​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Chapter 11 Contents:

DRS Policy Manual Main

[REVISED: 12/3/18]

  1. An individual may have multiple VR cases with Virginia DRS over his or her lifetime, but only one case open at a time.   
  2. During the federal fiscal year, an individual may have multiple cases closed in Closed - Other status, but no more than one in Closed - Rehab status.
  3. During the federal fiscal year, Virginia DRS and another state VR agency (including Virginia DBVI, VR agency in another state, etc.) may both close the case in Closed-Rehab status when (per RSA-TAC-12-04 issued June 11, 2012): 
    1. The individual requires multiple services, and
    2. Each agency provides a service that the other agency does not normally provide to its consumers, and that service is a substantial contribution to removing limitations to employment.   This may include training services, physical restoration services, or direct job placement.  Counseling and guidance services alone is not sufficient to close a dually served case in Closed-Rehab status.
    3. For closing jointly served cases with DBVI, see Chapter 16. INDIVIDUALS JOINTLY SERVED BY DARS AND DBVI, Policy 9​.

Note: Federal fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.

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[REVISED: 9/16/21]
  1. Employment outcome (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR 361.5(c)(15))  means entering, advancing, or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time:
    1. competitive integrated employment in the integrated labor market (which may include customized employment, self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership), or
    2. supported employment.

    The employment outcome should be consistent with an individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns,  abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. Employment outcome occupations are listed in the Occupational Information Network-Standard Occupational Classification (O*NET-SOC) Titles published by the U.S. Department of Labor (including self-employment in an occupation).

  2. Competitive integrated employment means work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting (see definition below), and for which the individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less that the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities and with similar training, experience, and skills (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(9). For self-employed individuals, their income should be comparable to the income of individuals without disabilities who are self-employed in similar occupations or on similar tasks and who have similar training, experience, and skills.  Homemaker and unpaid family worker are not competitive integrated employment outcomes.
  3. Integrated employment setting means:
    1. a setting typically found in the community;
    2. where the individual interacts in the performance of his or her job with other employees in the work unit  and entire work site who are not individuals with disabilities (this does not include supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to such employees) and if appropriate to the job, other individuals without disabilities, such as customers and vendors, to the same extent that employees without disabilities who are in comparable positions interact with these individuals; and
    3. presents opportunities, as appropriate, for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions.  (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5
  4. Customized employment means competitive integrated employment for an individual with a significant disability that is (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 §361.5 (c)(11)):
    1. Based on the strengths, needs, and interests of the individual;
    2. Designed to meet the specific abilities of the individual with a significant disability and the business needs of the employer; and
    3. Executed through flexible strategies; examples include job exploration; working with the employer to customize the job description, job duties, work schedule, specifics of supervision, etc.; using a professional representative chosen by the individual or self-representation, to work with an employer to facilitate placement; or providing services and supports at the job location.
  5. Supported employment means (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 § 361.5(c)(53) competitive integrated employment (including customized employment) that is individualized and customized, consistent with the unique strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities when:
    1. competitive integrated employment has not historically occurred or for whom competitive integrated employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of significant disability; and
    2. due to the nature and severity of an individual's disabilities, they need intensive supported employment services and extended services after the transition from support provided by DRS in order to perform the job.
  6. Closed – Rehab status shall be used only when the individual's case record documents all of the following: 
    1. Achievement of the employment outcome described in the employment plan (IPE). The individual achieved the employment outcome described in the IPE, and it is consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5(c)(15) and 34 CFR § 361.56).   An individual may receive employment supports from the ESO and be considered employed in an integrated setting provided:​
      1. The individual is employed under the same working conditions as non-disabled employees in similar positions and has access to restroom facilities, lunch or break room arrangements, entrance and exits that employees without disabilities have, and
      2. The individual's employment meets the requirements under the definition of competitive integrated employment listed above.
    2. Employment Maintained with Satisfactory Outcome. The employment outcome is maintained at least 90 days to ensure the stability of the employment outcome and the individual no longer needs VR services, and the individual and counselor consider the employment outcome to be satisfactory and agree the individual is performing well (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.56). A new 90 day period is not necessary if the individual changes employers or jobs provided the jobs are consistent with the current employment goal and no other services are needed. Any gap in employment shall require documented consultation with the supervisor to determine if the individual can maintain stable employment or a new 90-day period is needed (per agency mandate). For self-​employment enterprise cases, see the DRS Self-Employment Enterprise Handbook for guidance on factors that indicate stable employment.
    3. IPE Services Provided Contributed to Employment Outcome.  Services (fee-based or no cost) provided after the IPE was initiated that ​contributed to the achievement of the employment outcome (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47 ).
    4. Informed of Post-Employment Services. The individual is informed through the Closed – Rehab letter, and other appropriate modes of communication as necessary, of the availability of post employment services (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.46).
  7. Changing employment goal.
    1. An amendment is required if closing the individual's case in rehab status and their ​​employment at case closure is not consistent with the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) employment goal.
    2. Signatures of the client, or as appropriate, the individual's representatifve, and the VR counselor are required when changing the Employment goal.  See Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 6 ​
    3. From Post Employment Services (PES) status.
    4. See Policy 1: Section A3 of this Chapter.

