Vocational Rehabilitation Services Manual B-600: Closure and Post-Employment Services

Introduction

This chapter contains Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) policy regarding:

  • successful closures;
  • unsuccessful closures; and
  • post-employment services.

The only VR staff that can make the decision to close a customer's case, successfully or unsuccessfully, is the VR counselor. Likewise, only the VR counselor can amend the customer's IPE to provide post-employment services.

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B-601: Legal Authorization

§361.43 Procedures for ineligibility determination.

If the State unit determines that an applicant is ineligible for vocational rehabilitation services or determines that an individual receiving services under an individualized plan for employment is no longer eligible for services, the State unit must—

(a) Make the determination only after providing an opportunity for full consultation with the individual or, as appropriate, with the individual's representative;

(b) Inform the individual in writing, supplemented as necessary by other appropriate modes of communication consistent with the informed choice of the individual, of the ineligibility determination, including the reasons for that determination, the requirements under this section, and the means by which the individual may express and seek remedy for any dissatisfaction, including the procedures for review of State unit personnel determinations in accordance with §361.57;

(c) Provide the individual with a description of services available from a client assistance program established under 34 CFR part 370 and information on how to contact that program;

(d) Refer the individual—

(1) To other programs that are part of the one-stop service delivery system under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that can address the individual's training or employment-related needs; or

(2) To Federal, State, or local programs or service providers, including, as appropriate, independent living programs and extended employment providers, best suited to meet their rehabilitation needs, if the ineligibility determination is based on a finding that the individual has chosen not to pursue, or is incapable of achieving, an employment outcome as defined in §361.5(c)(15).

(e) Review within 12 months and annually thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, by the individual's representative any ineligibility determination that is based on a finding that the individual is incapable of achieving an employment outcome. This review need not be conducted in situations in which the individual has refused it, the individual is no longer present in the State, the individual's whereabouts are unknown, or the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal.

34 CFR §361.44 Closure without eligibility determination.

The designated State unit may not close an applicant's record of services prior to making an eligibility determination unless the applicant declines to participate in, or is unavailable to complete, an assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services, and the State unit has made a reasonable number of attempts to contact the applicant or, if appropriate, the applicant's representative to encourage the applicant's participation.

34 CFR §361.47 Record of services.

(3) Documentation that describes the justification for closing an applicant's or eligible individual's record of services if that closure is based on reasons other than ineligibility, including, as appropriate, documentation indicating that the State unit has satisfied the requirements in §361.44.

34 CFR §361.56 Requirements for closing the record of services of an individual who has achieved an employment outcome.

The record of services of an individual who has achieved an employment outcome may be closed only if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) Employment outcome achieved. The individual has achieved the employment outcome that is described in the individual's individualized plan for employment in accordance with §361.46(a)(1) and is consistent with the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

(b) Employment outcome maintained. The individual has maintained the employment outcome for an appropriate period of time, but not less than 90 days, necessary to ensure the stability of the employment outcome, and the individual no longer needs vocational rehabilitation services.

 (c) Satisfactory outcome. At the end of the appropriate period under paragraph (b) of this section, the individual and the qualified rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit consider the employment outcome to be satisfactory and agree that the individual is performing well in the employment.

 (d) Post-employment services. The individual is informed through appropriate modes of communication of the availability of post-employment services.

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B-602: Reasons for Closures

In every case, the reason for closure must be evident to the reasonable reader. The case file must reflect circumstances leading to closure and the process followed at closure.

The following table shows reasons for and definitions of successful and unsuccessful closures. They are part of the current RSA-911 and, with few exceptions, mirror the reasons for closure drop-down menus in RHW.

Reason for Closure

RSA-911 Definition

VR Additional Closure Procedure

Not Available for Services - In an Institutional Setting Other Than a Prison or Jail

Individual entered an institution other than a prison or jail and will be unavailable to participate in a VR program for an indefinite or considerable period of time. This category of institutions includes hospitals, nursing homes, and residential treatment centers.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Health/Medical

Individual is receiving medical treatment that is expected to last longer than 90 days and precludes entry into unsubsidized employment or continued participation in the program.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Death of Individual

 

No notification is required. Contact with the family is required only if VR can reclaim equipment that was purchased. Be sensitive and minimize disruption to the family caused by reclaiming the equipment.

