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​​Chapter 8.19 Contents:

[REVISED: 4/9/18]

  1. OJT definition.
    On-the-job training (OJT) means actual work experience provided by the employer who accepts the trainee as a bona fide employee with the same benefits that other employees receive. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, the trainee’s wage shall equal or exceed whichever is greater: (i) the minimum entrance wage that particular employer pays inexperienced workers in the same occupation, or (ii) the current federal minimum wage.  The trainee shall receive a pay increase if the training program is long enough that periodic pay increases are reasonable and trainee performance merits an increase.

  2. Case status.
    On-the-job training (OJT) may only be authorized under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Training must be related to achieving the established employment goal. An individual does not move to Employed status but should be in Service or Service - J status while receiving OJT.

  3. Vocationally necessary.
    On-the-job training (OJT) is an appropriate training option when the client and counselor agree such training will be most suitable in preparing the client for employment in the established employment goal.  Some examples include, but are not limited to, a client licensed in another state who needs certification in Virginia, or a recent school graduate who lacks actual work experience related to the established employment goal, etc.

  4. SE clients.
    Clients who receive supported employment (SE) services are not generally provided on-the-job training (OJT) because OJT is designed to prepare the individual for employment without extensive ongoing supports.  However, the counselor may authorize OJT if necessary for a successful supported employment outcome.

  5. Students.
    For students, the counselor may only fund on-the-job training (OJT) during the final year of high school and only when: OJT is listed as a transition component on the school Individualized Education Program (IEP), or OJT is coordinated with the custodial parent/guardian and school personnel if the student is not served under an IEP. The counselor shall provide a copy of the signed VR Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with OJT to the appropriate school administrator with a request for written confirmation that the program will be accepted as credit towards graduation, and any terms or stipulations deemed necessary by the school authorities. Upon receipt of written confirmation, the counselor may arrange OJT.

  6. OJT contract.
    The counselor shall use the OJT contract (in the DRS VR Program forms cabinet).

  7. Full-time status.
    If the employer offers full-time employment, part-time OJT shall (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) be sponsored only when the counselor documents the client cannot work full time due to the severity of the disability.

  8. Case movement.
    On the first day of OJT, the case is moved into Employed status if the counselor is not paying the employer an OJT training tuition. The case should be in Service E status rather than Employed status if the counselor is paying tuition.

  9. Tuition.

    1. The counselor may pay training tuition to the employer for OJT.  Use S/I code A4500 On the Job Training; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services, OJT category.  OJT tuition shall not exceed 12 months and the tuition rate shall not exceed 50% of the trainee’s wage.  For OJT longer than six months, the counselor should negotiate a tuition rate that decreases over time in expectation that the trainee’s work productivity will increase and job performance will improve. 
       
    1. The counselor shall not approve payment of authorized OJT tuition until the monthly training progress report signed by the employer and invoice is received.
       
    1. Once employment becomes stable, the training period ends, and the counselor stops paying tuition and moves the case into Employed status. 
       
    2. Tuition shall (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-160) be exempt from consumer financial participation.  
       
    1. For employer inquiries regarding how to treat the tuition payment for tax purposes (such as income, expenditure credit from state, etc.), advise the employer to consult his or her tax advisor.

     

  10. Client responsibilities.
    As a condition for receiving OJT, the client shall: 

    1. Consult with the counselor to review attendance, progress towards training program completion, financial status, and future plans.
       
    2. Make satisfactory progress in the training program and complete the program as scheduled.  The counselor shall review client progress using the established reporting system, including Monthly Training Progress Reports RS-21 form. If progress is not satisfactory, the client and counselor shall address the causes and take appropriate action.
       
    3. Provide written informed consent for the counselor and service provider to share necessary information regarding disability impediments to employment, accommodation, and progress.

  11. Transportation support service.
    Subject to consumer financial participation, the counselor may authorize transportation when permitted in Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1.

  12. Training materials.
    Subject to consumer financial participation, the counselor may authorize the actual cost for training materials (S/I code A4200 Training materials) and textbooks (S/I code A4210 Textbooks and required supplies) the trainer requires but does not traditionally provide. The vendor must itemize the textbooks on the invoice before the counselor can request vendor payment.

  13. Working meal.
    Subject to consumer financial participation, the counselor may authorize expenses for a meal if the work hours include a meal break. Use S/I code A5800 Board while receiving on-the-job-training; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.

  14. Clothing support services.
    Subject to consumer financial participation, the counselor may authorize work uniform or workplace-appropriate clothing when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1. Use S/I/ code A4220 Uniforms or S/I code A5860 Clothing while receiving on-the-job-training; see DRS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.

  15. Out of town lodging.
    Subject to consumer financial participation, the counselor may authorize room and board and incidentals for an out-of-town training site when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1. Use S/I code A5740 Room while receiving on-the-job-training (OJT), S/I code A5800 Board while receiving OJT, and S/I code A5920 Incidental cost while receiving OJT; see DRS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.

