In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 3: Rates

3.1 Policy

Consumer service providers may not collect money from a Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Blind Services (DBS) consumer or the consumer's family for any service charge in excess of DBS rates.

Consumer participation and third-party participation funds may not be paid directly to any contract service provider.

If DBS and another resource are paying for a consumer service, total payment may not exceed the DBS authorized rate.

3.2 Service Rates

(Revised 01/07, 11/08, 04/09, 10/09, 01/10, 11/10, 04/11, 12/11, 12/12, 07/13, 1/15, 2/15)

Contractual rates for specific services may not exceed the following amounts.

Description of Service Authorized Rate
Assistive Technology Evaluation
  • $125.00 per evaluation
  • $62.50 per demonstration
Assistive Technology Training On-Site Services:
  • $37.00 for baseline/post-training assessment
  • $75.00 per hour for training time
  • $30.00 per hour per consumer for on-site group training

Facility-Based Services:

  • $20.00 for baseline/post-training assessment
  • $40.00 per hour for one-on-one training
  • $30.00 per hour per consumer for group training (no more than three students per instructor)
  • $10.00 per hour for independent practice time
Keyboarding Skills Training
  • $5.00 for baseline/post-training assessment
  • $20.00 per hour for training time (one-on-one)
  • $10.00 per hour for lab time
Note: For more information, see Assistive Technology Trainer Guidelines and Procedures, Chapter 3: Keyboard Skills Training.
Independent Living Services (Individualized Skills Training) $35.00 per hour for providing direct IL Services to consumers, or conferencing with the DBS case manager about a consumer's IL Services.
Vocational Evaluation
  • $1,100.00 per vocational evaluation (does not include the CVES)
  • $500.00 per Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES)
  • $220.00 per day for up to 5 days for additional assessments such as situational assessments, vocational explorations, and aptitude tests when added to the CVES service
  • the no-show rate for vocational evaluations is $110 per consumer per day
Vocational Adjustment Training (VAT) $685.00 per session (minimum of 20 hours; maximum of 40 hours total)
Work Adjustment $761.25 per month or $38.00 per day if less than one full month, or $7.50 per hour for up to 25 hours per week
Job Readiness Training—includes all of the following:
  • Personal/Socialization Skills
  • Résumé Development
  • Job Application Training
  • Job Seeking Skills Training
  • Interviewing Skills Training
  • Job Retention Skills Training
$37.50 per hour for a maximum of 20 hours (additional hours may be approved by the appropriate supervisor as stated in the contract specifications)
Job Placement First Payment

$1,000.00 per job placement per consumer upon receipt of the provider's completed DARS2873, Initial Placement Report. The placement must be

  • in an integrated setting;
  • at or above minimum wage;
  • for at least the minimum number of hours anticipated in the DARS2876, Job Placement Referral Acceptance form; and
  • in an organization or business that is not owned, operated, controlled, or governed by the service provider.

Second Payment

After 90 days of continuous employment (under the conditions specified above), the provider will be paid $1,650.00 plus an amount equal to

  1. two weeks of the consumer's gross earnings if a copy of the consumer's most recent paycheck or stub is attached to the DARS2872, Job Placement Final Billing form; or
  2. one week of the consumer's gross earnings if a copy of the consumer's most recent paycheck or stub is not attached to the DARS2872, Job Placement Final Billing form but the consumer's counselor or case manager has verified the consumer's successful employment for a period of at least 90 days.

Employment Network (EN) Employment Advancement Payment 1—$600

EN Employment Advancement Payment 2—$600

Diabetes Self-Management Education Services: Individualized Services Only $95.00 per hour for
  • assessment services
  • follow-up services
  • skills training
Diabetes Self-Management Education Services: Group Services Only $55.00 per hour per consumer

Note: Group services require a minimum of two consumers per group.

Orientation and Mobility Training: Individualized Services Only $60.00 per hour
Orientation and Mobility Training: Group Services Only
  • $60.00 per hour for first consumer
  • $30.00 per hour for second consumer
  • $30.00 per hour for third consumer

Note: Group services may not exceed three consumers per group.

Supported Employment Services
  • Benchmark 1A: Supported Employment Assessment (SEA)—$975
  • Benchmark 1B: Supported Employment Services Plan (SESP) Part 1—$150
  • Benchmark 2: Job Placement and SESP Part 2—$1,500.00
  • Benchmark 3: Four-Week Job Maintenance—$1,500.00
  • Benchmark 4: Eight-Week Job Maintenance—$750.00
  • Benchmark 5: Job Stability—$750.00
  • Benchmark 6: VR Closure—$3,000.00
  • EN Employment Advancement Payment 1—$1,237.50
  • Professional Placement Premium—$500.00
  • Criminal Background Premium—$500.00
  • Deaf Service Premium at completion of Benchmark 1b—$533.00
  • Deaf Service Premium at completion of Benchmark 6—$3,550.00

Note: DBS does not pay for no-shows for supported employment services.

3.3 Other Rates

3.3.1 Travel Reimbursement

(Revised 04/09, 03/10, 08/10, 01/11, 07/11, 01/12, 09/12, 08/13, 12/14)

The provider must submit an accurate and complete DARS2879, Service Provider's Travel Log to claim reimbursement for travel. The total mileage being claimed must also be included on the provider's invoice. (See 3.4 Invoices.)

All travel or mileage must be authorized before travel by DBS issuing a valid DBS service authorization and/or purchase order. Any changes to the number of service hours or to the end dates on a service authorization and/or purchase order must be authorized before additional service hours are provided to the consumer.

Mileage can be claimed for meetings when

Providers of job placement and supported employment services must document the purpose of the travel on the second line of the DARS2879, under the address field.

Providers must make a good-faith effort to use the least expensive mode of transportation; for example, taxicabs are used only for short distances.

Rental cars must be approved in advance by the consumer's counselor or case manager, and approval must be documented on the DBS service authorization and/or purchase order. In addition,

Parking fees and fuel charges are reimbursed. Receipts for parking fees are required for amounts totaling $6.00 or more.

Meals and lodging may be claimed only when the provider travels outside his or her headquarters city and overnight lodging is required. In addition,

Rate

Mileage by private vehicle is reimbursed at the rate of $0.60 per mile. Travel-related expenses (such as road and bridge tolls) are not reimbursed.

Reporting Travel Reimbursement to the IRS

All DBS vendors must report as income all reimbursements that are over the mileage rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The current IRS mileage rate can be found on the IRS website.

Logging Travel

Providers claim shortest-distance mileage for each trip on the DARS2879 using the Rand McNally Mapping Tool (RM) to calculate it. If a route is not listed in the RM tool, providers use superpages.com.

Shortest distance mileage may not be the actual miles traveled, but is usually claimed using the provider's address listed on the contract. Providers claim mileage that starts or ends at the

If the provider is more than 50 miles from where most services are provided and subcontractors are providing the services, the provider must submit the addresses of all the subcontractors to the DBS contract manager. This must be done in advance of travel.

Providers who serve two or more consumers in one day must claim travel distances directly from one service or training location to the next (known as chained travel). Whenever possible, providers schedule consumer appointments to minimize necessary travel.

If travel is chained, the provider must include on the travel log's Ref PO# column the service authorization and/or purchase order (PO) number of the consumer indicated in the Address From field. If travel is not chained, the provider leaves the Ref PO# column blank.

Below is an example of travel that is properly chained.

  1. Travel from the provider's address to the first consumer's location. (Mileage is documented on the first consumer's travel log.)
  2. Travel from the first consumer's location to the second consumer's location. (Mileage from the first location to the second is documented on the second consumer's travel log.)
  3. Travel from the second consumer's location to the last consumer's location. (Mileage from the second location to the last is documented on the last consumer's travel log. Travel from the last consumer's location to the provider's address is also documented on the last consumer's travel log.)

Any deviation in the route that is not service or training-related, such as running an errand or eating, is considered personal and cannot be claimed on the travel log.