Consult with the state office program specialist for assistive and rehabilitation technology (PSART) about which items to reclaim.

Reserve Forces Called to Active Duty

Individual is a member of the National Guard or other reserve military unit of the armed forces and is called to active duty for at least 90 days.

 

Foster Care Youth: out of state placement

Individual is in the foster care system as defined in 45 CFR §1355.20(a) and has moved from the area as part of such a program or system (youth individuals only).

 

Ineligible – per section 511

The individual applied for VR services per section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act and was determined ineligible because he or she did not wish to pursue competitive integrated employment.

The 14c population indicator must be selected in RHW to use this closure reason.

Refer to A-309: Subminimum Wage Recipients for required processes and procedures.

Ineligible

After the individual was determined to be eligible, is later determined not to have met eligibility criteria.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Criminal Offender – Currently Incarcerated or Confined

Individual entered a correctional institution (for example, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, detention center) or other institution designed for confinement or rehabilitation of criminal offenders (§225 of WIOA).

VR counselor advises the customer or his or her designated representative that he or she may reapply for services when they are released from incarceration.

No Disabling Condition

Individual is not eligible for VR services because no physical or mental impairment exists.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

No Impediment to Employment

Individual is not eligible for VR services because his or her physical or mental impairment does not constitute a substantial impediment to employment.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Does Not Require VR Services

Individual does not require VR services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment consistent with his or her strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choice.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Disability Too Significant to Benefit from Services

Individual whose mental and/or physical disability and resulting functional limitations are so significant that the individual cannot benefit from VR services. Also use this code for eligible individuals who later acquire additional disabilities and/or functional limitations that are so significant that the individual cannot continue to benefit from VR services.

Refer to B-604-1: Disability Too Significant to Benefit from Services for required processes and procedures.

Must have completed two or more trial work experiences prior to closure.

Requires follow-up one year after closure.

No Long-Term Source of Extended Services Available

Individual who would have benefited from the provision of VR and supported employment services but was determined ineligible because a long-term source of extended services is not available AND is not anticipated to be available. This code is used at the initial eligibility determination only.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Transferred to Another Agency

Individual needs services that are more appropriately obtained elsewhere. Transfer to another agency indicates that appropriate referral information is forwarded to the other agency so that agency may provide services more effectively. Include individuals transferred to other VR agencies.

VR counselor follows procedures in B-300: Determining Eligibility.

VR counselor notifies the customer of the closure and the right to appeal.

Achieved Competitive Integrated Employment Outcome

Individual exited after an IPE in competitive and integrated employment or supported employment.

 

Extended Employment: Non-CIE

Individuals who received services and were placed in a nonintegrated or sheltered setting for a public or private nonprofit agency or organization that provides compensation in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (34 CFR §361.5(c)(18)).

VR counselor conducts an annual review for two years after case closure and thereafter when requested by the customer or representative. VR counselor uses VR3120, Extended Employment Review; obtains an appropriate signature; and files the VR3120 in the paper case file.

Note: Use occupation code 699.999 for employment information "not for closure."

Extended Services Not Available

Individual has received VR services but requires long-term extended services for which no long-term source of funding is available. This code is used only for individuals who have received VR services.

VR counselor documents that the following were explored:

  • Comparable benefits, natural supports, community services
  • Factors that made it impossible to arrange an agreement for extended support

Unable to Locate or Contact (after three or more documented attempts to contact)

Individual has relocated or left the state without a forwarding address, or when the individual has not responded to repeated attempts to contact the individual by mail, telephone, text, or email.

See B-605: Customer Notification for additional details.

No Longer Interested in Receiving Services or Further Services

Individuals who actively choose not to participate or continue in their VR program at this time. Also use this code to indicate when an individual's actions make it impossible to begin or continue a VR program. Examples would include repeated failures to keep appointments for assessment, counseling, or other services.