  16. Comparable benefit.
    On-the-job training (OJT) shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits.
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[Revised: 12/3/18]

  1. Definition.
    Unpaid work experiences (UWE) may (per U.S. Department of Labor) include vocational exploration, vocational assessment, vocational training, and cooperative vocational education.  The trainee shall receive no remuneration (per U.S. Department of Labor) from the employer-trainer.

  2. US DOL training vs employment.
    It is the employer-trainer’s responsibility to meet all of the U.S. Department of Labor’s criteria for a training (rather than employment) relationship with the client/trainee.  The unpaid work experience (UWE) must be terminated as soon as it is clear the client is no longer being trained and is completing work that benefits the employer-trainer or is meeting the employer-trainer’s labor needs.  The employer-trainer agrees to these legal responsibilities in the UWE Enrollment form.  While the U.S. DOL will not determine the existence of an employment (rather than a training) relationship exclusively on the basis of the number of hours, the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration of the department establishes a general rule for the maximum number of hours for the vocational exploration, evaluation, and training components of unpaid work experience.

  3. Students.

    1. For secondary (junior and senior high) school students, the maximum number of hours per job (per signed agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education) is:

    Vocational exploration – 5 hours maximum per job.
     

    Vocational assessment – 90 hours maximum per job.
     

    Vocational training – 120 hours maximum per job.
     

    1. Individuals aged 14 or 15 shall participate no more than: three hours on a school day, 18 hours in a school week, eight hours on a non-school day, 40 hours in a non-school week. They shall not participate before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. They shall not work a job declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
       
    2. Individuals aged 16 or 17 years old may participate anytime for unlimited hours, but shall not work a job declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
       
    3. Direct all inquiries to the school.
       
    1. For a secondary (junior and senior high) school student receiving special education services under an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the counselor may coordinate with school personnel to provide unpaid work experiences (UWE) only when UWE is listed as transition component on the student IEP.  If the student is not served under a school IEP, the counselor may coordinate UWE with the custodial parent/guardian and appropriate school personnel.

     


  4. SE clients.
    Clients who receive supported employment (SE) services are provided situational assessment to help the client and counselor select appropriate work settings and develop training objectives (such as special needs, work attitudes and behavior, job skills, work tolerance, etc.) for the IPE.  See Chapter 6.03, SITUATIONAL ASSESSMENT, Policy 1.  These clients are generally not provided unpaid work experiences (UWE) because UWE are designed to prepare the individual for employment without extensive ongoing supports and without vendor payment.  However, the counselor may authorize UWE if necessary for a successful supported employment outcome.

  5. Multiple UWEs.
    Multiple unpaid work experiences (UWE) are permitted as needed.

  6. Vendor payment prohibited.
    DRS staff shall not pay tuition or other training fees to the vendor for providing an unpaid work experience (UWE).

  7. Insurance and injury.  
    See Chapter 1.2, LIABILITY, Policy 1.

  8. UWE Enrollment Form and Letter.
    The counselor shall use the Unpaid Work Experience Enrollment form in the DRS VR forms cabinet and the UWE Cover Letter in AWARE.  Any training plan should be maintained with the UWE Enrollment form in the case record.

  9. Client responsibilities.
    As a condition for receiving unpaid work experiences (UWE), the client shall:

    1. Consult with the counselor to review attendance, progress towards training program completion, financial status, and future plans.
       
    1. Make satisfactory progress in the training program and complete the program as scheduled.  The counselor shall review client progress using the established reporting system (such as Monthly Training Progress Reports RS-21 form, vendor’s final evaluation, WWRC Progress Reports, staffing by vendor and counselor, etc.).  If progress is not satisfactory, the client and counselor shall address the causes and take appropriate action.
       
    2. Provide written informed consent for the counselor and service provider to share necessary information regarding disability impediments to employment, accommodation, and progress.
       
    3. Satisfy the Enrollee Responsibilities as listed in the DRS UWE Enrollment form.

  10. Monthly Training Progress Report.
    The counselor shall require the vendor to submit the Monthly Training Progress Reports (RS-21 form).

  11. Co-Op Education.
    DRS shall not fund cooperative vocational education (Co-op Education).

  12. Vocational exploration: 

      a.  This option briefly exposes the client to a variety of work settings to help the client and counselor establish an appropriate employment goal and for a student with a disability (SWD), it may be used to help facilitate job exploration.  The client gains information by watching work being performed, talking with employees about their job, and actually trying out work under the supervision of DRS staff (or school personnel/DRS vendor).

      b.  For VR clients, the counselor may provide vocational exploration only for assessment purposes, except for cases involving an SWD. 

      i.  Vocational exploration must be completed before the VR Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed.  However, if the established IPE employment goal must be modified, additional vocational exploration needed to establish a new employment goal may be authorized in Service or Service – J status.  For vocational exploration to determine eligibility, see Chapter 4.02, TRIAL WORK, Policy 1 and Chapter 6.08 VOC EVAL, Policy 1.

      ii.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits.

      c.  For SWDs, including SWDs potentially eligible for VR services and those already determined eligible, vocational exploration may be provided to facilitate job exploration.

    d.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation policy. 



  13. Vocational assessment:

    1. This option places the client in a series of various work settings to undertake brief work assignments under the direct supervision of the employer-trainer and DRS staff (or school personnel).
       
    1. Vocational assessment must be completed before the VR Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed.  However, if the established employment goal must be modified, additional vocational assessment needed to establish a new employment goal may be authorized in Service or Service – J status.  For vocational assessment needed to determine eligibility, see Chapter 4.02, TRIAL WORK, Policy 1 and Chapter 6.08 VOC EVAL, Policy 1.
       
    1. This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits. 
       
    2. This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation policy.

  14. Unpaid vocational training in the workplace:

    1. This is volunteer work that places the client in a series of various work settings to enable the client to develop and reinforce the competencies, attitudes, and behavior needed to prepare for paid employment.
       
    1. This option is not an assessment service and shall be provided only under a VR Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).  Use S/I code A4800 Unpaid work experience.  Training must be related to achieving the established employment goal.
       
    1. Training must be closely supervised by DRS staff or employer-trainer (or school personnel).
       
    1. This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits. 
       
    2. This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from financial participation policy.

  15. Transportation support service.
    The counselor may authorize transportation for VR clients when permitted in Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided for unpaid vocational training and exempt when provided for vocational exploration or vocational assessment.

  16. Training materials.
    The counselor may authorize the actual cost for training materials for VR clients (S/I code A4200 Training materials) and textbooks (S/I code A4210 Textbooks and required supplies) the trainer requires but does not traditionally provide.  The vendor must itemize the textbooks on the invoice before the counselor can request vendor payment.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided for unpaid vocational training and exempt when provided for vocational exploration or vocational assessment.

  17. Work meal.
    The counselor may authorize expenses for a meal for VR clients if the work hours include a meal break.  Use S/I code A5810 Board provided in all other situations; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided for unpaid vocational training and exempt when provided for vocational exploration or vocational assessment.

  18. Clothing support service.
    The counselor may authorize work uniform or workplace-appropriate clothing when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1.  The VR counselor may authorize reimbursement to the employer for the cost of uniform or workplace-appropriate clothing for a student with a disability (SWD) potentially eligible for VR services when such clothing is required of all employees and required for participation. Use S/I/ code A4220 Uniforms or S/I code A5870 Clothing provided in all other situations; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided for unpaid vocational training and exempt when provided for vocational exploration or vocational assessment.

  19. Out of town lodging.
    The counselor may authorize room and board and incidentals for VR clients for an out-of-town training site when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided for unpaid vocational training and exempt when provided for vocational exploration or vocational assessment.

  20. Encumbering funds.
    Services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1). 

  21. Fee-based.
    For consumer financial participation when UWE is used as training, see Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1.
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[REVISED: 2/3/14]

  1. WAT definition.
    Work adjustment training (WAT) exposes the individual to training and real or simulated unpaid work experiences that address work attitudes and behaviors, work deficits, and other vocationally-related problems that are an impediment to employment.

  2. Case status.
    The counselor may (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) authorize work adjustment training (WAT) if needed for the client to engage in subsequent vocational rehabilitation services.  It may be provided as an assessment service in Application status onward, and as a training service under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

  3. Maximum duration.
    Initial authorization for work adjustment training (WAT) shall not exceed 60 days.

  4. SE clients.
    Clients who receive supported employment (SE) services are generally not provided work adjustment training (WAT) because WAT is designed to prepare the individual for employment without extensive ongoing supports.  However, the counselor may authorize WAT if necessary for a successful supported employment outcome.

  5. Monthly Training Progress Report.
    The counselor shall not approve payment of authorized WAT until the Monthly Training Progress Report (RS-21 form) signed by the employer and invoice is received.  At least once a month the counselor and vendor shall discuss client progress and revise the work adjustment training (WAT) as needed.

  6. Students.
    For secondary (junior and senior high) school students receiving special education services under an Individual Education Program (IEP), the counselor may coordinate with school personnel to provide for and fund work adjustment training (WAT) only when WAT is listed as transition component on the IEP.  If the student is not served under a school IEP, the counselor may coordinate WAT with the custodial parent/guardian and appropriate school personnel.

  7. Client responsibilities.
    As a condition for receiving work adjustment training (WAT), the client shall:

    1. Participate in training services on a full-time basis (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) unless the counselor documents the disability is too significant for full-time training and approves part-time status.
       
    2. Consult with the counselor to review attendance, progress towards training program completion, financial status, and future plans. 
       
    3. Make satisfactory progress in the training program and complete the program as scheduled.  The counselor shall review client progress using the established reporting system (such as Monthly Training Progress Reports RS-21 form, vendor’s final evaluation, WWRC Progress Reports, staffing by vendor and counselor, etc.).  If progress is not satisfactory, the client and counselor shall address the causes and take appropriate action.
       
    4. Provide written informed consent for the counselor and service provider to share necessary information regarding disability impediments to employment, accommodation, and progress.

  8. Transportation support service.
    The counselor may authorize transportation when permitted in Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1.  When WAT is used as an assessment, this shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation, and when WAT is used as training, this shall be subject to consumer financial participation.

  9. Training materials.
    The counselor may authorize the actual cost for training materials (S/I code A4200 Training materials) and textbooks (S/I code A4210 Textbooks and required supplies) the trainer requires but does not traditionally provide.  The vendor must itemize the textbooks on the invoice before the counselor can request vendor payment.  This shall be subject to consumer financial participation when WAT is used as training and exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) when WAT is used as an assessment.

  10. Work meal.
    The counselor may authorize expenses for a meal if the training hours overlap a meal break.  Use S/I code A5810 Board provided in all other situations; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.  This shall be subject to consumer financial participation when WAT is used as training and exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) when WAT is used as an assessment.

  11. Clothing support service.
    The counselor may authorize work uniform or workplace-appropriate clothing when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1.  Use S/I/ code A4220 Uniforms or S/I code A5870 Clothing provided in all other situations; see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other Services.  This shall be subject to consumer financial participation when WAT is used as training and exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) when WAT is used as an assessment.

  12. Out of town lodging.
    The counselor may authorize room and board and incidentals for an out-of-town training site when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1.  This shall be subject to consumer financial participation when WAT is used as training and exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) when WAT is used as an assessment.

  13. Comparable benefits.
    Work Adjustment Training (WAT) shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits.

  14. Consumer financial participation.
    Work Adjustment Training (WAT) vendor fee shall be subject to consumer financial participation when used WAT is used as a training service (see Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1) and exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) when WAT is used as an assessment service.

  15. Encumbering funds.
    Services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1).  Use S/I code A5400 Work Adjustment Training.  See DARS ServiceS Reference Manual, Other Services.
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[Revised: 2/3/14]

  1. Definition.
    Employee Development Services (EDS) for People with Brain Injury is an assessment service that helps the counselor determine eligibility or develop training/work goals.

  2. Vocationally necessary.
    The counselor may (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) authorize pre-vocational training if needed for the client to engage in subsequent vocational rehabilitation services needed.   

  3. SE clients.
    Clients who receive supported employment (SE) services are generally not provided pre-vocational training services because they are designed to prepare the individual for employment without extensive ongoing supports.  However, the counselor may authorize EDS if necessary for a successful supported employment outcome.

  4. Students.
    For a student receiving special education services under an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the counselor can coordinate with school personnel to provide for and fund pre-vocational training only when the training option is listed as transition component on the student’s school IEP.  For a student with a disability who is not served under a school IEP, pre-vocational training must be coordinated as part of the student’s overall educational program in collaboration with the custodial parent/guardian and appropriate school personnel.

  5. Client responsibilities.
    As a condition for receiving pre-vocational training, the client shall:

    1. Consult with the counselor to review attendance, progress towards training program completion, financial status, and future plans.
       
    1. Make satisfactory progress in the training program and complete the program as scheduled.  The counselor shall review client progress using the established reporting system.  If progress is not satisfactory, the client and counselor shall address the causes and take appropriate action.
       
    2. Provide written informed consent for the counselor and service provider to share necessary information regarding disability impediments to employment, accommodation, and progress.

  6. Transportation support service.
    The counselor may authorize transportation; see Chapter 8.20, TRANSPORTATION, Policy 1.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation.

  7. Training materials.
    The counselor may authorize the actual cost for training materials (S/I code A4200 Training materials) and textbooks (S/I code A4210 Textbooks and required supplies) the trainer requires but does not traditionally provide.  The vendor must itemize the textbooks on the invoice before the counselor can request vendor payment. This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation.

  8. Out of town lodging.
    The counselor may authorize room and board and incidentals for an out-of-town training site when permitted in Chapter 8.10, MAINTENANCE, Policy 1.  This shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation.

  9. Comparable benefits.
    Pre-vocational training shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be exempt from a search for comparable benefits.

  10. Consumer financial participation.
    Pre-vocational training vendor fee shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be exempt from consumer financial participation policy.

  11. Services shall be subject to DRS established purchasing policies and procedures (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1).  See DARS Services Reference Manual.
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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.