 

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

The counselor shall be responsible for initiating and completing case closure in Closed – Other status when the case is closed for any of the following reasons.  AWARE only accepts one closure reason; however, the individual may be notified of multiple reasons provided the case record supports each reason. Closure reasons are:
  1. No impairment exists or the disability is acute or transitory. This reason cannot be used after eligibility is certified.
  2. Impairment is not a substantial impediment to employment. This reason cannot be used after eligibility is certified.
  3. Employment cannot be achieved due to the significance of the disability.
    1. Before certification of eligibility, the case shall be placed into Application–T status, and the closure reason must be supported by clear and convincing evidence obtained through trial work experience (per 2016 federal regulation per 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42(e) see Chapter 4.02, TRIAL WORK, Policy 1.
    2. After certification of eligibility, the case record must include information obtained after the date of eligibility certification that supports closure due to the significance of the disability. Trial work experience is not necessary (per 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42 and 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). Application - T is not available after the case Eligible Date.
  4. Extended Employment.
  5. Does not require VR services to achieve employment outcome.
  6. Unable to locate or contact the individual.
  7. Left the state showing no intentions of continuing in the VR Program. The counselor shall document the source (per 2016  Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47(a)(3)).
  8. Refused services, or requests case closure, or does not wish to be on - or stay on - Order of Selection waiting list, as documented in the case record.
  9. Death.
  10. Institutionalized and unable to participate in VR Program for indefinite or considerable period of time.
  11. Case transfer to another agency or individual needs services that more appropriately obtained elsewhere.  ​D​RS staff cannot actually transfer a case to another agency or to a VR agency in another state, but may provide information about other services and programs, and with a signed Release may forward appropriate referral information and records to another agency.
  12. Failure to cooperate or did not meet responsibilities as agreed upon by the individual and counselor.
  13. Transportation needed to accept or maintain employment was either not feasible or not available.
  14. Extended services source was unavailable.
  15. From Post Employment Services (PES) status (successful or unsuccessful).
  16. Other. The actual reason must be supported in the case record and specified to the individual in writing using the appropriate version of the 30-day Closure Notice letter in AWARE.
  17.  

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[REVISED: 9/16/21]

If an Informal Administrative Review, mediation, or hearing is requested within the appeal deadline, even after the case is closed, it may be necessary to continue to provide vocational counseling and guidance and other services pending the outcome of the appeal (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57 ​and Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 3).

 
[REVISED: 9/16/21]

 

  1. Client written notification is required to close a client's case in either Closed - Rehab or Closed Other Status. Written notification must include the client's appeal rights. See Policy 1: Section D of this chapter.
  2. Supported Employment (SE) cases before Closed – Rehab status.
    1. For Supported Employment SE cases, the employment start date is entered when the individual begins employment. However, this does not move the case into Employed Status. When the individual reaches stability, enter the stability date and the case moved to Employed Status.
    2. Once the client has been employed and stable for at least 90 days and meets all other successful closure (Closed-Rehab) criteria, including the criteria for stability in Chapter 8.16, SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT, Policy 2, and employment matches their identified employment goal on their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), (seChapter 5, PLAN, Policy 6 ​and #11 of this Section) their case may be closed in Closed-Rehab status.
    3. Ensure that the SE check box on Plan screen and Needs Ongoing Support Services check box on Closure screen are in agreement.
  3. For Job Coach Training Services (JCTS) cases the employment start date is entered when the consumer starts employment.  Once they have sachieved stability, that date is entered into AWARE. The case then moves into Employed status and the 90 day closure clock begins. They may be closed in Closed-Rehab status once all the successful closure (Closed-Rehab) criteria are met, including 90 days or more of stable employment.
  4. Client follow-up before Closed – Rehab status.
    Within ten days before closing the case in Closed - Rehab status, the counselor must  initiate personal contact using appropriate modes of communication (in-person, telephone, e-mail, etc.) with the client. The counselor and the client must (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.56) agree that  the employment outcome is satisfactory and the client is performing well and has maintained an employment outcome for an appropriate period of time but not less than 90 days to ensure the stability of the employment outcome.  If direct client contact in an appropriate mode of communication has been attempted and the client has not responded after the 90-day period and it has been documented that the client has achieved employment consistent with their IPE employment goal, the counselor shall verify this information ​and document this source in the case record.  The Closed – Rehab Letter may not substitute for this personal contact requirement.  Non-response to contact attempts is not an acceptable substitute for personal contact.
  5. Post Employment Services (PES) re-assessment before Closed – Rehab status.
    Reassessment for PES is required at closure (see Chapter 8.22, POST EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, Policy 1).  If PES are necessary, the client and counselor may begin drafting the PES Plan while the case is still open; draft the PES Plan on the paper from because the AWARE PES Plan screen is not available while the case is still open.  For definition of post-employment services  and procedure , see Chapter 8.22, POST, Policy 1.
  6. Compensation verification before Closed – Rehab status.
    If the employment outcome will be coded as "competitive employment," the counselor shall verify that the client is compensated at or above the minimum wage and that the wage and level of benefits are not less than that customarily paid by that employer for the same or similar work performed by non-disabled employees (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47). For wage requirements at transition from DRS VR Program Supported Employment (SE) services to an extended services funding source, see Chapter 8.16, SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT, Policy 1.
  7. SSI/SSDI cases before Closed – Rehab status.
    The counselor shall update AWARE to verify SSI/SSDI status and Ticket to Work. If the client has a Ticket to Work, the counselor shall not close the case as Closed – Rehab until the Ticket Assignment Form (SSA-1365) is processed and the Ticket assigned to or placed in use with DARS (for details, see the Grants and Special Programs intranet site and the Ticket to Work procedures on the DSA intranet). DARS may qualify under federal regulation 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 for reimbursement from the Social Security Administration for the cost of certain vocational rehabilitation services for cases closed in Closed-Rehab status. Verification is also required to report accurate closed case data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.40).
  8. Services pending closure in Closed – Other status.
    Between the time the closure notice letter is provided and the case is closed, services are usually limited to consultation with the client regarding the closure decision and information about other programs and agencies as appropriate. Generic job-related services such as job club, interview skills training, and Employment Resource Center may be provided, however services for a specific employment goal may not be appropriate if an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) was not signed.
  9. Information and referral.
    1. The counselor shall provide information about appropriate federal and state programs (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.37 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57).
    2. For Closed - Rehab status, the counselor shall provide information about other agencies and programs as appropriate, through appropriate modes of communication, including the availability of PES (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.56).
    3. When closure is due to no impairment or impairment is not an impediment to employment, the counselor shall provide information about other appropriate programs such as the One Stop Centers.
    4. When closure is due to extended employment or disability is too severe for employment, the counselor shall provide information about other federal, state, or local programs that may be better suit to meet their rehabilitation needs (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.37, and ​2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43​, and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57). To prepare for a closed case review, the client may find it helpful for the counselor to offer milestones to becoming ready for VR and information about programs and services available to assist the client to reach the milestones.  See #12 of this Section for additional information. 
  10. Case note.
    1. The counselor shall update case notes and save them in AWARE. 
    2. For Closed – Rehab status, the counselor shall write a brief case note demonstrating how the services provided after the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) was initiated have contributed to achievement of the employment outcome (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47).  For client notification, see Policy 1: Section D of this chapter.
    3. For Closed – Other status, the counselor shall write a brief case note referencing the documentation (such as medical or psychological report, pattern of observed behavior, etc.) that supports the closure reason(s) noted on AWARE Closure screen and in the written closure notice to the client.  For client notification, see Policy 1: Section D of this chapter.
  11. Plan amendment.
    1. For Closed – Rehab status, if the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) includes services not started but no longer needed, the counselor shall initiate an amendment to terminate the services. For a substantial amendment, the counselor shall request client signature; however the counselor shall continue steps to close the case if the client does not respond within the counselor deadline.  If the employment outcome differs from the IPE employment goal see Chapter 11 Closure Policy 1.A2 for guidance on changing the employment goal. For substantial amendment definition, see Chapter 5, PLAN, Policy 6.
    2. For Closed – Other status, plan amendment is not necessary because the AWARE closure notice letter serves to terminate all services on the Trial Work Experiences Plan; or Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) effective on the case closure date in AWARE.
  12. Semi-annual or annual review.
    1. ​For Closed – Other status (for a case closed in extended employment) the counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55) schedule semi-annual reviews for two years after closure and annually thereafter.
    2. For Closed – Rehab status (for compensation less than minimum wage) the counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55) schedule a closed case review semi-annually for two years after closure and annually thereafter.
    3. For Closed – Other status (determined ineligible due to finding the individual is incapable of achieving an employment outcome – disability too significant) the counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43) review within 12 months and, if requested by the individual or if appropriate, by the individual's representative, annually thereafter, any ineligibility determination that is based on a determination that the individual is incapable of achieving an employment outcome.  This review does not need to be conducted in situations in which the individual has refused it, the indiviudal is no longer present in the Commonwealth, the individual's whereabouts are unknown, or the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.
    4. For exceptions and review procedure, See Policy 3: Section A1 of this chapter.​                   ​
  13. Feedback to referral source.
    Do not release the case closure information to non-DRS staff if the signed release of confidential information has expired. The counselor shall send a copy of the notice of case closure to notify the referral source of case disposition for:
    1. Workers' Compensation cases only when the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission paid any of the vocational rehabilitation cost.
    2. Workforce Investment Act One-Stop Center referrals only when the Memorandum of Understanding requires notification of case closure.
  14. Documentation.
    The counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.47) ensure the case record contains all relevant information required in Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 1.
  15. Service cancellation.
    The counselor shall cancel outstanding authorizations, unless continuation is required under the established appeals policy (see Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 3).
  16. Audit of tools and equipment.
    When RS-14 was used, save annual Occupational Tools and Equipment audit results in a case note. See Chapter 8.18, TOOLS, Policy 1.
  17. File storage.
    See Policy 2: Section A1 of this chapter.

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[REVISED: 9/16/21]

The Closed- Rehab Letter in AWARE (with PES, without PES, or Partnership Plus version as appropriate to the case) shall be used for cases closed in Closed - Rehab status after the VR client agrees to close the case.  No earlier than day 90 in Employed status, the counselor shall provide the Letter to the individual, supplemented by appropriate modes of communication as necessary (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.56). 

 

D2. Cannot Locate/Contact Letter in AWARE

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

  1. The 30-day Closure Notice - Cannot Locate/Contact letter in AWARE may be used at any time during the life of the case.

  2. To close the case as "cannot locate or contact," the counselor shall document multiple attempts to contact or locate the client, in an appropriate mode of communication, and then send the letter with a 30-day response deadline. For returned mail without a forwarding address, see Section D3. The case may be closed in AWARE the day after the deadline.

 
[REVISED: 9/16/21]

The 30-day Closure Notice letter in AWARE with 30-day deadline to request a consultation regarding the closure decision, supplemented by other appropriate modes of communication as necessary, shall be provided to the individual before Closed – Other status, to ensure the client receives notice of their rights per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57.  The 30-day Closure Notice letter in AWARE shall be used except when closure reason is:

  1. Death – client notice is not required.
  2. Returned mail without forwarding address — the envelope is sufficient documentation to close the case without sending a written notice provided at least one other attempt, using approrpiate modes of communication, and not by mail is documented.
  3. Institutionalized — the response deadline may be less than 30 days.
  4. Requests closure or does not wish to be on, or stay on, Order of Selection waiting list — the response deadline may be less than 30 days because the individual has already participated in the closure decision. The Closure Notice - Requests Closure Letter will be used.
  5. Cannot locate or contact – use the Closure Notice - Cannot Locate/Contact letter in AWARE.
  6. Successful closure from PES status – use Closure as Successful PES letter in AWARE.
  7. Unsuccessful closure from PES status - use 30-day Closure Notice PES Unsuccessful letter in AWARE with 30-day response deadline.

Guidance: If the case is in Application status, the waiting period for the individual's response to the closure notification letter could result in the case being kept in Application status past the deadline to make an eligibility determination. However, this is acceptable and should be taken into consideration when reviewing the AWARE report of cases past the deadline.

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[REVISED: 10/16/09]

The counselor shall obtain the individual’s agreement to close the case and then shall provide the Successful PES Closure letter and close the case in Closed – Other status. Non-response to the letter is not sufficient documentation of client agreement.

 
 

[REVISED: 3/1/08]

At case closure, the counselor shall update the AWARE Closure screen so DRS can report accurate closed case data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.40).

 
 

[REVISED: 10/1/11]

At case closure for SSI/SSDI clients, the Ticket to Work screen must be completed and the Closed - Rehab Partnership Plus letter must be sent.

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[REVISED: 1/21/99]

If personal injury legal action has been taken or is pending, the counselor shall, if not already done, complete and send the RS-457 to Fiscal, give a copy to the VR client, and keep a copy in the case record (it should be saved electronically).

 
 

[REVISED: 3/1/08]

When closing a case from PES status, update the Closure Follow Up Layout screen (for instructions see AWARE Manual).

 

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

The Counselor shall conduct a review and re-evaluation with the individual semi-annually for the first two years and annually thereafter when the client’s employment at case closure does not meet the criteria of competitive integrated employment, for the duration of the individual’s employment. The counselor shall use the RS-455 form to record the results of the semi-annual and annual reviews (per agency mandate) and shall maintain a signed copy in the case record. The review results includes individuals not available for the review (refuses the review, does not want further involvement, no longer resides in Virginia, dies, retires from sheltered workshop, cannot be located, etc.)  A copy of the form may be sent to the Employment Services Organization (ESO) if the ESO wants a copy for their file and the client or if appropriate; their legal representative has signed a release allowing for the sharing of client information. ​ See Policy 3: Section B2 of this chapter.

 

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

The Counselor shall review the ineligibility decision within 12 months of closure, and annually thereafter if requested by the individual or his or her authorized representative (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). The individual will be notified of their right to this review by the Annual Review letter. The results of all annual reviews shall be documented in the client record and completed in AWARE. The review does not need not to be conducted in situations when the individual has refused it, the individual is no longer present in the Commonwealth, the individual's whereabouts are unknown, or the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.  These reasons should be documented in the individual’s case record. 

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[REVISED: 12/1/12] 

  1. The local office shall maintain the case file in the office's closed case storage area until time for the case file to be destroyed (per agency mandate).
  2. The local office may designate a storage area for closed cases that are to be retained longer than the minimum retention period.
 
 

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

  1. Closed case files shall be maintained in the DRS local office at least five (5) years after the closure date (per § 42.1-82 of the Code of Virginia, Virginia Public Records Act, Library of Virginia scheduled retention and disposition for client records).
  2. The case file shall be retained longer than the five (5) year minimum period when the customer still possesses a tool or equipment for which DRS still retains residual title (per agency mandate).
  3. The case file shall be retained longer than the five (5) year minimum period when litigation (e.g., Workers' Compensation legal action, personal injury legal action) or investigation is pending (per exception to Library of Virginia schedule).
  4. The case file shall be retained longer than the five (5) year minimum period for clients with a Ticket to Work.  For additional information, contact the Ticket to Work Coordinator in the DARS Central Office.
  5. Case files closed in extended employment require semi-annual and annual reviews (See Policy 1, D.9.) and, therefore, should not be destroyed as long as the individual remains in extended employment.
  6. Counselors who wish to maintain closed case files longer than five (5) years may do so in the local office in a location specifically designated for this purpose.

 
 

[REVISED: 12/17/01]

  1. The Library of Virginia has delegated authority to pre-approve case file disposals to the designated records officer for each state agency. For DRS, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Board for People with Disabilities, the designated records officer is in Logistical Services in the DRS Central Office. Send the pre-approved RM-3 form to the Central Office, attention: Records Retention Officer.
    1. To request pre-approval to dispose of cases, the custodian of records (called the approving officer on the RM-3 form) or designee shall complete and sign the Certificate of Records Disposal (RM-3 form) and forward three (3) copies to the DRS designated records officer for pre-approval. If approved, two copies signed by the designated records officer will be returned to the custodian of records. For information about custodian of records, see Chapter 1.3, CASEFILE, Policy 3.
    2. Upon approval, the custodian of records shall ensure that the case files are destroyed (e.g., shredded, burned) properly and completely as to obliterate all personal identification. Contact Logistical Support for disposal services vendors in your area.
  2. After disposal, the custodian of records shall sign the RM-3 in the appropriate place and shall send one copy to the designated records officer (who forwards it to the Library of Virginia for its records) and shall maintain the second copy in the local office.
 