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

Ineligible - Not legally able to work in the US at this time

If the customer's employment authorization documents expire while the customer is participating in VR services, the customer is no longer eligible for VR services and the case must be closed, unless the case is in employment status.

VR counselor must monitor status of documents and notify customer in advance if they will expire prior to completion of services.

Refer to B-204-2: Customer Identification and Authorization for Employment for additional details.

Completed Pre-ETS Services, not Pursuing VR Application

Individual completed Pre-ETS services and chose not to apply for VR services. (This reason is only available for potentially eligible cases being closed before case assignment or before application.)

VR counselor provides information about community-based services where appropriate.

All Other Reasons

This code is used for all other reasons not included in this table.

VR counselor documents the reason for closure.

Note: The closure reasons will vary based on status of case in RHW. Refer to the ReHabWorks Users Guide, Chapter 21: Closure for additional instructions for closing cases in RHW.

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B-603: Successful Closures

To close a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) case successfully, the VR counselor must ensure that the following requirements are met.

The customer must:

  • have received substantial VR services, as stated on the individualized plan for employment (IPE) or IPE amendment, that have had an impact on the customer's employment outcome;
  • have achieved the employment outcome that is:
    • described in the current IPE or IPE amendment (the first two digits of the SOC must match);
    • consistent with the customer's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice; and
    • meet one of the employment outcome types discussed in the Types of Employment section below;
  • have maintained the employment outcome for at least 90 days after substantial services have been completed;
  • be employed at closure;
  • be notified before their case is closed (refer to B-605: Customer Notification);
  • be informed about the availability of Post-Employment Services; and
  • be offered or provided a copy of the brochure "Can We Talk?"

The VR counselor and customer must:

  • consider the employment outcome to be satisfactory; and
  • agree that the customer is performing well on the job.

The VR counselor must:

  • in every case, update in ReHabWorks (RHW) the type of employment outcome when:
    • the customer becomes employed; and
    • the Successful Closure page is completed.

For more information on successful closure procedures, refer to B-603-9: Procedures for Closing Cases as Successful. For an optional checklist on successful closure requirements before closing the case, refer to the Successful Closure Checklist.

Types of Employment

The following table shows employment outcome types and RSA-911 definitions.

Type of Employment Outcome

RSA-911 Definition

Competitive Integrated Employment

For the RSA-911 definition of competitive integrated employment, refer to Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Overview, VR Glossary (Word), or 34 CFR 361.5(c)(9).

Self-Employment

Refers to work for profit or fees including operating one's own business, farm, shop, or office. Self-employment includes sharecroppers, but not wage earners on farms.

Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program

Refers to entrepreneurial self-employment through the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facilities Program in which individuals who are legally blind are operators/managers of vending facilities located on Federal, State, or private locations with management services and supervision provided by a State VR agency that serves as the State Licensing Agency for the Randolph-Sheppard program.

Supported Employment in Competitive Integrated Employment

Refers to "competitive integrated employment" as defined in above with ongoing support services for individuals with significant disabilities (supported employment).

Supported Employment on Short-term Basis

Refers to a supported employment outcome while working toward competitive integrated employment on a short-term basis.

Note: The employment outcome may vary based on status of case in RHW. Refer to the ReHabWorks Users Guide, Chapter 21: Closure for additional instructions for closing cases in RHW.

B-603-1: Verifying Start Date for Closure

Supporting documentation that verifies the customer's start date of employment must be in the customer’s case file before the case closure and must include the method used to verify the customer’s start date. This includes employment that was obtained before receiving VR services if VR assisted with maintaining this employment. This documentation may be obtained at any time during the life of the case. VR staff must first attempt to obtain one of the following primary source documents to verify the start date:

  • A pay stub that identifies the customer's start date;
  • Automated database systems (for example, The Work Number) indicating the customer's start date;
  • Self-employment worksheets indicating the customer's start date;
  • A dated email, fax, or letter completed by the customer's employer indicating the customer's start date (For an optional template, refer to the TWC Employment and Wage Verification Letter- Template); or
  • Employment Service Provider (ESP) written documentation or reports. The documentation must include the start date of employment and must be signed by both the customer and provider.

After three attempts to obtain the primary source documents listed above, VR staff may pursue alternate methods to verify the customer’s start date. For more information, refer to B-603-4: Alternative Methods to Obtaining Primary Source Documentation.

B-603-2: Verifying Wages for Closure

Under 34 CFR § 361.47(a)(9), VR agencies must maintain documentation verifying that an individual who obtains employment is compensated at or above minimum wage and that the individual's wage and level of benefits are not less than that customarily paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities.

Supporting documentation that verifies the customer's wages must be in the customer's case file and reflect the accurate wages at the time of the case closure. This documentation may be obtained any time throughout the life of the case but must be obtained before the case closure. VR staff must first attempt to obtain one of the following primary source documents to verify wages:

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage match for out of state employers, federal employment records, or military employment records that verify the hourly wage rate (not aggregated for the quarter);
  • A pay stub indicating the individual's hourly wage rate or annual salary;
  • Income earned from commission in sales or other similar positions as evidenced by a pay stub or documentation from the employer;
  • Automated database systems (for example, The Work Number);
  • One-stop operating systems' administrative records, such as current records of eligibility for programs with income-based eligibility (for example, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP));
  • Self-employment worksheets;
  • A dated email, fax, or letter completed by the customer's employer verifying the customer's wages. (For an optional template, refer to the TWC Employment and Wage Verification Letter - Template); or
  • Employment Service Provider (ESP) written documentation or reports. The documentation must include the accurate wages at the time of the closure and must be signed by both the customer and provider.

After three attempts to obtain one of the primary source documents listed above, VR staff may pursue alternate methods to verify the customer's wages. For more information, refer to B-603-4: Alternative Methods to Obtaining Primary Source Documentation.

Note: The RHW Employment Information page requires unit management verification when a VR staff member enters wages greater than $40 per hour. This note displays on the Employment Information page in RHW and sends an action to the VR manager to complete this verification. The VR manager reviews the documentation, and, if accurate, marks the checkbox in RHW labeled “VRM Reviewed”.

B-603-3: Verifying Employment for Closure

The customer must be employed at the time of the case closure. Supporting documentation that verifies the customer’s employment must be in the customer’s case file before the case closure in RHW and must include the method used to verify the customer's employment. Documentation must be as current as possible, but no older than 14 calendar days. The documentation must reflect 90 days of employment after all substantial services have been completed.

Example: If requesting the Work Number, the “current as of” date must be within 14 days of the date of closure and the “current as of date” must reflect 90 days of employment after the hire date or start the clock date, whichever is later.

For additional examples, refer to the VRSM FAQ document.

VR staff must first attempt to obtain one of the following primary source documents to verify employment:

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage match for out of state employers, federal employment records, or military employment records that verify the hourly wage rate (not aggregated for the quarter);
  • A pay stub indicating the individual's hourly wage rate or annual salary;
  • Income earned from commission in sales or other similar positions as evidenced by a pay stub or documentation from employer;
  • Automated database systems (for example, The Work Number);
  • One-stop operating systems' administrative records, such as current records of eligibility for programs with income-based eligibility (for example, TANF or SNAP);
  • Self-employment worksheets;
  • A dated email, fax, or letter completed by the customer's employer verifying that the customer is employed (For an optional template, refer to the TWC Employment and Wage Verification Letter- Template); or
  • Employment Service Provider (ESP) written documentation or reports. The documentation must include documentation of 90 days of employment after the completion of substantial services and must be signed by both the customer and provider.

After three attempts to obtain one of the primary source documents listed above, VR staff may pursue alternate methods to verify the customer's employment. For more information, refer to B-603-4: Alternative Methods to Obtaining Primary Source Documentation.

B-603-4: Alternative Methods to Obtaining Primary Source Documentation

After three attempts to obtain one of the primary source documents for verifying wages, employment, and start date, VR staff may pursue alternate methods. The three attempts may include any combination of the listed primary source documents. Each attempt must be entered in a RHW case note that includes the type of document requested and the reason it could not be obtained. If an alternate method is used, VR staff must enter a detailed case note in RHW to include the method of verification used and the date that the verification was received, as well as justification for the customer not providing formal documentation. The following alternative methods may be used:

  • Contacting the customer's place of employment to verbally verify the customer's information by speaking to the HR representative, manager, or supervisor, or, if the customer's superior or HR representative is not available, by speaking directly to the customer at the place of employment
  • Contacting the customer
  • Contacting the customer's guardian, if applicable

If direct contact was made with the customer's place of employment, VR staff must document the name of the individual who verified the customer's information (for example, the manager’s name or the customer's name, if the VR staff member spoke to the customer directly).

When contacting the place of employment to verify the customer's wages, employment, or start date, VR staff must not disclose any details regarding the customer's disability or the nature of their VR services unless the customer has signed a specific consent form for this information to be disclosed. Use VR1517-2, Authorization for Release of Confidential Customer Records and Information to document consent for disclosure, when appropriate.

B-603-5: More Than One Employment in the 90-Day Period

A customer may have more than one job, consecutively or concurrently, during the 90-day period and still meet the requirements for successful closure if each job is consistent with:

  • the employment goal stated in the IPE; and
  • the customer's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice.

Consecutive Jobs

Employment is considered "consecutive" and does not require a new 90-day employment period if the:

  • criteria for successful closure are met; and
  • the customer:
    • changes jobs with no gap in employment;
    • is promoted by the same employer with no gap in employment; or
    • changes jobs with a gap in employment of fewer than eight weeks.

If a customer loses a job before the end of the 90-day period, the customer's progression toward the 90-day period freezes. If the gap in employment is fewer than eight weeks, progression toward completion of the 90-day period resumes when the customer starts another job. Before closing the case, the VR counselor determines whether the remaining count of the 90 days is enough to determine whether the customer is stable on the job, given the customer’s individualized circumstances, and documents this in a RHW case note. The VR counselor may consult with the VR supervisor for guidance, if needed.

Note: If the customer is working with an ESP for job placement, the ESP is able to bill for Benchmark C in accordance with VR-SFP 17.4.4 Bundled Job Placement—Benchmark C. If the gap between placements is eight weeks or more, the 90-day period for VR successful closure starts over. To document consecutive jobs in RHW the VR counselor does the following:

  1. Records each job on a new Employment Information page. All jobs will appear on the Employment List page.
  2. For the current job, selects "yes" for Start 90-Day Clock field.
  3. Enters the hire date for the first job in the Start the Clock Date and Hire Date fields.
  4. Documents in a case note:
    • that the hire date was predated;
    • why the hire date was predated; and
    • the correct hire date, weekly earnings, and weekly hours for each job.
  5. On the Monthly Financial Information page, enters the net wages for the last job.
  6. At closure, reports the weekly earnings and weekly hours for the last job.

Concurrent Jobs

A customer may have more than one job at the same time during the minimum 90-day period. To document concurrent jobs in RHW, the VR counselor does the following:

  1. Records each job on a separate Employment Information page.
  2. When all jobs appear on the Employment List page, selects one job to be used for closure, typically the job with more hours or greater pay. For this job, VR staff selects "yes" for the Start 90-Day Clock field.
  3. For other jobs, selects "no" for Start 90-Day Clock field.
  4. Documents in a case note that the customer is working at concurrent jobs and why working two (or more) jobs is preferred to working one and how that will support a successful closure.
  5. Enters, on the Monthly Financial Information page, the total net wages for the concurrent jobs.

B-603-6: VR Services During 90-Day Employment Stability Period

The 90-day employment stability period is a critical stage in the VR process. During this time, the VR counselor monitors the customer's stability on the job and ensures that he or she no longer needs VR services. The VR counselor can provide counseling and guidance services as needed for the entire 90-day stability period and this does not affect the anticipated closure date. However, if substantial VR services are necessary after the 90-day stability period has begun, the 90-day stability must start over.

B-603-7: Additional Requirements for Self-employment Closures

If the customer is self-employed, the case record should also clearly document the length of business operation and the income level.

For more information about self-employment closures, see C-1103-6: Closing a Self-Employment Case as Rehabilitated.

