September 6, 2011

Policy Changes

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Section A3

Clarifies that AWARE closure screen only permits one closure reason, but counselor may notify client of multiple reasons in the written closure notice provided the case record supports each reason.

Section C1(d) 
Clarifying that AWARE does not permit access to the PES Plan while the case is still open, and suggests  if PES is needed upon case closure, the counselor draft the PES Plan using the new PES Plan form in the Forms Cabinet.

Section D2

Clarifying that the Cannot Locate/Contact Letter may be used to close a case when the client cannot be contacted or located after multiple attempts.

Section D3

Revises policy to reflect that RS-5c 30-day Closure Notice Form is retired and is replaced by a series of Closure Notice Letters in AWARE Letter Catalog.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5c

Removing instructions to RS-5c form 30-day Closure Notice.  This RS-5c form is retired and replaced by a series of letters in AWARE Letter Catalog:

Closure Notice – Ineligible

Closure Notice – Too Severe

Closure Notice – Cannot Locate/Contact

Closure Notice – All Other Reasons

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1

Section A1

Revising Section A1 to add store gift card and fuel card as another method to authorize a purchase for a VR client.

Section B5

Adding new Section B5 to require a log of cards distributed, use of Gift/Fuel Card Client Acknowledgment Letter, and policy on requesting client to provide receipts (and counselor discretion not to issue additional cards if client does not submit receipts).

FORMS

RS-5c 30-day Closure Notice is retired and replaced by a series of letters in AWARE Letter Catalog.

New PES Plan hard copy form is added to Forms Cabinet to draft PES Plan before case is closed in AWARE.  The PES Plan must still be entered into AWARE after case closure in Closed – Rehabilitated status.

AWARE Letters

The AWARE Letters Task Force has reviewed all the letters in the Letter Catalog.  

Here is the list of changes made to every letter:

  • Letters will only be available in the case status to which they apply.  This was done because so many letters have been added since AWARE “went live” in March 2008.
  • Letters are usually one page, unless you type a lot of information in the blank text boxes.
  • Most letters will have a paragraph text box for you to write your own opening and closing lines to provide the opportunity to personalize your letters.  If you leave these text boxes blank, a blank line will print in your letter.
  • Letterhead has the new DRS logo with “Virginia” added to the line directly under “DRS.”
  • New footer shows counselor contact information - and font matches the font in the logo area

 

 

 

 Here is the list of revised letters:

  • Revised OOS 12-month Notice sent to all clients on OOS Waiting List for 12 months.
  • Dr. Duff replaced the Letter to Dr with Referral to Dr for Assessment using “doctor-speak” to help counselors obtain the medical documentation you need for eligibility and service planning.  Counselors may request an evaluation of limitations, but Dr. Duff discourages counselors from requesting medical opinions as to work capacity because counselors are better trained and equipped to make that decision as it relates to VR. 
  • Unpaid Work Experience letter now includes the UWE Enrollment form as page 2.  Please keep the signed Enrollment form copy in the client’s paper folder.  (The UWE enrollment form will also be available in the Forms Cabinet as usual.)
  • U Va Medical Center letter now includes the financial assistance application as page 2 and instructions for completing the application on page 3.
  • Retired 1 letter and revised 3 letters for CCBD use only.

 

 

 

Here is the list of new letters:

  • Trial Work/Extended Evaluation letter for cases in Applicant status if disability may be too severe.  You must rule out Trial Work before doing only extended evaluation diagnostic services.
  • Intake Appointment at DRSIntake Appointment elsewhere, and general purpose to referred consumer letters are added in Referral Module.  Policy does not require use of the Referral Module.  You may use it if you expect the consumer will become an applicant.
  • 30-day closure letters (Closure Notice – Ineligible, Closure Notice – Too Severe, and Closure Notice - All Other Reasons) replace the RS-5c form and the RS-5c form is retired.
  • Closure Notice – Cannot Locate or Contact letter may be used at least 30 days before closing the case for either reason.  if there is no response, close the case without further ado or notice. 
  • Ticket to Work letter is added  in Closed-Rehab status.  Counselors do not send this letter.  David Leon in Central Office sends it to the EN/Maximus.  It is not necessary to mail a copy to your client.
  • Gift/Fuel Card Client Acknowledgment has been added as required by new policy. 
  • Voc Eval Appointment letter has been added.
  • Spanish OOS Waiting List letter has been added.
  • All staff have a general purpose letter and general appointment letter addressed to VR client, and general purpose letter addressed to anyone

 

 

 

Retired Letters:

Eligible & IPE Appointment letter is retired because all OOS categories are closed and IPEs cannot be written for clients determined eligible after March 1, 2011.

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 11- 05

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              November 3, 2011

 

The following policies will become effective November 7, 2011.

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1, Section C10

Adding a new policy for Service - I status (“I” stands for “interrupted”).  This is a new service status in AWARE and is to be used when all the planned services in the Employment Plan are interrupted, but the case will remain open.  PAS may continue to be authorized for up to 4 weeks consistent with PAS policy in Chapter 8.13.  A case progress note is required at least every 90 days.  Supervisor pre-approval is required for a case to be in Service - I status more than 18 months over the life of the case.  This status is only available from Service status and up.

FORMS

None

AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Adding cross-reference and link to new policy on Service - I status in these policies:

 

 

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 12- 01

To:               DRS Offices

From:         Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:             Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:                 February 14, 2012

The following policies will become effective March 1, 2012

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1, Sections A1 and B1

Revising policy to require that all SSI recipients and all SSDI Claimants be referred to, and participate in, employment benefits counseling as a condition for school training. This does not apply to dependents of SSDI Claimants who are receiving SSDI family benefits.

Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1, Section D3

Clarifying funding policy for training at WWRC. For WWRC training programs that participate in the financial aid program, the RS-25 does not apply.The client must submit the FAFSA to WWRC to seek comparable benefits, and must submit the RS-13 to the field counselor.  The client percentage on the RS-13 is used to determine the client's financial participation in the $100 maximum fee for WWRC services per month. 

Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1, Sections A1 and A7

 Revising policy on dental services. Policy no longer requires written pre-approval by a regional dental consultant for dental procedures. However, depending upon the dollar pre-approval level, the supervisor, regional director, or commissioner may use his or her discretion in requiring that a regional dental consultant review the case and approve the recommended dental procedure. 

All dental procedures continue to require pre-approval by the supervisor.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 1, Section C1

Revising policy on client notification of consumer appeals to remove the requirement that the counselor notify client whenever client and counselor cannot reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the client issue. If the issue rises to the level of Informal Administrative Review conducted by the supervisor, the new Informal Admin Review letter in AWARE includes notification of the client’s right to use the other avenues of appeal.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 2, Section D2

Revising policy to change deadline to conduct hearing from 45 calendar days to 60 calendar days, which is consistent with federal VR regulations and approved by the DRS State Rehabilitation Council.

FORMS

  • RS-9 Request For Hearing is revised to change deadline to conduct hearing from 45 to 60 calendar days.
  • S-RS-9 Request For Hearing-Spanish is revised to change deadline to conduct hearing from 45 to 60 calendar days.

 

 

 

AWARE Letters

  • Added the Manager - Informal Admin Review letter in the Participant Module.  The supervisor sends this letter with details of the supervisor’s decision and justification within 10 days after client or counselor requests an informal administrative review of counselor’s decision. This is different from a case staffing.  For procedure, see Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 1, Section A4, Informal Administrative Review.
  • Revised the Trial Work/Extended Evaluation letter in the Participant Module to clarify more information is needed to determine whether the applicant is eligible or disability is too severe.
  • Revised the Counselor - General Appointment letter in the Participant Module to change “call me if you need directions” to “call me if you have any questions.”
  • Added five letters in the Service Module for use by DRS job placement staff.
  • Please use the 60-day Waiver Letter as required in policy and now in your EWP.  Even if you document in a case note that the client agrees to waive the 60 day eligibility clock, policy requires you to also send the Waiver Letter in AWARE, move the case into Application – E (“E” is for extra time), and follow-up to obtain document needed for eligibility assessment.  Please do not put Trial Work (Application – T) or eXtended Evaluation (Application – X) cases in Application E. 

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 12- 02

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:             

 

The following policies will become effective April 1, 2012.

 

POLICY CHANGES

 

FORMS

  • RS-5c 30 Day Closure Notice was removed from Forms Cabinet effective March 2, 2012.  Continue to use the set of Closure Notice Letters in AWARE that replaced the form.

 

  • SSA 1365 State Agency Ticket Assignment was retired effective March 2, 2012.  Client with a Ticket to Work assigns the Ticket to DRS when they sign the IPE.

 

AWARE Letters

On March 13, 2012, OOS Serving Clients letter was revised to add page 2 Consumer Information on Development of Employment Plan attachment. 

 

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

12 03. Policy Transmittal issued for May 1, 2012

FRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 12- 03

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the FRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              April 30, 2012

 

The following policies will become effective May 1, 2012

 

 

POLICY CHANGES

 

Chapter 1.1, CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS, Policy 3

Removing Section B on Special Programs case files because it does not apply to VR case files.

Removing Section C on WWRC case files because it does not apply to VR case files.

 

Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1

Revising Sections A1c(v) and B1 to clarify that all SSI clients and SSDI Claimants must participate in Employment and Benefits Counseling when the DRS school training cost is $5,000 or more.  The previous policy change did not include the $5,000 amount.

 

Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1

Revising the note under A19 to clarify that the SI Code for psychotherapy or clinical counseling provided by licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers and clinical psychologist is the same.  However, the fee allowed for this service from a clinical psychologist is higher than the fee allowed for other mental health clinicians.

 

Chapter 8.24, TRANSITION, Policy 1

Revising entire policy to refer to PERT Manual or PERT Director for eligibility criteria and referral process

 

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Revising Section C1c to clarify that the case must be in Employed status at least 90 days, human contact (phone, e-mail, etc.) with the client must occur on or after Day 80, and the Closure Letter is sent on Day 90.  If the case is in Employed status over 90 days, client contact must be no earlier than 10 days before case closure.  This change became effective April 18, 2012.

 

 

FORMS

none

AWARE Letters

none

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 12- 05

To:                  DRS Offices and VOPA Client Assistance Program

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:             9/27/2012

 

The following policies will become effective   October 1, 2012 

 

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 1

Revising Section A2 to no longer require an audit stamp on a VR case’s paper folder following an internal case audit. 

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1

Revising Section A7 to add “including those with 504 plans” to the definition of a student with a disability.  This change emphasizes that the student in not required to have an IEP in order to be eligible for VR services.

 

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 2

Revising Section A1 to still require the initial contact with a referral to DRS to occur within 10 days, but removing the 60-day deadline to make the second attempt (do it as soon as possible).  

 

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 1

Revising Section C2 to remove the requirement that the counselor send the consumer the 60-day Waiver letter in AWARE to document an extension of the 60-day eligibility period.  However, the extension must still be documented.  The counselor has the option of documenting through a case note or by sending the 60-day Waiver letter. 

Because they are presumed eligible for VR services,  extending the 60-day period of eligibility  determination shall no longer apply to consumers receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as the disabled worker claimant or as a disabled adult (at least 18 years of age) receiving SSDI cash benefits through the SSA Child Disability Benefits Program.  Their eligibility determination must be made within 60 days of application unless they are placed in Trial Work (Application T) or Extended Evaluation (Application X).  The 60–day extension may be used for a recipient of SSDI family benefits. 

 

Chapter 6, DIAGNOSTICS, Policy 5, Procedure for Home Assessment and Work Specifications, Section A1

Revising Section A1 to remove citation to retired Technology Services Referral (RS-17).  Use Service Module in AWARE.   

 

Chapter 8.01, ADVERTISING, Policy 1

Revising the entire Chapter to move the advertising policy to Chapter 5&tagg=p2">Chapter 5&tagg=p2aD7">Chapter to move the advertising policy to Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2, Section D7 on Self-Employment Enterprises and replace it with a link to Chapter 5.


Chapter 9.1, JOB PLACEMENT, Policy 1

Revising line c in Section A1 to add a statement that the counselor shall use the Integrated Setting Decision Matrix when there is a question of whether or not a specific placement is an integrated setting.  The manager or regional director shall review the matrix and approve the employment is integrated prior to placing the case in employed status.   This matrix can be found in the VR Forms Cabinet under the Employment Plan heading. 

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Revising Section A2 to add a link to Chapter 9.1, Job Placement, Policy 1, which refers the counselor to this chapter when there is a question of whether or not a placement is an integrated setting.                                     

 

Chapter 12, FORMS

Revising the entire chapter to indicate all forms have been reviewed and updated as of July 2012 with the new DARS agency name, and other changes as needed.    

 

FORMS

Integrated Setting Decision Matrix located in the VR Forms Cabinet.  Use the matrix to determine if an employment setting is integrated.

Aware Letters

 Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2

Revising Section A4(b) Guidance 1 to remove the example.

Changing DRS to DARS and FRS to DRS throughout the manual effective as of July 1, 2012.  No other policy changes were made with this Effective Date.  However, for the record, below is the complete list of policies affected:

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 12- 06 

To:                  DRS/WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              November 30, 2012

The following policies will become effective December 1, 2012

POLICY CHANGES

*Chapter 1.1, CONFIDENTIALITY, Policy 1

In section A2, the requirement that a counselor accompany a DRS Service Provider to the home of a consumer is deleted.  This decision is up to the counselor.

*Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 4

In section A18, the requirement that character, personality, or behavior disorders require more social history documentation than obtained during Intake is deleted.   There is nothing to prohibit a counselor from acquiring more documentation, but it is not required.

In section B1, the requirement for the counselor to contact the CIL staff person following a referral from a CIL is deleted.  There may be reasons why the contact would be helpful, but it is no longer required. 

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 2

In section A9, clinical nurse specialists (CNS) licensed/certified in psychological, mental, or emotional disorder or learning disability are added to list of professionals who can document the disability and serious functional limitations.

*Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1

In section C4(m), the guidance regarding the coordination of the WWRC and field counselor activities in the development of the employment plan has been removed as not necessary for the purposes of a Policy Manual.  Counselors, however, are still expected to coordinate WWRC services with the WWRC staff.

*Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 4

In section A1, the IPE annual review must be performed, but it is no longer required that the review be conducted face-to-face.

In section B1(a), adding, deleting or revising  an Employment Plan Progress Measure no longer requires signatures as it has  been deleted from the substantial amendment definition because it is not a regulatory requirement.  The rest of the substantial amendment definition has not changed and still requires signatures prior to change.

*Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1

In section A1(h), supervisory approval is no longer required for a client at the beginning of year 1 of a  bachelor degree or higher.  The counselor may authorize this without supervisor approval.  Pre-approval is still required to exceed community college rates in freshman and sophomore years and public in-state college rates in junior year and higher.

*Chapter 8.02, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT), Policy 1

In section A1(c), the requirement that rehabilitation technology services must have an Employment Plan with,  at a minimum, vocational counseling and guidance and job placement services is removed. Because all Employment Plans have guidance and counseling, this statement is not necessary.  Likewise, job placement services should be planned in the Employment Plan based on the specific needs of the VR client

*Chapter 8.14, Phys Res, Policy 1

In section A6, supervisor pre-approval is no longer required to exceed 60 days of convalescent/nursing home/rest home care.  The policy remains that the service must be ordered by a doctor as part of the VR phys res service post-treatment plan and the client must intend to resume VR.  

In section A7, supervisor pre-approval is no longer required for dental services within the counselor $5,000 spending authority.

In section A19, supervisor pre-approval is no longer required to exceed 27 sessions of psychiatric and psychological services.

*Chapter 8.18, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT (T&E), Policy 1

In section A1(d)(i), the guidance regarding the requirement and purpose of a needs assessment in obtaining tools and equipment is being removed. This does not mean that a needs assessment is not to be conducted. The guidance is being deleted because services are only provided after a consumer’s needs are assessed.   Stating a needs assessment is required for this service is redundant. 

The guidance in section A1(d)(iii) regarding purchase for a SEE when AT is not involved is being removed.  The information in this section is accurate but unnecessary for a policy manual.

In addition, the guidance in Section A1(g) regarding End-User Training is being removed. However, the counselor should continue to ensure that that consumer is knowledgeable about the use of needed tools and equipment.

  *Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1

In section A1(c), transportation services for cases in Employed status is no longer limited to 30 days.  After 90 days of stable employment, the case shall not be kept open solely to provide transportation.

Chapter  8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 1

In section A1, the counselor may plan and authorize Driver Education classes and Behind The Wheel for Transition students when the school division does not provide it to the student body. 

*Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 3

Section D3 requiring the counselor to obtain more than one repair estimate, even when not required by written DARS purchasing policies and procedures, is being deleted.  Counselors shall follow agency purchasing policies and procedures outlined in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING.

CHAPTER  8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 5

In section A1(c) (ii), the requirements that for a vehicle medication,  the Employment Plan must have, at a minimum, vocational counseling and the counselor must document that vehicle modification directly supports achievement of the established employment goal is being removed.  This does not imply that guidance and counseling is not needed or that vehicle modification must support the employment goal.  Including this statement in the manual is redundant because all Employment Plans require guidance and counseling and all services provided must support the achievement of an employment goal. 

Number 9 in section B1 requiring the consumer to provide a written statement agreeing to financially assume the costs of adaptive equipment or modifications not agreed to and authorized by the counselor is being deleted.  THIS DOES NOT IMPLY THAT DRS will pay for adaptations that are not agreed upon or preauthorized.  It simply removes the requirement for a written statement.  Counselors can continue to request this statement if, in their judgment, it is indicated.

 *Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 5

In sections A1(u)  and B1(14), the requirement that the counselor or rehabilitation engineer conduct a two week and three month follow up with the consumer after a vehicle modification has been deleted. 

*Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 2

In section A1., the requirement that the counselor write the closure status and closure date on the outside of the folder cover is removed.

In section A2., the requirement that closed case files be filed alphabetically, by fiscal, year for the entire office is removed.  Also removed is the statement that closed case files shall not be filed by caseload number or counselor designation.  Individual offices may determine how they want to file closed case folders.

In section A3., the guidance regarding keeping closed case files longer than five years for some cases has been removed.  The decision to retain cases longer than five years is left to the individual offices.

*Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 2

In section B2, the list of requirements for counselors to follow to process a refund due from a vendor has been replaced with a statement to contact Fiscal Services for assistance. 

FORMS

UWE Insurance Information RS-20a

This ‘form” is a page of insurance coverage information for UWE clients and trainers.  It was added to the VR Forms Cabinet in October.  When enrolling a client in UWE, you may prefer to use the version in AWARE, which has a cover letter containing the insurance information and Enrollment Form on page 2, and will be saved in the client’s AWARE file.

 

AWARE Letters

The letters that notify a client of a scheduled appointment can now save the appointment to your Outlook Calendar.  1) Open the letter and fill in the text boxes for location, date, start time, end time.   For “location,” type the address all on 1 line.  2) Click on the “Add Appointment to Calendar” button on the letter.  3) When the screen asks if you want to Save or Open, click on Open to open the appointment day on your Outlook Calendar.  4) In the Subject line of the calendar appointment, where it says “With ?,” you must type in the client name.  5) If the PSTS does the letter for the counselor, the PSTS must do an invite to the counselor for the appointment to show up on the counselor’s Outlook Calendar.   This appointment feature is available in the following letters:

Participant Module:

3 CCBD appointment letters

Counselor - General Appointment to VR client

All Staff – General Appointment to VR client

Voc Eval Appointment

Referral Module

Intake Appointment

Service Module:

Job Club Appointment

Job Search Skills Appointment

Voc Eval Appointment

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 13- 01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                 Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:             March 29, 2013

 

The following policies will become effective April 1, 2013 

 

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 2, Section A9

Revising Section A9 to add that when eligibility is based on psychological, mental or emotional disorder, or learning disability, we accept diagnosis and reports from clinical nurse specialists (CNS) as documentation of disability and serious functional limitations/impediments to employment – provided the CNS is licensed or certified in that specialty.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 2, Section E1

Revising section E2 (5) procedure for hearings on the written record so that DRS sends the relevant exhibits, but not the entire case file, to the hearing officer, and permits the hearing officer to establish the deadlines for submitting written evidence and rebuttal, and changes the deadline for issuing the hearing decision from 75 to 90 calendar days from the date any DRS office receives the initial hearing request.

 

Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 1, Section A1

Revising section A1 to permit counselor to provide driver education classes and Behind the Wheel for Transition students when the school division does not provide it to all students.

 

Chapter 9.2, APPOINTMENTS, Policy 2, Sections A1 and C1

Federal Regulations for Schedule A appointments no longer require a certification of job readiness as a part of the certification process.  Only a certification of disability is required.  The counselor is to use the appropriate letter in AWARE when certifying an individual for a Schedule A appointment. The individual must continue to meet all required qualifications for the job. However, this determination is up to the employer.

 

FORMS

FAL-001 - Schedule A Federal Hiring Authority letter in the forms cabinet is updated to remove the sentence that the individual is certified as job ready.   Effective March 25, the VR counselor only has to certify the individual has a qualifying disability.

 

AWARE Letters

The AWARE letters in Referral Module, Service Module, and Participant Module (including CCBD and VR PAS letters) will now print in the mailing address line the full name of the referral/client to include the full first, middle, and last name.  If staff enters the full middle name in the Middle Name field, the full middle name prints on the address line.  If staffs enter the middle initial in the Middle Name field, the middle initial prints on the address line.  If staffs leave the Middle Name field blank, a blank space will print between the first and last names on the address line.  The salutation line in the letter will continue to display the referral /client greeting name.

 

The Schedule A Federal Hiring Authority letter in AWARE is updated to remove the sentence that the individual is certified as job ready.  Effective March 25, the VR counselor only has to certify the individual has a disability that qualifies them for VR.

 

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Chapter 8.03, COUNSELING, Policy 1

Revising section A1 to add links to policies on frequency of vocational counseling and guidance.

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 13- 02

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                 Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              2013

The following policies will become effective June 1, 2013. We are streamlining and reorganizing policies. Chapter 15 concerning appeals is the first chapter to be addressed and completed.

POLICY CHANGES

CHAPTER 15, APPEALS

Reorganizing and adding policies within Chapter 15 as follows:

Policy 1 - Mandatory Client Notification of Right to Appeal 
Policy 2 - Issues For Appeal 
Policy 3 - VR Services During Appeal

Policy 4 - Client Meeting and Case Staffing

Policy 5 - Client Assistance Program

Policy 6 - Informal Administrative Review

Policy 7 - Mediation

Policy 8 - Hearing

Policy 9 - Administrative Review of Hearing Decision

Policy 10 - State Complaint to Vendor

Policy 11 - No Vendors Will Accept DARS Fee

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 3

In Policy 3, adding a federal VR regulation that DRS must implement the Hearing decision and any Administrative Review of Hearing decision even if a civil action is filed.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 4

In Policy 4, adding current practice that the issue rises to the regional director if the client submits a written request for a Hearing or requests Mediation.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 6

In Policy 6, adding current practice that the regional director conducts the Informal Administrative Review if the supervisor made the decision being reviewed.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 7

In Policy 7, simplifying Mediation request procedure to require regional director approval to proceed with Mediation. Adding current practice that the DRS local office establishes the mediator as a vendor and processes the invoice for payment using VR case service dollars. Adding requirement that a Mediation agreement must be consistent with federal and state laws and regulations and DRS policy and procedure. Adding a federal regulation that permits the regional director (in addition to the client) to request a Hearing if Mediation is terminated without a signed written agreement.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 8

In Policy 8, adding the current procedure that VR appeals coordinator acknowledges the Hearing request and notifies the client of CAP and Mediation option. Adding current practice that the hearing officer is on state contract. Adding current practice that the VR appeals coordinator processes the hearing officer invoice for payment using Central Office funds. Keeping requirement that hearing communications must be in writing but removing requirement that U.S. Certified Mail must be used. Adding a requirement that the hearing officer cannot conduct a pre-Hearing conference with only one party. Adding current practice and requirement in the hearing officer state contract that hearing officer has 10 days from case assignment to notify the client and regional director in writing of the Hearing date, time, place, and rights. Adding permission for the regional director to cancel a Hearing if it was requested by the regional director following unsuccessful Mediation. Adding that hearsay is admissible in a Hearing at the discretion of the hearing officer. Clarifying that the hearing officer decides who from the public can attend the Hearing if the hearing officer has granted a client request for a hearing open to the public. Changing procedure for Hearing On The Written Record to be consistent with in-person Hearing format: 1) DRS regional director sends the relevant exhibits but not the entire case file to the hearing officer, and 2) Decision from Hearing On The Written Record must be issued within 90 days after the date any DRS office (or VR appeals coordinator directly) receives the Hearing request (the in-person Hearing format allows up to 60 days to conduct the Hearing and up to 30 days to issue the decision).

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 10

In Policy 10, adding a link to the vendor section in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING for procedure for staff to issue formal complaint to vendor regarding goods or services.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 11

In Policy 11, adding a link to the vendor section in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING for procedure when no vendor will accept DARS fee for service.

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE Letters

Revised Spanish “OOS Serving Waiting List Clients” letter and added Spanish “Consumer Information on Development of the Employment Plan” RS-4b attachment.

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 13- 03

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              June 26, 2013

The following will become effective July 1, 2013. 

 

POLICIES

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5a

RS-5a Application and Disclosures for VR Services form instructions are revised effective June 1 to add item 16 for voter registration. Staff must complete item 16 with the client and must continue to check the Voter Reg box in AWARE New Case screens. Staff must continue to use and save the Voter Registration Agency Certification form when client changes name or address after Application status.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

RS-13 Client Financial Statement form instructions are revised effective July 1 to update the Family Size Table. Taxable income list is revised to add foster care. Non-taxable income list is revised to add military allowances and special needs adoption subsidy. Cash Assets list is revised to add: Educational/Coverdell IRA, 529 college plans, and UGMA account if age 18 or older. The policy on Trusts stays the same. Trusts are both income and assets. Distributions from the Trust during 2012 go on the Taxable Income Line 22. If the full amount of the Trust is accessible at any time, then the balance as of Dec 31, 2012 goes on Cash Assets Line 6a; however, if the full Trust amount is not accessible at any time (for example client gets monthly allowance) the year-end balance is not counted as an asset.    

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-25

RS-25 Post Secondary School Comparable Benefits and Financial Assessment form instructions are revised effective July 1 to revise Section C4. The counselor is no longer restricted to allocating VR funds towards tuition first. In Section C4 the counselor enters the annual allocation and the spreadsheet calculates the semester or trimester authorization amount. The total allocation in Section C4 must not exceed the total funds available in Section C3. The counselor is still required to authorize one semester/trimester at a time and monitor semester grades and credits earned towards graduation requirements.  

 

FORMS

RS-5a Application and Disclosures for VR Services form

RS-5a form is revised effective June 1 to add item 16 for voter registration certification and will be posted in the Forms Cabinet. S-RS-5a Spanish version is being translated and will be posted when available.

 

RS-13 Client Financial Statement

RS-13 form is revised effective July 1 to update the Family Size Table, taxable income list, non-taxable income list, and cash asset list. These 3 lists are now found in pop-ups on the Excel spreadsheet, as well as in Chapter 12 FORMS instructions.

S-RS-13 Spanish version is revised effective July 1 to update the Family Size Table.

 

RS-25 Post Secondary Training Comparable Benefits and Financial Assessment

RS-25 form is revised effective July 1for Section C4 to permit the counselor to allocate VR funds without having to pay tuition first. The counselor must not allocate more funds in Section C4 than are available in   Section C3, and the counselor must continue to authorize one semester/trimester at a time to monitor semester grades and credits earned towards graduation requirements.

RS-25 for Summer School

RS-25 form is revised effective July 1for Section C4 to permit the counselor to allocate VR funds without having to pay tuition first. 

 

S-RS-25 Spanish version is also revised.

 

AWARE Letters

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 13- 04

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                 Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:             October 1, 2013

The following became effective October 1, 2013. 

 

POLICIES

 

Chapter 8.03, COUNSELING AND GUIDANCE, Policy 1

Clarifying that face-to-face counseling & guidance (C&G) is not limited to physical presence in the same room and may be accomplished via technology at counselor discretion. Adding a policy that each client contact should be documented in the case record.  If the client contact is a C&G session: documentation of each planned or unplanned C&G session – for all cases, not just C&G IPEs - must occur at the end of the session and must include the date, issue addressed, follow-up needed, and impact on VR and substantial contribution to employment outcome.

Consolidating all policies on VR counseling and guidance and case progress notes into Chapter 8.03:

Client may bring family, friend, or advocate to C&G and other VR meetings (listed on RS-5a Application & Disclosure for VR Services RS-5a form)

Intake meeting must include C&G regarding confidentiality and appeals and order of selection (moved from Chapter 2.1, Application, Policy 5, Sections C1 and C2) and information for eligibility assessment. Eligibility assessment C&G may include issues for IPE development, but the counselor cannot delay the eligibility decision, and cannot consider employment goal and service cost in the decision (moved from Chapter 4.01, Eligibility, Policy 2, Section A2)

Counselor must assess client eligibility at least every 90 days under Trial Work Plan or Extended Evaluation Plan, and justify in a case progress note why an eligibility decision cannot be made (moved from Chapter 4.02, Policy 1, Section B3)

All C&G sessions must be in appropriate mode of communication, supplement written information as needed, and provide any assistance needed so client understands and responds to information being communicated and makes informed decisions (moved from Chapter 5, Plan, Policy 1, Section B1). Policy clarifies that this also applies to custodial parents and legal guardians.

Using sign language interpreter for all C&G sessions with clients who use interpreter if counselor is not a regional counselor for the deaf (from Chapter 8.07, Interpreter, Policy 1, Section A1)

Using native language for all C&G sessions with clients with limited English proficiency (moved from Chapter 8.07, INTERPRETER, Policy 2)

Exempting PERT cases from requirement to justify every 90 days why the case stays in Eligible status (moved from Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1, Section C1)

C&G is not provided in Service – I status, but a case progress note is required at least every 90 days the case remains in Service – I (moved from Chapter 5, Plan, Policy 1, Section C10)

C&G in Eligible status includes providing RS-4b Consumer Information on Development of the Employment Plan, unless case is moving into Delayed status, or is Transition client who will not be developing the IPE within the next 90 days (moved from Chapter 5, Plan, Policy 1, Section D4)

All IPEs and PES Plans must include C&G.

C&G IPEs must include specific counseling issues and progress measures that relate to the impediments to employment and expected outcomes, and face-to-face planned sessions are required at least every 90 days and unplanned sessions as needed (moved from Chapter 5, Plan, Policy 2, Section D4).

C&G for C&G IPEs must occur at least every 90 days. 

C&G for training and phys res IPEs must occur as often as needed (moved from Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 3, Section A2). C&G for school training IPEs must occur at least twice a year to review attendance, grades, progress towards graduation, and future plans (moved from Chapter 7, School, Policy 1, Section B1).

Examples of C&G progress measures and case notes for C&G IPEs and C&G issues for training and phys res IPEs (moved from Chapter 5, Plan, Policy 3, Section A2).

Client may appeal quality of VR counseling and guidance and counselor assignment, with link to appeals policy.

 

Chapter 8.16, SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1 and Policy 2

Changing policy to state that the counselor moves the supported employment case (including clients in individual and mobile work crews and enclaves) into Employed Status in AWARE on the job placement/employment date. 

Transition to extended services can occur before the client has been employed for 90 days if the client is stable in employment.

During the 30 days prior to anticipated case closure, the counselor shall ensure client stability based on the following:

  1. Funding for extended employment has been secured.
  2. Job coaching and related interventions have decreased to a level necessary to maintain the client in employment. Intervention has reached a plateau or leveled out.
  3. Client is emotionally or behaviorally stable.
  4. Client performs expected job duties.
  5. Supervisor reports satisfaction with client job performance.
  6. Client is satisfied with the job and work environment.
  7. Necessary modifications and accommodations have been made at the worksite.
  8. Client has reliable transportation to and from work.
  9. Client is compensated at or above minimum wage but not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by employees who do not have disabilities.

Stability for those placed in a mobile work crew or enclave also shall include the client completing a 60-day period of placement and training in which the intervention is directed at training to maintain production rather than behavioral issues.

Chapter 10, EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1

Changing policy to state that supported employment and Job Coach Training Services (JCTS) cases are to be placed into Employed status in AWARE on the date the individual begins paid employment. This includes the cases of secondary school students receiving supported employment or JCTS: their cases also are to be moved into Employed Status on the date paid employment begins, allowing Closed-Rehab prior to graduation or exit from the school system if warranted.  

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Changing policy to state that supported employment cases are to be placed into Employed status in Aware on the date the individual begins paid employment. Once the client has been employed for at least 90 days and meets all of the other successful closure criteria, including the criteria for stability (see Chapter 8.16, SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT, Policy 2) the case may be closed in Closed-Rehab status. The cases of individuals receiving JCTS also are to be moved into Employed Status on the date paid employment begins and may be determined Closed-Rehab once the client has been employed for at least 90 days and meets all of the other successful closure criteria. 

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE Letters

The letters used only by CCBD unit have been retired from the Letter Catalog.

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 13- 05

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              November 6, 2013

The following became effective November 1, 2013. 

 

POLICIES

 

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1

Adding the requirement that the employment plan is to be completed and signed as early as possible during the transition process, and at the latest, before the student leaves the secondary school system. This applies to all eligible students in transition who meet the order of selection requirements.

Deleting the exception that allowed PERT cases to remain in eligible status longer than 90 days. After determining eligibility, the counselor shall document every 90 days why an employment plan has not been developed for the student in transition. This includes PERT students.

 

Chapter 8.03, COUNSELING AND GUIDANCE, Policy 1

Deleting the statement that allows the counselor to delay providing the RS-4b form for PERT and transition students whose cases are expected to stay in eligible status over 90 days.

 

Chapter 8.03, COUNSELING AND GUIDANCE, Policy 3

Deleting the statement that allows the counselor to not to justify a delay in the development of an employment plan for identified PERT students. The employment plan is to be written as soon as possible for all eligible PERT and transitions students that can be served under an order of selection. If the eligible student meets order of selection requirements, the employment plan must be completed before the student leaves the public school system. 

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE Letters

None

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14- 01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:            January 20, 2014

The following changes become effective January 13, 2014.

 

POLICIES

Edited policy to be shorter and easier to read, but there are no policy changes to these:

Chapter 8.05, GROUPS, Policy 1

Chapter 8.07, FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER, Policy 2

Chapter 8.07, ESL Classes, Policy 3

Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1 (Maintenance for school training subject to RS-25 stays in Chapter 7)

Chapter 8.11, OCCUPATIONAL INSURANCE, Policy 1

Chapter 8.12, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE, Policy 1

Chapter 8.15, EMERGENCY SHELTER, Policy 1

Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1 (Transportation for school training subject to RS-25 stays in Chapter 7)

Chapter 8.22, PES, Policy 1

Chapter 8.24, TRANSITION, Policy 1

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14- 02

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:              Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:                           February 3, 2014

The following changes become effective February 3, 2014.

 

POLICIES

Chapter 8.01, ADVERTISING

Moved policy on child care and dependent care from 8.04 to Chapter 8.01, DEPENDENT CARE, Policy 1.  Edited policy to make it shorter and easier to read, but did not change policy.

Chapter 8.04, FAMILY, Policy 1
Edited policy to add links to the chapters regarding VR services that may be provided to client family members to enable the client to access a VR service. Moved policy on child care and dependent care from this chapter into Chapter 8.01

Chapter 8.19, TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE

Edited policies to make them shorter and easier to read, but making no policy changes.

Moved On-the-Job- Training (OJT) to Chapter 8.19, TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE, Policy 1.

Moved Unpaid Work Experiences (UWE) to Chapter 8.19, TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE, Policy 2.

Moved Work Adjustment Training (WAT) to Chapter 8.19, TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE, Policy 3.

Moved Pre-Vocational Training to Chapter 8.19, TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE, Policy 4.   

FORMS

Revised RS-25 Fall/Spring and RS-25 Summer forms to add 2 fields for date form is completed by the DRS counselor and school financial aid officer.

 

AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:              February 28, 2014 

 The following changes become effective March 1, 2014.

 POLICIES 

Chapter 8.07, INTERPRETER, Policy 1
Updating policy on Note Taking to remove CAN and to add C-Print and TypeWell.  Revising CART from “computer assisted real time reporting” to “communication access realtime translation.”  Revising policy to state that any individual who relies on computer assisted note taking or CART as a mode of communication has the right under the Americans with Disabilities Act to receive that service if needed to participate in VR.  The service should be considered for the Intake interview, each planned counseling and guidance session, and any planned verbal communication.  CART providers are certified by the National Court Reporters Association.  Contact VDDHH Interpreters Services for assistance in locating qualified CART providers.

Updating policy on Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to require all DRS staff not proficient in sign language to have a qualified interpreter present at each planned counseling and guidance session, in addition to the Intake interview and any planned verbal communication.  Qualified interpreters are on state contract.  Contact VDDHH Interpreters Services for assistance to schedule an interpreter.

Updating policy to state that interpreter and note taking services needed for school training are arranged and paid for by the school receiving federal funds - as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  If an issue arises, consult the DRS Program Manager for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

Chapter 8.09, JCTS, Policy 1
Editing policy to make it shorter and easier to read, but making no policy changes.

Chapter 8.06, HOME MODIFICATION, Policy 1
Consolidating all policies and procedures from VR forms and the P&P Manual on Home Modification (other than assessment procedures) into Chapter 8.06, HOME MOD, Policy 1 on Home Modifications; Chapter 8.06, HOME MOD, Policy 2 on Qualified Vendors; and Chapter 8.06, HOME MOD, Policy 3 on Pre-Bid Conference. 

Chapter 8.08, REPAIRS, Policy 1
Renaming Chapter 8.08 from "Inventory" to "Repairs."  Consolidating existing policy regarding repairs into new Chapter 8.08, REPAIRS.  Moving inventory policy into new Chapter 8.17 Self Employment.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6
Consolidating existing policy regarding purchasing lowest cost goods and services into a new Policy 6 in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING to eliminate need to repeat it within each service policy.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 7
Consolidating existing policy regarding retaining title to assistive technology, tools and equipment, and SEE inventory into a new Policy 7 in chapter 14.1, PURCHASING.  Policy 7 Section A regards when and how to retain title, using the Title of Agreement RS-14 form.  Policy 7, Section B regards taking annual inventory of goods listed on the RS-14 until the goods reach $0 deprecated value.  Policy 7 Section C regards repossessing tools and equipment and inventory and reassigning them to other VR clients or the DRS loaner pool.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 8
Consolidating existing policy regarding not paying client bad debts, liens, judgments, fines, court costs, normal housing or maintenance costs, and not loaning money to clients into new Policy 8 to reduce the need to repeat it within the policy for each service. 

 
FORMS

No changes


 AWARE Letters

No changes. 
Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 
TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14- 04

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:         April 3, 2014

 The following changes become effective April 1, 2014.

POLICIES

Chapter 8.02, REHABILITATION TECH, Policy 1

Consolidates all policies and procedures from VR forms and the Policy & Procedure Manual on Rehabilitation Technology (other than assessment procedures and Home Modification policies and Vehicle Modification policies).

Chapter 8.17, SELF EMPLOYMENT

Moves Self Employment from Chapter 5, Plan into its own Chapter 8.17 to make it easier to locate.  (The former Chapter 8.17 on Transitional Employment Program policy was retired in January, 2014 as no longer necessary.)

Chapter 8.17, SELF EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1 concerns SEE ventures and start up costs.

Section A is revised to add that the Self Employment shall not involve illegal activities.

Section B is revised to add a policy that DARS may consider rehabilitation technology goods and services needed to the business property to accommodate the VR client’s disability, but DARS shall not consider other changes, improvements, or permanent additions to the business property.  Also adds a link to the Rehabilitation Technology Policy. Adds a policy that DARS shall not purchase any building or land even if necessary to the business. Adds a policy that the client name or business name shall be on any business property lease, utilities accounts, tools and equipment rental agreements, financial accounts and loans, etc. Under no circumstances shall DARS or the Commonwealth of Virginia be named. Revises the procedure to require the counselor to report theft of client tools and equipment and inventory to the State Police local office if DARS has title to the goods, unless the depreciated value is $0. The State Police will determine the appropriate action. Policy continues to require the client to file a stolen property report with the local police and to notify the counselor.

Chapter 8.17, SELF EMPLOYMENT, Policy 2 is the procedure for the SEE approval process. There are no procedural changes.

Chapter 8.17, SELF EMPLOYMENT, Policy 3 is funding SEEs. Revises policy to explain in more detail how to fund goods and services for SEEs and how to fund an IPE with both non-SEE and SEE services.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 9

Moves policy that DRS does not pay for client entertainment costs from each service policy into new Policy 9 in Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

Updates Family Income Size Table for 2014.


FORMS

RS-13 and S-RS -13 (Spanish version) are updated with 2014 Family Income Size Table.


AWARE Letters

No changes.  
Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14 - 05

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual

Date:   May 1, 2014

 The following changes become effective May 1, 2014.

 POLICIES

Chapter 8.18, TOOLS, Policy 1

Revising procedure that counselor must report theft of client tools and equipment to the State police local office if DRS has title to the goods, unless the depreciated value is $0.  The State Police will determine the appropriate action.  Policy continues to require the client to file a stolen property report with the local police and notify the counselor.  Consolidating all policies and procedures from VR forms and the P&P Manual on occupational tools and equipment that are not assistive technology into Chapter 8.18, TOOLS, Policy 1.

 Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 5

Consolidating all policies and procedures from VR forms and the P&P Manual on Vehicle Modification (other than assessment procedures) into Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 5, with Section A on Modification, Section B on Procedure, Section C on Qualified Vendor, and Section D on Pre-Bid Conference.

 

FORMS

None.

 

AWARE Letters

No changes. 
Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14-06

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

 Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:   May 29,2014

     The following changes become effective June 1, 2014.

   

POLICIES

Chapter 6.04, DRIVER EVALUATION, Policy 2

 Revising Section A1 (2) to make this policy consistent with vehicle modification policy by adding that the driving evaluation report must also indicate whether a pre-bid conference is needed during the vehicle modification process.

 Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 1 

Streamlining policy to make it easier to read.  Policy regarding paying for Driver Education and DMV driver license/learner permit is not changing.

 Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 2

Streamlining policy to make it easier to read.  Policy stays the same that DRS does not purchase insurance for client vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft.

 Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 3

Streamlining policy to make it easier to read.  Policy stays the same that DRS does not repair client aircraft or watercraft.  Policy stays the same that DRS does not authorize routine operating and maintenance costs for client vehicle and counselor may consider vehicle repair when essential to vehicle operation and achieving the established employment goal and the repair is recommended and performed by ASC-certified repair shop or manufacturer -certified/ASC-certified mechanic, and depending on amount of first quote is subject to multiple price quote policy.

 

Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, Policy 4

Streamlining policy to make it easier to read.  Policy stays the same that DRS does not purchase vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft for clients.

 

Chapter 8.24, TRANSITION SERVICES, Policy 1

Adding section A3 that states that the cost of Project SEARCH Milestones is exempt from financial participation.  However, other cost services that Project SEARCH students may require remain subject to financial participation.

 

Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION, Policy 1

Adding statement to Section A1 that Project SEARCH services are among the services exempt from consumer financial participation.  Other cost services that Project SEARCH students may require are subject to consumer financial participation. 

 

FORMS

Revising these forms on May 20, 2014 to change “VOPA” to “disAbility Law Center of Virginia”:

RS-4b Consumer Information on Development of Employment Plan, and Spanish version

RS-5 Employment Plan, and Spanish version

RS-5a VR Application, and Spanish version

RS-8 Mediation Request, and Spanish version

RS-9 Request for Hearing, and Spanish version

RS-455 Employment Closed Case Review, and Spanish version

OOS Brochure, and Spanish version

 

AWARE Letters

Revising these letters on May 20, 2014 to change VOPA to disAbility Law Center of Virginia:

Manager Informal Administrative Review letter (revising enclosure Participant and Service Module)

Counselor Eligible and IPE Appt letter (revising RS-4b attachment)

OOS Serving Waiting List clients (English and Spanish versions and RS-4b attachment)

All VR closure letters

VR PAS Closure Notice

VR PAS Hours Change

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14-07

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

 Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:    June 30, 2014

The following changes become effective July 1, 2014

 

POLICIES

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Alliance put a new edit on AWARE Closure screen for Closed - Rehabilitated status that requires Plan screen Employment Goal field and Closure screen Primary Employment field to match.  Revising case closure procedure to require an IPE amendment if the Goal does not match the Primary Employment.  This amendment at case closure does not require signatures provided: 1) the counselor and client have agreed on the goal change, and 2) the counselor notes the new goal and reason for the change in the Closed – Rehab Letter and, 3) the counselor writes a case note summarizing how VR services substantially contributed to achieving the employment outcome.

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 
DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14-08
To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices
From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director
Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual
Date:               September 3, 2014


POLICIES

Chapter 1.7, Voter Registration, Policy 1
 The following changes on voter registration will become effective September 8, 2014. Annual training on the voter registration policies and procedures will occur this fall. Mary Lutkenhaus, Policy Analyst, will be sending out a power point presentation via e-mail to DRS counselors and supervisors, CRCMS counselors, and WWRC Admissions staff. 
  1. Moving voter registration policy from Chapter 2.1, Policy 6, to new Chapter 1.7, VOTER REGISTRATION, Policy 1. The new location will make the policy easier to find and implement, especially since the policy applies when the client changes address or name during the life of the case, and not just at application.

    Revising policy to update the agency name change from “State Board of Elections” to “Virginia Department of Elections”.


  1. Specifying that the policy applies to CRCMS staff who take in-person applications and address and name changes. Policy continues to apply to DRS field staff and WWRC Admissions Office staff.

  1. Requiring staff to participate in annual voter registration training to comply with federal law.

  1. Prohibiting staff from trying to influence political preference or party affiliation, displaying material indicating political or candidate or party preference, discouraging the client from registering to vote or pressuring the client to register to vote, leading the client to believe that the decision to register or not to register will affect the availability of agency services, or using information regarding voter registration decision for anything other than voter registration.

  1. Clarifying that under Virginia law, voter registration at intake must be offered regardless of whether the intake meeting is in the agency office, applicant home, or other place.

  1. Revising policy to offer voter registration to convicted felons because they may have had voting rights restored. Revising policy to offer voter registration to clients with a legal guardian because the court may not have taken away voting rights.

  1. Clarifying that voter registration is offered to clients at intake who will turn age 18 before the next general election date, but is not offered when the client turns age 18 later.

  1. Adding that staff must ensure the client name is on the Voter Registration Agency Certification form and it is kept in the office for at least 22 months after the federal election.

  2. Adding that the client may use an agency computer typically available for client use (such as Employment Resource Center computer) to register online at the Department of Elections Web site.

  3. Adding that the Spanish Voter Registration Application is accepted only in Fairfax County and staff must provide bilingual services as needed to assist clients living outside Fairfax County to use the English form.

  1. Adding that staff may notify the client if required fields on the Voter Registration Application are incomplete, but staff shall not make any changes on the form because it is a legal document.

  2. Adding information on voting absentee for voters with disabilities.

  1. Adding information on accessible voting places.
  1. Adding that Virginia law now requires all voters to show a photo ID at the voting place.

FORMS
None
 
AWARE Letters
None
Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.
 
TECHNICAL CHANGES
None

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 14-09

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               December 9, 2014

The following changes become effective December 1, 2014. 

 POLICIES

 Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 1 Section A4

Revising policy to reflect a change in the Memorandum of Agreement between DBVI and DARS regarding the referral of consumers who are blind, deafblind or vision impaired. In the past, DBVI had strict visual acuity requirements for accepting applicants for vocational rehabilitation services. Some individuals with visual disabilities who did not meet these requirements were served by DARS. Now, all applicants who have a visual impairment that results in a substantial impediment to employment shall be referred to DBVI for services. In cases where the individual has multiple disabilities that cannot be addressed by one agency alone, both agencies may open the case.

 Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1, Section C1

Revising policy to include procedure for the new Eligible – E case status. When the IPE cannot be developed within 90 days of the Eligible Date, including for PERT and Transition cases, the counselor must now complete the IPE Plan Development Extension screen and move the case into Eligible – E. Every 90 days the case, including PERT and Transition, stays in Eligible – E status, the counselor must document casework, IPE planning, C&G, or justification for not finalizing and signing the IPE. Policy continues to require justification and supervisor consultation if a Transition student leaves high school before the case is placed into Service status.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 8

Revising item 19 in Section C1 to change 15 year retention to 5 year retention for the verbatim recording of the hearing.

 
FORMS

None


 AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Plan Template – Effective December 1, counselors can create one or more templates for IPEs, chose the template for a client, and customize it as needed. As always, counselors can clone an existing Plan to amend it. 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:   March 27, 2015

                      

The following changes become effective April 1, 2015. 

 POLICIES

 Chapter 7, Policy 8

We are adding a new policy in Chapter 7, School, Policy 1, Section A8 to address DRS sponsorship of Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities school training programs for qualifying clients with intellectual disabilities.  Some colleges call CPT programs “Life programs.”  These programs, such as Mason LIFE, provide a postsecondary programs and wrap-around services.  The student must have an IPE.  When writing the IPE, follow the policy for IPE special requirements. The counselor shall only plan and authorize the courses that are vocationally necessary and shall obtain supervisor and regional director written pre-approval on a case-by-case basis.  A policy exception from the supervisor, regional director, and policy and planning director is required for any audited/non-credit bearing courses.  See the policy for maximum allowances.  The client must be referred to, and participate in, Employment and Benefits Counseling regardless of the school training cost to DRS.  All other school policies, such as grades, vendor qualifications, lower cost services, RS-13 and RS-25, etc. shall apply


FORMS

None


AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team


TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-02

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:   April 30, 2015

The following changes become effective April 24, 2015. 

 POLICIES

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

Updating RS-13 Family Size Table.  Revising to add Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) to the list of acceptable proof of SSI or SSDI.

 
FORMS

RS-13 Client Financial Statement

Updating Family Size Table for 2015.  Revising PART 1 (sheet 1 on the Excel spreadsheet) to add Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) to the list of acceptable proof of SSI or SSDI.

 S-RS-13 Estado Financiero del Cliente.

Same as above.


 AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 
TECHNICAL CHANGES

Revising Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 5, Subsection A1 to update the street address for the DisAbility Law Center of Virginia, including the VR Client Assistance Program.  The telephone and fax numbers remain the same.

 Revising Chapter 15, APPEALS to cite new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-128) where applicable:

Policy 1, Mandatory Client Notification of Right to Appeal, Subsection A1

Policy 3, Providing VR Services During Appeal, Subsection A1

Policy 6, Informal Administrative Review, Subsection A1

Policy 7, Mediation, Subsections A1, B1, and C1

Policy 8, Hearings, Subsections A1 and C1

Policy 9, Administrative Review of Hearing Decision, Subsection A1

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-03

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:                May 29, 2015  

 

The following changes become effective June 1, 2015.

 POLICIES

Chapter 8.19, TRAINING, Policy 2

Revising Unpaid Work Experience policy to remove requirement to attach a preliminary job description to the UWE Enrollment form and to add that any training plan should be kept with the UWE Enrollment form in the case record.

 Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5a

Revising form revision date.

 Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-20

Revising form revision date and instructions to remove requirement to attach the preliminary job description and to state that any training plan should be attached.

 
FORMS

RS-5a Application and Disclosures for VR Services

Streamlining form to simplify eligibility section to remove information other than federal eligibility criteria, simplify IPE section to remove information that will be disclosed on the RS-4b or RS-5 forms, revise satisfactory progress section to include expectation of appropriate behavior, simplify closed case review section to remove information that will be disclosed in the closure notice of the reason is too significantly disabled to benefit from VR.

 S-RS-5a Spanish version of Application and Disclosures for VR Services

Same as RS-5a

 RS-20 Unpaid Work Experience Enrollment

Revising form to remove Vendor # field because there is no training fee, remove requirement to attach the preliminary job description and to state that any training plan should be attached, and remind counselor to provide trainer a supply of RS-21 Progress Report forms.


AWARE Letters

UWE letter and attached RS-20 UWE Enrollment form

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.


TECHNICAL CHANGES

none
 
DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-04
To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices
From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director
Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual
Date:  
 
The following changes become effective July 1, 2015           
 
POLICIES
Changing name of Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center to Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center throughout the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual.
 Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1Section B2  Procedure When Client Challenges VR Case Record Contents
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                       
 
Chapter 12, FORMS INSTRUCTIONS, WWRCADM-111 WWRC Referral Instructions, WWRC ADMIN-101 WWRC Application Instructions
 
Chapter 13, WILSON WORKFORCE AND REHABILITATION CENTER (WWRC),   Change title and all occurrences in chapter text.
 
 
  
 
FORMS
 
The WWRC forms in the forms cabinet will be changed by WWRC staff.
 

AWARE Letters
None
Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.
 
TECHNICAL CHANGES
None 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-05

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:              July 29, 2015

The following changes become effective August 1, 2015.

POLICIES

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 5

Revising policy to be consistent with federal law to require the counselor to use the Services Interrupted letter when a case is moved into Service - I status. The letter provides the client with legally required written notice that services under the IPE are being suspended and why, and avenues for appeal.

 

Chapter 8.16, Supported Employment, Policy 1, Section B1

Changing the time limit for SE services from 18 months to 24 months after job placement to comply with the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. The time can be extended if the client and counselor document special circumstances to justify the need for a longer period.



FORMS

RS-5a VR Application and Disclosure
Revised August 2015 to update the name of the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center to Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center

 

AWARE Letters

Services Interrupted

Beginning August 1, the new Services Interrupted letter is to be used for all cases moving into Service-I status on August 1 or after. This is not retroactive to cases already in Service-I status on July 31.

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-06

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               September 29, 2015

The following changes become effective October 1, 2015.

 

POLICIES

 

Chapter 1.2, LIABILITY, Policy 1

Revising Section B1a to state that once the counselor becomes aware of personal injury or property damage involving the client, the counselor shall notify the district manager and the DARS claims coordinator in Fiscal Operations.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1

Amending Section B2ii to state that the district manager, after consulting with the counselor, determines whether or not client casefile information is to be amended or purged.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 3

Amending Section Ai to state that in the absence of the supervisor, the DRS Director is considered the custodian of records for clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 4

Deleting the requirement in Section B1 that the supervisor refers issues or concerns regarding a case transfer to a regional director. The transferring supervisor and the receiving supervisor shall handle any issues of concern.

Chapter 1.5, POLICY EXCEPTIONS, Policy 1

Deleting the requirement in Section A1 that the supervisor request exceptions to policy from the regional director. The supervisor shall forward requests for exceptions to policy directly to the Director of Policy and Planning.

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 1

Deleting the statement in Section A1 that the regional director may assist in negotiating services provided to a consumer whose case is also open in another state. The DRS VR counselor’s supervisor may still be called upon to assist in this matter.

 

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2

Revising Section D7 to replace the SEE policy with a link to the SEE policy that was moved in April 2014 to its own chapter 8.17, SEE.

Chapter 7, SCHOOL, Policy 1

Amending section A8 to state that written pre-approval is required of the supervisor and the Transition Services Director for all courses in a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

 

Chapter 8.05, GROUPS, Policy 1

Amending Section A1 to state that written pre-approval requests for services to groups shall be submitted to the DRS Director instead of the regional director. The DRS Director shall work with the DARS Fiscal Director in the Central office to arrange authorization and vendor payment.

.Chapter 9.1, JOB PLACEMENT, Policy 1

Removing the statement in Section A1 that requires the counselor complete the Integrated Setting Decision Matrix and obtain supervisor pre-approval before moving the case in Employed status when there is a question of whether or not a job is in an integrated setting.

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 3

Revising Section A1. Virginia has not turned on the annual review data page screen in AWARE. For closed case review of a case closed as disability too severe, revising procedure from The counselor shall document the results of the review in AWARE annual review data page to The counselor shall document the results of the review in AWARE.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS INSTRUCTIONS, RS-8

Changing directions to this form to state that the district manager, not the regional director, approves requests for mediation and forwards them to the appeals coordinator.

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 4

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 6

Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 7

Amending certain sections in this chapter to replace regional director with district manager. The district manager is available to meet with the client and counselor and staff the case with the counselor. The district manager is available to assist with issues the supervisor cannot resolve. The client or supervisor may ask the district manager to conduct an Informal Administrative Review. If the district manager participated in the decision, the request may be made to the DRS Director. The district manager, not the regional director, may consider Mediation, and the district manager sends the Mediation Request to the VR appeals coordinator. The district manager selects the mediator from the list provided by the appeals coordinator, and the district manager may terminate the Mediation and request a hearing on the client issue.

 

FORMS

RS-8 Mediation Request and Confidentiality Form, revised Oct 2015

S-RS-8 Spanish version, revised Oct 2015

Integrated Setting Decision Matrix is retired effective October 1, 2015

 

AWARE Letters

None

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

None

 

 

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 15-07

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Elizabeth Smith, Policy and Planning Director

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:                       November 3, 2015

The following changes become effective as of November 1, 2015:

 

POLICIES

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 3

Revising policy to change “regional director” to “district manager,” so that district manager approval is required for any single purchase, or combination of items being authorized simultaneously as a package, costing DRS $10,000 - $14,999. Costs of $15,000 or more require additional approvals.

 

Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, AIRCRAFT, BOAT, Policy 1

Amending Section B1 to state that in addition to an Interagency Transfer Invoice, the SPCC can be used to pay Virginia DMV for client learner permit and driver license fees.

Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE, AIRCRAFT, BOAT, Policy 5

Revising Section A1 of the vehicle modification policy to require district manager approval, not regional director, for exception to policy that a client receives a vehicle modification only once in a lifetime.  

Chapter 12, FORMS

Changing the revision date on form instructions to Oct 2015 to match Oct 2015 revision date on the form:

RS-4b Consumer Information on Development of the Employment Plan

RS-5a Application and Disclosures for VR Services

RS-9 Request for Hearing

RS-22 Vocational Rehabilitation Accident/Incident Report

RS-32 Transportation Assessment

RS-33 Home Modification Assessment

RS-455 Closed Case Review for Extended Employment or Earning Less than Min.Wage

VR-001 Understanding Order of Selection brochure

 

FORMS

Revising these forms to change “regional director” to “district manager” with revision date Oct 2015:

RS-4b Consumer Information on Development of Employment Plan, and Spanish version S-RS-4b

R5a Application and Disclosures for VR Services, and Spanish version S-RS-5a

RS-9 Request for Hearing, and Spanish version S-RS-9

RS-22 Vocational Rehabilitation Accident/Incident Report

RS-32 Transportation Assessment

RS-33 Home Modification Assessment

RS-455 Closed Case Review for Extended Employment or Earning Less than Min.Wage, and Spanish version S-RS-455

VR-001 OOS Brochure, and Spanish version S-VR-001

DRS-CAP-001 Commissioner Approval Process


AWARE Letters

Changing these letters to replace “regional director” with “district manager”

Participant Module

Eligible with IPE Appt. including the RS-4b attachment

OOS Serving Waiting List Category, including RS-4b attachment

Closed Rehab Partnership Plus

Closed Rehab No PES Needed

Closed Rehab with PES

Closure Notice Cannot Locate or Contact

Closure Notice Ineligible

Closure Notice Too Severe

Closure Notice PES Unsuccessful

Closed Other from PES Successful

Closure Notice All Other Reasons

Manager - Informal Administrative Review

 

Service Module

Manager - Informal Administrative Review

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

none

 

 16-01. Policy Transmittal for May 1, 2016

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 16-01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Vanessa S. Rakestraw, Policy Analyst

                        Mary C. Lutkenhaus, Policy Analyst

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               May 1, 2016

The following changes become effective as of May 1, 2016.  Please read the entire Transmittal to understand all the changes that you will notice with the Manual.

LINKS

The DRS Policy & Procedure Manual has moved to the Share Point site hosted by WWRC. 

Technical issues with share point
Please report all technical issues with share point (speed in opening links, etc.), to SharePointAdmin@wwrc.net

Bookmark links to the P&P Manual
The links on the DSA intranet Web site and the vadars.org internet Web site will take you to the new location of the P&P Manual.  If you have saved the old Web site address for the P&P Manual as a Bookmark on your PC, your Bookmark will no longer work.  Please update your P&P Manual bookmark to https://sharepoint.wwrc.net/VRmanual/

Links within the P&P Manual

The P&P Manual still has links to other policies within the P&P ManualTo report a broken link, please send an email to Mary Lutkenhaus and Vanessa Rakestraw (a screen shot is helpful) including the broken link name (link name is the underlined text), chapter number, policy number, policy section number, and paragraph number.  Or call us at Mary (804-662-7610) or Vanessa (804-662-7612).  Be very specific to help us find the broken link. 

The P&P Manual now has links to the Services Reference Manual.

The P&P Manual does not have links to the Training & Facilities Manual.  We plan to add the links at a later date.

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.  In the meantime, this notice will appear in white text on a black background box at the end of each chapter.

Links within Policy Transmittal
As of May 1, 2016, Policy Transmittals will no longer contain links to the revised policies.  To read the revised policy please:

  1. go to the Manual's main page/Table of Contents,
  2. click on the relevant chapter;
  3. when the relevant chapter opens at the top of the page you will see a list of policy sections;
    click on the relevant policy section.

POLICY OUTLINE FORMAT
One benefit of moving the P&P Manual to Share Point is that we were able to simplify the standard outline format that had included sections and subsections (i.e., subsection A1 even though there was no subsection A2 or section B).   In many policies, such as Chapter 6.01, you will see Policy 1 and numbered paragraphs without needing sections and subsections.

SEARCH FEATURE

You can search within each chapter for a specific term or word.  However, you are still not able to search the entire Manual at once.

Open the chapter;

  1. hold down the CTRL and F keys together;
  2. when the Find box appears, type in the word you want to find;
  3. Options drop down menu lets you choose to match Whole Word or Case;
  4. click Next Keep clicking Next in order to cycle through all the word matches contained in all the policies in that chapter. 
  5. If no matches are found, try using different words. 

POLICY CHANGES

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1

Streamling policy to retire Section A2 because substance abuse cases have been filed the same way as other cases since April 2010 and are subject to the policy in Section A1.

Revising policy to consolidate Sections B1 and B2, use B1 to clarify client legal right to challenge information in the VR case record and the procedure, and retire B2.

Chapter 1.5, POLICY EXCEPTIONS, Policy 1

Revising policy that effective 1/1/16, poilcy exceptions must be approved by the Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs (Catherine Harrison).

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 4

Revising policy in Section A1 to streamline it only.  Policy is not changing.  Counselor may decide whether to provide feedback to the source that referred the applicant to DRS.

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 5

Revising section A1, B1, and C1 to clarify and streamline policy but no policy changes are being made.

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 6

Revising Policy 6 to replace the wording with a link to the voter registration policy, which was moved in September 2014 (Policy Transmittal 14-08) to its own Chapter 1.7, VOTER

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 1

Revising section A1 to clarify and streamline policy but not making any policy changes.

Chapter 4.01, ELIGIBILITY, Policy 2
Revising Section A16 to add "Any licensed medical practitioner receiving payment under the vendor number of a medical specialist may provide the exam and report."  This language is being moved from the Services Reference Manual to this policy.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1

Revising IPE signature requirement so that that the client does not have to sign the name exactly as it appears on the Social Security Card, but clients with a Ticket to Work must sign the name exactly as it appears on the proof of SSI or SSDI.  Revising the rest of the policy to clarify and streamline the language, but not making any other changes to the actual policy.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2

Streamlining policy to move Section C1 Requirements for Progress Measures into Section A and renumbering Section C2 Sample Progress Measures as C1, and moving all of Section D IPE Planned Services into Section A and retiring Section D.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 3

Revising policy to clarify and streamline language, but not making any policy changes.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 4

Revising policy to clarify and streamline language for policy to review the IPE annually, but not making any policy changes.  Moving the policy on amending the IPE to new Policy 6, to clarify the IPE may be amended at any time and not just at annual review.

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 6

Moving IPE amendment policy to a new Policy 6 in Chapter 5, to separate this policy from the annual review policy.  The IPE may be amended at any time and not just during the annual review.

Chapter 8.12, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE, Policy 1

Revising policy to replace reference to interagency transfer form (IAT), which has retired, with Administrative Voucher.

Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1

Revising Section D3 to add "For permanently implanted devices, see Advisory in the Services Reference Manual for sponsorship of manufacturer upcharge and device cost." 

Chapter 8.21, VEHCILE, Policy 1

Revising policy to replace reference to interagency transfer form (IAT), which has retired, with Administrative Voucher.

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1

Revising Section A2 4 (a) (iii) to remove the reference to the Integrated Setting Matrix because the matrix is retired.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-457

Changing the revision date to October 2015.

Chapter 12, FORMS, IAT

Retiring interagency transfer form (IAT).

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-13

Revising form revision date because family size table on the form is being updated.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1

Revising policy to replace reference to interagency transfer form (IAT), which has retired, with Administrative Voucher.

Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 2

Revising policy to replace reference to interagency transfer form (IAT), which has retired, with Administrative Voucher.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 3

Revising the policy date to show the policy reflects the 2011 amendment to the state Workers Compensation law.  The policy itself is not changing.

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 5

Revising link in Section C3 to point to voter registration policy, which we moved in September 2014 (Policy Transmittal 14-08) to its own Chapter 1.7, VOTER

Revising link in Section D4 to point to voter registration policy, which we moved in September 2014 (Policy Transmittal 14-08) to its own Chapter 1.7, VOTER

Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1

Please note that, while Fiscal in Focus February 28, 2016 issue reported that the IRS raised the mileage reimbursement rate in January for itemized tax return purposes, the VR client mileage reimbursement rate remains at 40 cents per mile.

 

FORMS CABINET

RS-457 Lien Worksheet, revising form to update where to submit the completed form. 

S-RS-457 Spanish version, revising form to update where to submit the completed form. 

 

RS-13 Client Financial Statement, revising to update family size table.

S-RS-13 Spanish RS-13, revising to update family size table.

 

AWARE Letters

Manager Informal Administrative Review decision letter has been revised to add a footer that auto-fills the contact information of the person logged in to AWARE.  

 

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

16-02. Policy Transmittal for December 1, 2016DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANU​AL MEMORANDUM​​ 16-02​

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               November 22, 2016

Please read this transmittal carefully it includes many changes related to WIOA. Due to changes in computer software, there may be a delay in the posting to the online DRS Policy and Procedure Manual.  We will work to make these available as soon as possible.  However, the changes are still in effect and should be implemented.

The following changes are in effect.

 

POLICIES

Extended Evaluation

Effective September 19, 2016, federal VR regulation 34 CFR 361 eliminated the use of Extended Evaluation as a tool for determining that an individual is unable to benefit from VR services due to the severity of the disability. VR agencies cannot write new Extended Evaluation Plans and cannot move a case from Application status into Application –X status.

Trial Work Experiences

The counselor still needs sufficient evidence the individual is eligible or clear and convincing evidence that the individual is unable to benefit from services before determining the individual ineligible based on the significance of the disability.  This evidence shall be obtained by providing the individual with the opportunity to obtain a sufficient variety of trial work experiences. Not all trial work experiences are required to be in competitive integrated employment settings. However, every effort shall be made to  provide trial work experiences through actual work experiences in integrated community environments in order  to obtain evidence  for making the determination of an individual's eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services (2016 preamble to regulation 34 CFR 361.42(e)).

 

Revising to remove references to Extended Evaluation Plan and Application – X status:

  • Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1, Section C2
  • Chapter 3, DISABILITY, Policy 1, Section A4
  • Chapter 4.02, TRIAL WORK, all sections
  • Chapter 6.04, DRIVER EVALUATION, Policy 1
  • Chapter 6.05, VEHICLE MOD ASSESSMENT, Policy 1, Section 5
  • Chapter 6.06, HOME MOD ASSESSMENT, Policy 1, Section 4
  • Chapter 14.3, CONSUMER FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION, Policy 1, Sections 2,5, and 6

 

Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1, Section C

Revising policy to update paper documentation standards to scanning and electronic storage

 

Chapter 4.02, TRIAL WORK, Policy 1, Section

Revising Section A1 to clarify all clients, including SSI and SSDI cases, are subject to Trial Work Experiences policy during eligibility assessment to document if disability is too severe for any employment.

 

Order of Selection and Pre-Employment Transition Services

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 1, Section A2

Revising Section A2 to add links to policy in Order of Selection policy that permit continuation of pre-employment transition services already initiated before Eligible status for students with disabilities who apply for VR and impact on IPE and funding sources.

 

Homemaker and Unpaid Family Worker

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2, Section B1

Revising  homemaker goal and new employment outcome definition -

 

Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 2, Section B3

Revising policy to prohibit writing IPEs with homemaker employment goal and prohibit amending the IPE goal to homemaker beginning September 19, 2016.  Cases with homemaker IPE approved and signed before September 19, 2016 are grandfathered and may continue to receive services until June 30, 2017.

 

Assistive Technology

Chapter 6.07, AT ASSESSMENT, Policy 1, Section A1

Revising Section A1 to add a link to the definition of AT devices and services, which are found in Chapter 8.02 and were changed in federal regulation 34 CFR 361.5(c).

 

Chapter 8.02, AT, Policy 1, Section A1

Revising Section A1 definition of rehabilitation technology, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology service to be consistent with WIOA of July 22, 2014 and federal regulation 34 CFR 361.5(c) Definitions effective 9/19/16.  AT service now includes donating AT devices, providing training and technical assistance to AT device manufacturers and sellers and to providers of employment and training services, and expanding the availability of access to technology (including electronic and information technology), to individuals with disabilities.

 

Supported Employment

Chapter 8.16, Policy 1

Section A Changing the definition of supported employment to state that only competitive, integrated employment can be an employment goal for those in supported employment. 

Section B1. Adding to the definition of ongoing supported employment, services that the services are delivered by skilled job trainers who accompany the individual for intensive job training at the work site.

 

Deleting the statement that SE services shall not be provided before the final semester of high school.

 

Deleting the statement that SE may be provided in a group placement or enclave model.  However, this section is adding that SE may be provided in group placements with one job coach provided that the vendor is approved by DARS to provide training in this type of placement.

 

Adding that although SE cases are considered employed on the first date of employment, the individual is not considered to be stable in employment on this date. Once the counselor determined the individual is stable in employment, the counselor shall document in AWARE that the client is stable. The 90 day time period required for case closure begins on the date the individual is determined to have reached stability.

 

Adding that the individual in SE must earn at least minimum wage in an integrated setting at the time of case closure.

 

Chapter 8.16, Policy 2

Adding that extended services may be provided to youth with the most significant disabilities age 14 to 24 for up to four years or until age 25 if alternative sources of funding cannot be found.   However, payment of extended services shall cease once the individual turns 25 and other sources of funding for extended services shall be found.

 

Stating a case is transferred to extended services once it is documented as stable in AWARE.

 

Deleting the definition of stability in mobile work crew or enclave. These SE placements are no longer allowed.

                                                                                                     

Adding that the case of youth with disabilities shall not be closed as employed while services are being purchased with 110 funds or Title VI Supported Employment funds. These cases may be closed as employed  once 90 days stability is reached and alternative sources of funding for extended services have been located.

 

Closure and Case Review

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section A3

Removing the requirement that the case be placed in Application-X status before the case is closed due to the significance of the disability. Extended evaluation and therefore Application-X status have been removed from the manual. However, the requirement to place a case in Application-T, Trial Work, still applies before the case can be closed due to significance of disability.

 

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section C

Stating that supported employment cases and job coach training cases shall be placed in employed status on the date employment begins.  However, the change is that the counselor shall check in AWARE when the individual becomes stable in employment.  This begins the 90 day follow up before closure

 

Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 3 Sections A and B

 A1 Changing the word severe to the term significant, which is used in the federal regulations.

 Removing institutionalized and retired as reasons for not conducting a review on a case closed as disability too significant

 

A2 Removing Application-X as an option for the outcome of closed case reviews.  Application-X has been removed from policy.

B1 Adding that all cases closed in positions earning less than minimum wage in accordance with section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act require mandatory closed case reviews.

B2 Stating that cases closed in any employment that is not competitive, integrated employment require mandatory reviews every 6 months for the first two years and annually thereafter.  If the review shows that the individual has died or moved out of state, no further review are required. This shall be documented on the RS-455 closed case review form.   The individual cannot opt out of a review.  Reviews must be attempted at the required review time.  If the individual declines to be reviewed, the counselor shall document on the RS-455 that the review was attempted and obtain the client's signature if possible.

 

Forms

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-2 MH

Revising to update form revision date

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-OOS

Revising policy to update form revision date and change form number to RS-OOS.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5a

Revising form date.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-5e O*Net Codes

Revising policy to add RS-5e to list of forms in chapter 12 and update form revision date.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS. AWARE-7

Retiring and removing from Chapter 12.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS, 262-VR-AD-002

Revising policy to update paper documentation standards to scanning and electronic storage

 

FORMS

RS-2 MH Mental Health Professional's Referral of Client to DRS VR Program

RS-OOS Order of Selection Brochure

RS-5a Application and Disclosures for VR

RS-5e O*Net-SOC Employment Codes for Employment Plan

RS-9 Request for Hearing

262-VR-AD-002 Scanning Standards

AWARE-7 Extended Evaluation Plan – Retiring

 

AWARE Letters

Appt Letter From Placement Counselor has been revised with a minor change to remove "with me" at the end of the last sentence.

 

Revising Trial Work Or Extended Eval letter to remove reference to Extended Evaluation Plan and Application – X status and rename it Trial Work Needed letter.

 

AWARE closure letters to add subminimum wage language:

Closed-Rehab PES not needed;

Closed-Rehab Partnership Plus,

Closed-Rehab PES Needed

Please refer all inquiries regarding AWARE and letters to your AWARE Level 1 support team.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

Revising policy to update citation to definitions in federal VR regulation from 34 CFR 361.5(b) to 34 CFR 361.5(c).

 

Updating the citation throughout the Manual from "Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended in 1998 Title I Section …" to "Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended through Public Law 114-18.

​ 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               February 9, 2017

The following changes related to applicants determined eligible who  are at immediate risk of losing their current job are in effect.  A copy of the policy is attached for your convenience.  An electronic version will be posted as soon as possible:

POLICIES

Chapter 2.2, ORDER OF SELECTION, Policy 3

Applicants Determined Eligible Who Are at Immediate Risk of Losing Current Job.

This is a new policy to Chapter 2.2   This Policy allows a consumer who is in danger of losing a current job  to   bypass order of selection in order to receive services to maintain current employment.

  • This policy only applies to consumers in danger of losing an existing job. 
  • It does not include advancement in employment nor does it include finding a new position. 
  • In addition to guidance and counseling and follow along, only specific services and equipment that will keep the consumer in his or her current job may be provided.   
  • If an individual who has a plan written under this policy loses the job, their case will be placed in interrupted status until their priority category under order of selection becomes open.

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-02

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               March 28, 2017

The following changes are effective as of April 1, 2017.  An electronic version will be posted as soon as possible:

POLICIES

Chapter 2.1, APPLICATION, Policy 5

Revising section D7 to remove reference to Extended Evaluation App-X case status.

Chapter 11, Closure, Policy 1

Revising the definition of employment outcome to mean competitive integrated employment, including customized employment or supported employment. Beginning September 19, 2016, a case cannot be closed in Closed-Rehab status if the client is in unpaid employment, is compensated less than minimum wage or customary wage, or is employed in a non-integrated employment setting.  Homemaker IPEs approved and signed on or before September 19, 2016 are grandfathered and may continue receiving services until June 30, 2017, unless the client and counselor document services are still needed to attain a homemaker outcome.

Revising policy to include the new definition of customized employment, which is competitive integrated employment for an individual with a significant disability that is individualized to meet the specific abilities of the client and business needs of the employer.

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-9

Revising policy to update form revision date to 11/16 and to allow individuals who are not a VR client but receive pre-employment transition services, transition services to groups, or semi-annual and annual reviews while in extended employment earning subminimum wage to appeal a DRS decision regarding his or her vocational rehabilitation.

Chapter 15, APPEALS

Revising Policy 2, Policy 5, Policy 6, Policy 7B and 7C, and Policy 8B and 8C to add that hearings, mediation, and CAP avenues of appeal are available to non-VR clients receiving pre-employment transition services, transition services, and individuals of any age in extended employment earning subminimum wage known to DRS.  Revising Policy 1 to require notification to these individuals before reducing, suspending, or terminating these services to these populations.

Revising Policies 1 through 9, inclusive, to update the federal VR regulation citation from 2001 to 2016

FORMS

Retiring AWARE - 3 Order of Documentation in Case File. This is replaced by form 262-VR-AD-002 Scanning Standards (rev. 4/14)

AWARE LETTERS

None

 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-03

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               April 11, 2017

The following pre-ETS policy changes are in effect.  The new and revised policies are available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual.  (Links are included below.)

POLICIES

Chapter 8.24, Transition Services, Policy 2

https://sharepoint.wwrc.net/VRmanual/SitePages/Chapter%208.24%20Transition%20Services.aspx

Adding a new policy on pre-employment transition services (pre-ETS). DARS works with the local educational agencies to provide or arrange for the provision of pre-ETS to students with disabilities in need of these services who are eligible or potentially eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.  There are five required core services in pre-ETS.

A DARS pre-ETS counselor provides pre-ETS to students who are potentially eligible. If the student needs vocational rehabilitation services, he or she is referred to a vocational rehabilitation  counselor.  The vocational rehabilitation counselor shall provide pre-ETS to students who are eligible. 

Students who receive pre-ETS prior to being determined eligible for VR services may continue to receive pre-ETS if placed on an order of selection.  However, students who do not receive pre-ETS prior to being determined eligible for VR services may only receive services that benefit groups of students.

All Pre-ETS services are exempt from financial participation.

Chapter 14.3, Financial Participation, Policy 1  

https://sharepoint.wwrc.net/VRmanual/SitePages/Chapter%2014.03%20Financial%20Participation.aspx

Pre-employment transition services are exempt from financial participation.  Other cost services under an IPE for students with a disability are subject to financial participation policy and Client Financial Statement (Rs-13) results.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None


 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-04

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               April 17, 2017

The following policy change is effective today, April 17, 2017.  A copy of the new policy is attached and will also be available online in the DRS Policy and Procedures Manual.

 

POLICIES

Chapter 2.2, Order of Selection, Policy 2

Changes from four to three the number of priority categories under order of selection. Priority Category III (SD 1) and Priority Category II (SD 2) are combined under the new Priority Category II.  Priority Category IV (other disabilities) is renamed Priority Category III.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None


 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-05

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               June 26, 2017

The following policy changes become effective July 1, 2017.   The new and revised policies will be available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual. 

 

POLICIES

Chapter 1.3, Casefile, Policy 2

If applicable for clients 18 years of age and older, copies of a guardianship order or power of attorney in effect are to be included in the client's case file.

To protect the rights of DARS' clients, the documentation should be reviewed carefully to understand the scope of the guardianship order or power of attorney, as these may vary greatly. 

Chapter 10, EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1, Section A

Revising policy to explain the different between start date and stability in employment date and when  the 90 day clock begins.

a. For non SE and JCTS cases- stability and start date should be entered at the same time. This will move the case to "employed status" and the clock for closure starts ticking

b. For supported employment (SE), employment start is entered when the consumer starts employment. This does not move the case to employed. It will stay in Service or Service-J.  When the consumer has reached stability –enter the date – then the case moves to Employed and the 90 day closure clock will start ticking. Do not enter a stable date until the consumer is stable in employment.

Chapter 12, Forms Instruction, RS-13 Financial Participation

Revises the Family Size Table for Living Expense Exclusion.​

Family SizeExclusion
1$24,600
2$28,780
3$32,960
4$37.140
5$41,320
6$45,500
7$49,680
8$53,860
For each additional dependent, add $4,180

 

Chapter 12, Forms Instructions, AWARE-17.4 Education Screen Guidance

Provides guidance on completing the education screens in AWARE.

Forms

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-OOS

Revising policy to update form revision date

RS-13, Client Financial Statement

FORMS

RS-00S  Order of Selection Brochure

AWARE LETTERS

None

 


DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 17-07

To:                   DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:              Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               November 9, 2017

The following policy change goes into effect November 13, 2017.  It is a follow-up to several of the policy changes distributed yesterday. 

 

POLICIES

Chapter 11, Closure, Policy 1 C. Procedure to Close Case

Clarifies that for SE, a client does not move into Employed Status in AWARE until the employment date and stability date are entered.  The employment date is entered when the individual begins employment and the stability date is entered once they achieve stability.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None 


DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 18-01

To:                   DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:              Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               February 20, 2018

 

The following policy changes become effective February 23, 2018.   The new and revised policy will be available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual. 

 

POLICIES

Chapter 7, SCHOOL POLICY

These policy changes are to provide clarity on the eligibility requirements, consumer responsibilities, maximum allowances, and approval procedures for school transition services.

 

Chapter 8, EMPLOYMENT

This policy change is to clarify that Service E may be used to indicate a client is in service status and employed but not yet stable.

 

Chapter 12, FORMS INSTRUCTION, RS-13 FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION

Revises the Family Size Table for Living Expense Exclusion.

Family SizeExclusion
1$25,100
2$29,420
3
$33,740
4$38.060
5$42,380
6$46,700
7$51,020
8$55,340
For each additional dependent, add   $4,320

​ 

Chapter 14.1, Purchasing

These policy changes are sought to allow for greater administrative ease in the purchase of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) client services over $5,000 by removing Commissioner pre-approval.  DRS Director approval is added or retained in those sections where Commissioner approval is required.  This change will help ensure that pre-approvals are processed in a timely manner.

FORMS

RS-13, Client Financial Statement

AWARE LETTERS

None


DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 18-02

To:                   DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:              Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               April 3, 2018

​The following policy changes become effective April 9, 2018.   The new and revised policy will be available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual. 

 

POLICIES

Chapter 5, PLAN

Updates the sample progress measures in "2. IPE Content Requirements, C. Sample Progress Measures" to reflect person centered language.

Chapter 7, SCHOOL POLICY

These policy changes are to provide clarity on the approval procedures for school transition services and require Commissioner pre-approval for school training services over $5,000.

Chapter 8.19, TRAINING

Clarifies that for On the Job Training (OJT), the client should be in Service E status if they are employed but the counselor is paying tuition for OJT.  They do not move to Employed status until the stability date is entered and tuition for OJT is no longer provided.

Chapter 10, EMPLOYMENT

This policy change is to clarify that Service Employed status (Service- E) is used to indicate a client is employed but not yet stable, and is therefore not yet in Employed status.

Chapter 14.1, Purchasing

These policy changes are sought to require Commissioner pre-approval for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) client services over $5,000.  DRS Director approval has been eliminated where Commissioner approval is required. 

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None


DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 18-03​

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               November 30, 2018

​The following policy changes become effective December 3, 2018.  The new and revised policies will be available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual. 

 

POLICIES

CHAPTER 1.1 – CONFIDENTIALITY

This revision clarifies that written consent of individuals referred and/or being served by the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) is required for each agency to exchange, release, or obtain information from the other agency. 

In addition, the timeframe for the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect has been changed from 72 hours to 24 hours to reflect a statutory change.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 1.2 – LIABILITY

This revision clarifies that the insurance coverage that DRS has pre-purchased from Nationwide for injury for Vocational Rehabilitation clients also provides coverage for potentially eligible students with disabilities who are receiving state specific Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).  The Policy also reflects existing practice whereas the DARS General Service Staff designee is responsible for notifying the Division of Risk Management or Nationwide Insurance claims representative.

FORMS

RS-22 – Vocational Rehabilitation Program Accident/Incident Report

AWARE LETTERS

Letters for UWE and accidents

CHAPTER 2.1 – APPLICATION

This revision clarifies eligibility criteria of individuals jointly served by DBVI and DARS.  For DAR and DBVI to jointly serve clients the individual must:

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria for each agency;
  2. Each agency must have the necessary expertise to address the disability related barriers to employment that the other agency does not have;
  3. Each agency provides a service that the other agency does not normally provide to the individuals it serves; and
  4. Each agency's service is a substantial contribution to removing limitations to employment.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 2.2 – ORDER OF SELECTION

This revision clarifies that for individuals who will be jointly served by DARS and DBVI, that each agency will apply its own policies regarding Order of Selection (OOS).  However, should an individual be determined eligible for services by both agencies but due to OOS, the case is placed in Delayed Status by one agency but not the other, then the agency where the individual is not in delayed status assumes lead responsibility for the case in consultation with the other agency.   

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 4.01 – ELIGIBLITY

This revision outlines the eligibility criteria for cases jointly served by DBVI and DARS.  DRS and DBVI will make independent determinations of eligibility for their respective vocational rehabilitation programs based on their agency's determination of eligibility policy.  Agencies will share diagnostic and assessment information pertinent to eligibility determination to minimize duplication of effort.  In the event that the development of a Trial Work Plan becomes necessary for eligibility determination, then shared planning between the agencies shall occur.   

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 5 – IPE DEVELOPMENT

This revision notes that for jointly served cases with DBVI, each agency is to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with the individual.  The vocational goal should be consistent for both agencies, with no duplicated services except Counseling and Guidance.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 8.19 – TRAINING

This revision clarifies that vocational exploration services under unpaid work experience (UWE) may be used to help facilitate job exploration for students with disabilities.  Vocational exploration can be provided for assessment purposes to vocational rehabilitation clients.  However, assessments cannot be provided to students with disabilities receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) who are potentially eligible for vocational rehabilitation.  Pre-ETS are the earliest set of services available to students with disabilities and are designed to help students with disabilities to begin to identify career interests that will be further explored through additional vocational rehabilitation services.  Assessment services are not among the required or authorized Pre-ETS activities under section 113 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 8.22 – POST EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

Adds language already included in the Consumer Financial Participation (Chapter 14.3) to this Chapter to reiterate that non-assessment services provided in a Post-Employment Services (PES) Plan are subject to consumer financial participation.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 11 – CLOSURE

This revision outlines the closure requirements/steps for cases jointly served by DBVI and DARS.  If is determined that services from one of the agencies are no longer required at any point after IPE implementation, then the agency may keep the case open, be available for any necessary follow-up and/or coordination of services, allow the other agency to continue with their necessary services, and then both agencies close the case simultaneously.  Any decision to close the individual's case (either successfully or not) should be discussed with the other agency's VR counselor before notifying the individual.

Changes were also made to clarify when closed case reviews are to occur for individuals closed in extended employment and closed as “too severe."

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 14.1. – PURCHASING

This revision is to Section 2.E, Use of Store Gift Cards and Fuel Gift Cards, and makes it mandatory for a VR client to provide the signed authorization letter prior to receiving gift/fuel cards.  The requirement that clients provide receipts has been eliminated with language being retained which states client usage of the card shall signify receipt and agreement to use the card only for the VR purpose stated.  This change will make VR Policy consistent with Fiscal Policy for Small Purchase Charge Cards (SPCC).

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

Gift/Fuel Card Client Acknowledgment Letter

CHAPTER 14.2 – COMPARABLE BENEFITS

This revision clarifies that for individuals jointly served by DARS and DBVI, comparable benefits, including services to be provided/funded by DBVI, should be included in the individual's IPE.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 14.3 – FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION

This revision outlines the financial participation requirements for cases jointly served by DBVI and DARS.  Each agency shall apply its own financial participation policies where financial sponsorship of services is involved.  Where disability-specific service needs exist, the agency that possesses the unique knowledge and expertise necessary to provide that service to the individual will be the provider or funder of that service (e.g., low vision services).  Otherwise, when both agencies agree on services (e.g., college, supported employment, etc.) that are necessary to support the individual's vocational goal, both agencies can share in the cost of the service in keeping with their respective policies, only to the extent that the authorizations do not exceed the service cost less comparable benefit and the individual's financial participation in cost of services.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

CHAPTER 15 – APPEALS

This revision outlines the closure requirements/steps for appeals for cases that are jointly served by the DBVI and DARS.  With written client consent, DBVI and DARS may coordinate and share information necessary to address informal administrative reviews, mediations, fair hearings, and formal administrative reviews when necessary.

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

​CHAPTER 16 – JONTLY SERVED CASES BY DRS AND THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE BLIND AND VISION IMPAIRED (DBVI)

This is a new chapter outlining the program components for serving jointly served by DBVI and DARS.  The DRS Policy Chapters on Confidentiality, Application, Order of Selection, Eligibility, IPE Development, Closure, Comparable Benefits, and Appeals were also revised to cross reference this new Chapter. 

FORMS

None

AWARE LETTERS

None

 

FORMS

Chapter 12, FORMS, RS-25

The RS-25 Post-Secondary Training Comparable Benefits and Funding Fall/Spring form has been revised to correct a formula error in the Maximum Amount Funded by DRS and the DRS Authorized Amount Total fields.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES (PRE-ETS) INFORMATION AND CONSENT FORM

Revised so that this form is solely a DARS' form rather than a dual form with DBVI.  Consent for Pre-ETS participation and consent for participation in outside activities is also included.


AWARE LETTERS

Based on feedback from the field, several changes have been made to the Pre-ETS closure letters.  Letters also now include space for manager and district director contact information, as this is required as part of notifying individuals of their appeals rights as well as 30-days' notice prior to closure.  Below are the Pre-ETS letters that have been modified.  An introductory letter that is to be sent with the Pre-ETS consent forms has also been created.

  • Pre-ETS Intro Letter Sent with Consent Form
  • Pre-ETS Closure (to VR for PERT)- DISCONTINUED - the "PE Closure to VR" works for these situations
  • Pre-ETS Closure (no longer interested)- combined to now be "PE Closure Not Interested/Lack Participation" (requires 30 days' notice)
  • Pre-ETS Closure (not able to continue)- is now "PE Closure No Longer SWD"
  • Pre-ETS Closure (Pre-ETs needs met)- is now "PE Closure Needs Met No VR Needed" (requires 30 days' notice)
  • Pre-ETs Closure (to VR)- is now "PE Closure to VR"
  • Pre-ETs Closure (cannot locate or contact)- is now PE Closure Cannot Locate or Contact (requires 30 days' notice)

In addition, a separate Order of Selection (OOS) letter for VR clients who are SWD and go into delayed status has also been created.

 

TECHNICAL CHANGES

The previously referenced policy sections were revised to update federal Code of Federal regulation citations to 2016 from 2001 as well as to update links to the Code of Virginia.




​ 

DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 19-01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               June 28, 2019

The following policy changes become effective July 1, 2019.  The new and revised policies will be available in the online Policy and Procedures Manual. 


POLICIES

CHAPTER 2.1 – APPLICATION

This policy implements a legislative mandate which emerged from legislation adopted by the 2019 General Assembly. HB 2306 (Landes) and SB 1485 (Hanger) require DARS to develop and implement a process to refer individuals to Employment Services Organizations (ESOs) for Long-Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) and Extended Employment Services (EES).  This is for those individuals not interested in obtaining competitive integrated employment.  Such a referral will be made to eligible ESOs in writing within 15 days when the individual makes the informed choice to pursue employment services that are not competitive integrated employment. 

In addition, the dates when the federal regulation citations were revised have been updated.  This change reflects the date that the citations were updated in this Chapter on 12/3/18. While the citations were updated, the revision dates to these sections were inadvertently excluded.  This ensures all the revision dates to this Chapter are now accurate.

FORMS

EE-1.   Instructions for the newly created EE-1 form, Referral to Referral to Extended Employment Long-Term Employment Support Services (LTESS) and Extended Employment Services (EES) for Non-Vocational Rehabilitation Clients, have also been included in this Chapter.​​

AWARE LETTERS

None

Chapter 12, FORMS INSTRUCTION, RS-13 FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION

Revises the Family Size Table for Living Expense Exclusion to align with the annual update of the U.S. Health and Human Services' Federal Poverty Guidelines.  In addition, Part 2 – Client Share of VR Cost was updated to correspond with line number changes which were made to the IRS 1040 form for the 2018 tax year. 

Family SizeExclusion
1$25,750
2$30,170
3$34,590
4$39,010
5$43,430
6$47,850
7$52,270
8
$56,690
For each additional dependent, add $  4,420


​FORMS - RS-13

Updating the living expenses exclusion on the family size table. The revised Federal HHS Poverty Guidelines were published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2019.  When the Federal Poverty Guidelines are revised, DRS updates the Client Financial Statement, which is based on these guidelines.  In addition, Part 2 – Client Share of VR Cost was updated to correspond with line number changes which were made to the IRS 1040 form for the 2018 tax year.  

AWARE LETTERS

None


DRS POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL MEMORANDUM 20-01

To:                  DRS Offices, DARS Central Office, WWRC Offices

From:             Catherine Harrison, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs

Re:                  Changes to the DRS Policy and Procedure Manual

Date:               July 15, 2020

 

The following policy change became effective June 9, 2020.  The revised policy is available in the online DRS Policy and Procedures Manual.  

 

POLICIES

CHAPTER 14.3. – PURCHASING

This Policy revises Sections 2.C. – Use of Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC) for Clients and 2.E. – Use of Gift Cards for Client Purchase.  These revisions clarify that all gift card purchases shall comply with DARS' SPCC and Program Administrator (PA) Policies and Procedures.  This policy further reiterates that the purchase of VISA, MasterCard, or other generalized monetary gift cards are not allowed.  This change will make Vocational Rehabilitation Policy consistent with the Fiscal policies for SPCC.

 

FORMS

None

 

AWARE LETTERS

The “Gift/Fuel Card Client Acknowledgment Letter" has been modified and renamed to “Client Receipt of Gift Card Letter" to be consistent with this Policy Change.