 

[REVISED: 9/16/21]

If 1) the case was closed in Closed-Other status, and 2) the reason was due to disability too significant for the individual to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome or unfavorable medical prognosis, the counselor shall review the case within 12 months of the closure (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43).    The purpose of the review is to assess whether the individual’s circumstances have changed to the point that the individual can benefit from services in terms of achieving an employment outcome and to decide whether to reopen the case.  The individual will be notified of their right to this review when their case is closed and by the Annual Review Letter (see Policy 1: Section D10 of this Chapter). After the case has been reviewed, the counselor shall review the case annually thereafter if requested by the individual or by the individual’s representative (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43).  The counselor should consider whether a rehabilitation technology assessment is appropriate (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43).  The counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43) document the results of the review in AWARE.    

 

Exception: The review need not be conducted when the individual:
  1. Refuses the review (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43),
  2. Is no longer present in the state or the individual's whereabouts are unknown (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43),
  3. Has a medical condition that is rapidly progressive or terminal (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43),
  4. Refused services or is otherwise not interested in further involvement in the Vocational Rehabilitation program,
  5. Dies.

                

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[REVISED: 9/16/21]

  1. The counselor shall reopen the case when the documented change in circumstance justifies it.
  2. Cases requiring no further consideration means cases that the federal policy exempts from the review or that the counselor decides not to open a new case. If the latter, the counselor shall document in the case record (i.e., case note, letter or e-mail to consumer) the reason(s) for not reopening the case.
  3. Accepted for vocational rehabilitation services means cases placed in Application status and subsequently placed into Order of Selection Delayed status or into Eligible status by the end of the federal fiscal year. For explanation of Order of Selection Delayed status, see Chapter 2.2, ORDER, Policy 2.
  4. Not accepted for vocational rehabilitation services means cases placed in Application status and subsequently closed before Eligible status by the end of the federal fiscal year.
  5. Remaining in Application status or Application — E status or Trial Work Application — T status means cases opened and still remaining in one of these statuses at the end of the federal fiscal year 


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[REVISED: 12/1/16]

It is required that the counselor review the following cases after case closure (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55):

  1. Cases that were closed in status 26 (Closed - Rehab) prior to October 1, 2001 as having achieved an employment outcome in extended employment.  After that date, extended employment no longer meets the criteria for Closed-Rehab "status 26."
  2. Cases closed in a position in which the client is compensated less than minimum wage in accordance with section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  3. Cases in Closed - Other status because the individual is in extended employment and unable to achieve an employment outcome or because the individual made an informed choice to remain in extended employment.
 

[REVISED: 9/16/2021]

  1. The review shall occur semi-annually after the date of closure for the first two years and annually thereafter (2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55).
  2. The purpose of the review is to determine the continued suitability of the current employment and the individual's readiness for and interest in competitive integrated employment (2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55).
  3. This review shall include input from the individual (or in an appropriate case, the individual's representative) to determine the individual's interests, priorities, and needs for competitive employment or training for competitive employment (2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55).
  4. The review shall include maximum efforts to identify vocational rehabilitation services, reasonable accommodations, and other neceessary support services, to assist the individual in engaging in competitive integrated employment (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55). Maximum use of rehabilitation technology should be made in identifying the individual's capabilities for competitive employment. The counselor should consider whether a rehabilitation technology assessment is appropriate.
  5. The counselor shall use the RS-455 form to record the results of the semi-annual and annual reviews (per agency mandate) and shall maintain a signed copy in the case record. The review results includes individuals not available for the review (refuses the review, does not want further involvement, no longer resides in Virginia, dies, retires from sheltered workshop, cannot be located, etc.)  A copy of the form may be sent to the Employment Services Organization (ESO) if the ESO wants a copy for their file.  See Policy 1: Section D9 of this Chapter.
  6. If the review shows that the individual has died or has moved out of state, no future reviews are required. This shall be documented on the RS-455.
  7. The individual cannot opt out of future reviews after any review has taken place (per Federal Register dated August 19, 2016. page 55681).  If an individual declines a review, the counselor shall document on the RS-455 that a review was attempted and obtain individual's signature if possible. However, the counselor shall continue to make attempts to review the case again on the next review date.