B-603-8: Additional Requirements for Supported Employment Closures

If the customer received supported employment services, the case record should clearly document that the customer's employment was maintained for a minimum of 90 days following completion of the Job Stability benchmark. For more information about Supported Employment closures, see VRSM C-1200: Supported Employment.

B-603-9: Procedures for Closing Cases as Successful

Before closing a case as successfully rehabilitated, the VR counselor completes the following actions:

  1. Confirms that the criteria for closure and the conditions for successful employment have been met.
  2. Reviews the case:
    1. for technical compliance and data integrity, and makes needed corrections; and
    2. to determine:
      1. that the SOC code is appropriate; or
      2. whether an amendment to the IPE is needed.
  3. Reviews any open service authorizations, in-house service records, and associated financial actions needed. (Case will not close if in-house service records are open. Only the in-house specialist is authorized to close their service records.)
  4. Ensures that verification of the start date of employment is documented in RHW and includes the method used in a case note. If using the primary source documentation, this must also be placed in the case file. (Refer to B-603-1: Verifying Start Date for Closure.)
  5. Ensures that verification of wages is documented in RHW. If using the primary source documentation, this must also be placed or in the case file. (Refer to B-603-2: Verifying Wages for Closure.) If using the alternate method, a case note is also required. (Refer to B-603-4: Alternative Methods to Obtaining Primary Source Documentation.)
  6. Ensures that verification of employment is documented in a case note to include the method used. If using the primary source documentation, this must also be placed or in the case file. (Refer to B-603-3: Verifying Employment for Closure.)
  7. Confirms that:
    1. substantial services were delivered; and
    2. 90 days have passed since the end of substantial services.
  8. Ensures that agreements for extended services are still in place, when necessary.
  9. Contacts the customer to discuss closure and availability of Post-Employment Services. (Refer to B-605: Customer Notification.)
  10. If Post-Employment Services are needed, follows the procedures outlined in B-607-2: Post-Employment Procedures.
  11. If Post-Employment Services are not needed, closes the case in RHW and notifies the customer according to the requirements in B-605: Customer Notification.

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B-604: Unsuccessful Closures

When a customer has applied for VR services, but does not complete these services to achieve a competitive and integrated employment outcome, the case is closed. These closures are referred to as "unsuccessful closures".

Refer to B-602: Reasons for Closures for more information about reasons for unsuccessful closures.

B-604-1: Disability Too Significant to Benefit from Services

Closing a VR case with the reason, "Disability Too Significant to Benefit from Services", requires the completion of the following processes and procedures.

  1. The customer has participated in Trial Work Services. For more information, refer to B-310: Trial Work.
  2. The VR counselor reviews documentation from Trial Work Services that serves as clear and convincing evidence to confirm that the customer cannot benefit from VR services.
  3. The VR counselor discusses the decision with the customer gives him or her a copy of the brochure "Can We Talk?"
  4. The VR counselor documents in RHW the date and method a copy of the brochure "Can We Talk?" was provided to the customer;
  5. The VR counselor completes the certification of ineligibility in RHW;
  6. The VR counselor refers the customer to a local nonintegrated workplace when available;  
  7. The VR counselor prints the closure letter from RHW and provides this to the customer; and
  8. The VR counselor documents each of these steps in a closure case note in RHW.

When "Disability Too Significant to Benefit from Services" is the reason for closure, anticipate an annual computer-generated alert to review the case for reconsideration of the customer's eligibility.

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B-605: Customer Notification

Before closing the case, the VR counselor must inform the customer that his or her VR case is being closed. Notification may be provided in person, by phone, or in writing. The notification must include the reason that the case is being closed and the availability of Post-Employment Services, if applicable, and must be documented in a case note in RHW.

If the customer has completed an application for VR services and the VR counselor is unable to contact the customer directly for any reason, then written notification must be sent by letter or encrypted email at least 10 business before closing the case, to allow time for the customer to contact the VR counselor if there are any concerns about closing the case. The VR counselor copies and pastes the email or letter notification that was sent in a case note with the topic "Attempt to Contact." For additional details, refer to VRSM E-300: Case Note Requirements.

If there is no response from the customer, then the case may be closed successfully or unsuccessfully.

After the closure has been processed in RHW, a closure letter is available in RHW. VR staff must email or mail the letter to the customer at the time of closure as well as offer or provide a copy of the brochure titled "Can We Talk?," which outlines the VR appeals procedure if the customer disagrees with the closure. The VR counselor must document in RHW the date and method used to provide the notification.

For information about closing a case before an application is completed refer to B-203-3: Closing an Initial Contact in RHW.

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B-606: Reopening a Closed Case

Consideration should be given to opening a new case if:

  • the customer requires complex or comprehensive services;
  • the customer's problem regarding employment addresses a substantial impediment to employment that is new and distinct from that condition addressed in the original IPE;
  • the customer has a new vocational goal that would require extensive additional training; or
  • provision of post-employment services will exceed 12 months.

If the customer requires only limited services to maintain, regain, or advance in employment (when the lack of advancement is due to the disability), use post-employment services. See B-505-3: Amending the IPE for Post-Employment Services.

If the customer requires more complex and comprehensive services, open a new case. See B-203: Initial Contact and B-204: Application to open the case in the same way as for any other applicant for services.

If the customer will be reapplying for services, the office that will be serving the customer can request the paper case file. The closed case file must be mailed to the receiving office within three days of the request to ensure timely processing of the case.

For more information on paper case files and records management, see D-300: Records Management.

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B-607: Post-Employment Services

As part of the VR process, all customers must be informed of:

  • the purpose of post-employment services;
  • his or her eligibility for such services; and
  • his or her right to contact the VR counselor if any problem arises that jeopardizes his or her job.

Post-employment services are services to assist the customer in maintaining, regaining, or advancing in employment after a customer has been determined to be rehabilitated. The goal of post-employment services is to help the customer, in the career of his or her choice, reach a level of:

  • self-sufficiency;
  • job retention; and
  • job stability.

A customer may be considered for post-employment services if the customer:

  • is determined to be rehabilitated;
  • needs help in maintaining employment;
  • continues to have a disability;
  • has an employment-related problem that does not entail a complex or comprehensive rehabilitation effort; and
  • is requesting services within 12 months after the date of closure.

If complex or comprehensive VR services are needed, a new case must be opened. An option called “fast track” is available to complete the ReHabWorks application if the new case is opened within one year from when the previous case was closed, and the customer’s disability has not changed. Refer to VRSM B-204-1: Application Process for more information.

B-607-1: Post-Employment and Comparable Services and Benefits

The VR counselor makes full use of all available comparable services and benefits, both public and private, to reduce or eliminate the need for payment for post-employment services and documents their use accordingly.

B-607-2: Post-Employment IPE Amendment

When post-employment services are necessary, the VR counselor:

  1. completes an IPE amendment;
  2. provides a copy of the plan to the customer (and representative, if any); and
  3. encloses a cover letter that includes the intent of the statements in VR5209, VR Successful Closure with Post-Employment Services form.

When post-employment services are not necessary, the VR counselor notifies the customer in writing.

B-607-3: Transfer of Post-Employment Cases

The transfer of post-employment cases should be handled in the same manner as a case in any other status.

For more information see D-304: Transfer of Cases and Caseloads.

B-607-4: Closing a Case from Post-Employment

The decision to end post-employment services should be:

  • made in consultation with the customer; and
  • based on the VR counselor's judgment.

When closing a case from post-employment services, the VR counselor ensures that the problem requiring post-employment services has been addressed.

The VR counselor confirms that the customer:

  • can function without post-employment services;
  • has favorable prospects for job security;
  • is satisfied with the job;
  • has accepted the employee benefits and opportunities for job development and advancement;
  • has a job that is suited to his or her capabilities; and
  • has a chance to advance through self-initiative within the area and labor market.

To close a case from Post-Employment Services, the VR counselor selects "Post-Employment" navigation menu in RHW and selects "Go to Post-Employment Complete" to complete the required information. The VR counselor sends a letter to the customer (VR5211, Closure from Post-Exit Services–VR, IL) confirming that the case is closed from Post-Employment Services.

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