Interim travel back to the provider's address is authorized in the following cases:

Adjustments

When actual mileage traveled exceeds the mileage authorized on the service authorization and/or purchase order, DBS can change the number of miles on the service authorization and/or purchase order to reflect the actual miles traveled.

A copy of the updated service authorization and/or purchase order is sent to the vendor. Mileage must be well documented on travel logs and must be consistent with the number of service hours provided.

3.3.2 Out-of-State Travel Reimbursement

For Texas-based service providers, regular travel reimbursement rules apply for services provided in-state as well as for services provided out-of-state.

Out-of-state providers will be reimbursed for in-state travel only based on regular travel reimbursement rules and in accordance with the following stipulations.

3.3.3 No-Shows

Unless otherwise noted, no shows may be billed for one half hour of direct service or, if there is no hourly rate, a flat rate of $30.00 will be paid provided the contract service provider meets the following three conditions.

  1. The provider must contact the consumer to confirm the appointment within 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment.
  2. The provider must wait for the consumer for 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time.
  3. Within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time, the provider must notify the consumer's counselor or case manager that the consumer failed to keep the confirmed appointment.

3.4 Invoices

3.4.1 Requirement to Submit an Invoice

Contract service providers must submit an invoice via email, fax, or mail before payment can be processed.

Contract service providers are reminded that all supporting documentation must be received before the invoice can be processed for payment.

3.4.2 Required Information

(Revised 04/09)

Provider invoices must contain the following required information:

The following information is optional:

3.4.3 If the Invoice Is Inaccurate

If an invoice is improperly submitted or contains an error, DBS will notify the provider as soon as the error is realized, but no later than 21 calendar days following receipt of the original invoice.

Payment cannot be processed until the contract service provider supplies an accurate invoice and all required supporting documentation.

3.5 Supporting Documentation

3.5.1 Requirement to Submit Supporting Documentation

(Revised 04/09)

Depending on the type of service being provided, the following must be received by the consumer's counselor or case manager before the service is considered to be complete:

Documentation may be emailed.

3.5.2 Submitting Service Reports

(Revised 01/07, 04/09, 05/09, 07/11)

Reports must include only consumer's first name and first initial of the last name. Do not include full names if sent by email.

  1. Assistive technology evaluation reports are due within seven working days after the evaluation is completed (see DARS2867, Assistive Technology Evaluation Report).
  2. Assistive technology training reports are due within ten working days from the date training is completed (see DARS2868, Assistive Technology Training Report).
  3. Training reports for independent living services are due each month. Monthly training reports must
    • detail the services provided to each consumer,
    • document the outcome of each service, and
    • include a copy of each training program modified during the month being reported.

    All training programs must be documented using a DARS2891, Independent Living Services Progress Report form.

  4. Vocational evaluation reports are due within 15 working days after the evaluation is completed (see DARS2869, Vocational Evaluation Report).
  5. Vocational adjustment training reports are due within 35 calendar days from the date training is completed (see DARS2870, Vocational Adjustment Progress Report).
  6. DARS2955, Consumer Services Report: Work Adjustment Progress Report for work adjustment training services is due within 35 calendar days from the date training is completed.
  7. Job readiness training reports are due within 35 calendar days from the date training is completed (see DARS2878, Post-Staffing Evaluation).
  8. Job placement providers are required to
  9. For services to individual consumers, diabetes education providers must submit a written report (see DARS2884, Evaluation/Training Report) to the consumer's counselor or case manager along with the monthly invoice for the individual consumer.
    • For group training services, diabetes education providers must complete individual reports (see DARS2884, Evaluation/Training Report) documenting each consumer's progress. The individual written reports must be submitted to the designated DBS staff person along with the monthly invoice for the group training.
  10. Initial assessment reports for orientation and mobility services (see DARS2894, Consumer Services Report: O&M Assessment) must be submitted to the consumer's counselor or case manager before O&M skills training services can be authorized. Monthly progress reports must be submitted using the standard format required by DBS (see DARS2896, Consumer Services Report: O&M Training).
  11. For services to individual consumers, SE providers must submit required documentation with invoices as indicated in Chapter 5: Services, 5.12 Supported Employment Overview. Forms include the following: