As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:

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 30: Supported Employment

(Revised 01/07, 10/08, 12/14, 12/15, 07/17)

30.1 Overview of Supported Employment

Supported Employment is competitive integrated employment (including customized employment in an integrated setting) in which the customer is working toward a competitive integrated employment outcome.

Often, these customers have been:

These customers need assistance to:

Supported Employment (SE) Services provide individualized training and support to assist customers in finding competitive integrated employment that is consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. SE also establishes extended services and long-term support within the work environment to maintain employment.

Key Terms

Definitions of key terms related to Supported Employment Services can be found in the Standards for Providers Chapter 8: Standards for Employment Services, 8.2 Key Terms.

30.2 Purchasing Requirements

Supported Employment Services are only purchased through contracted providers.

For more information on general purchasing policies and procedures, refer to:

For a table of fees for Employment Assistance Services, including Supported Employment, refer to:

To ensure accountability and quality of services to Vocational Rehabilitation customers, VRS staff must be familiar with and apply the contracting program requirements as published.

For specific information about purchasing outcome-based Supported Employment Services, refer to:

30.3 Eligibility Requirements for Supported Employment

Level of Significance for Supported Employment Cases

A State may provide services under this part to any individual, including a youth with a disability, if:

(a) The individual has been determined to be:

(1) Eligible for vocational rehabilitation services in accordance with 34 CFR 361.42; and

(2) An individual with a most significant disability;

(b) For purposes of activities carried out under §363.4(a)(2), the individual is a youth with a disability, as defined in 34 CFR 361.5(c)(59), who satisfies the requirements of this section; and

(c) Supported employment has been identified as the appropriate employment outcome for the individual on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs, as defined in 34 CFR 361.5(c)(5), including an evaluation of rehabilitation, career, and job needs.

*34 CFR 363.3

All Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) customers who use Supported Employment Services must have their case files designated in ReHabWorks as "most significant." The level of significance is determined prior to eligibility. However, this designation can be updated any time thereafter if new information becomes available to support the change in the level of significance.

Manager review and approval is required to change the level of significance for customers who have received Supported Employment Services, if the level of significance is being changed from "most significant" to any other level of significance.

For more information about determining the level of significance, refer to:

Types of Disabilities

Supported Employment Services can be used for customers with any type of disability; however, the services are most commonly used for customers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), significant mental health conditions, or autism.

For more information about determining eligibility, refer to RPM Chapter 3: Eligibility and VRM Chapter 3: Eligibility.

30.4 Comprehensive Assessment for Supported Employment Services

Customer characteristics appropriate for SE Services are:

Supported Employment must be identified as an appropriate rehabilitation objective for the individual on the basis of a comprehensive assessment to determine the individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice and must be included in the customer's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

If the original IPE did not specifically identify Supported Employment as a planned service, the IPE must be amended to include Supported Employment and the specific provider for these services. All changes to planned Supported Employment Services must be documented in an IPE or in an IPE amendment. (Use of service justification case notes in lieu of an IPE or IPE amendment is not allowed).

For more information on eligibility for SE Services, refer to:

30.5 Comparable Services and/or Benefits and Supported Employment

SSI and SSDI Recipients

If a customer is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, counselors must obtain a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and share this information with the SE provider as a part of the referral packet.

If the customer is eligible for any Social Security work incentives, such as a Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) or Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE), the counselor works with the customer to facilitate access to these resources.

For more information about this process, contact the program specialist for benefits for the Rehabilitation Services Division (DRS) or Blind Services Division (BSD) or the designee (unit or regional subject matter expert) and refer to:

Medicaid Waiver Programs

Home and community based waivers—such as the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) program, Texas Home Living program, and Community Living Assistance Support Services (CLASS) program, or a managed care organization (MCO)—must be used as a comparable benefit when establishing extended services and support for the customer.

For more information about using a comparable benefit, refer to:

If the customer is a current participant in a Medicaid waiver program and is going to need Extended Services and support, the MCO case manager and/or service coordinator and provider must be involved in coordinating services beginning with the Supported Employment Assessment.

Extended support must be approved for payment on the customer's waiver plan by no later than the end of Benchmark Four [Title]. For assistance in coordinating Medicaid Waiver services, contact the appropriate benefits subject matter resource staff person.

Note: This section applies only to customers who have a Medicaid waiver already available to them.

Other Sources for Extended Support

Extended services can be provided by other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, or other sources, including employers and other natural sources of support, following the provision of authorized Supported Employment Services.

30.6 IPE for Supported Employment

The IPE must include:

Refer to RPM Chapter 4: Assessing and Planning (general services) and VRM Chapter 4: Assessing and Planning (blind services) for additional information on developing an IPE.

30.7 Closing a Case from Supported Employment

Before successfully closing a case with a Supported Employment outcome, in addition to the requirements outlined in RPM Chapter 16: Closure, all of the following conditions must be met:

The vocational rehabilitation counselor must select Supported Employment as the employment status on the Successful Closure window in ReHabWorks.

30.8 Program Staff Responsibilities

The vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC):

Program Support Staff

The Rehabilitation Services Technician (RST), Rehabilitation Assistant (RA), and Customer Case Coordinator (CCC), under the direction of the VRC, can: