Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Manual

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.
  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Values
  4. Introduction to Manual
  5. OUTCOMES
  6. RECOGNIZED OUTCOMES
  7. DHS/DRS Responsibilities
  8. PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS AND CODES
  9. Contracts and Agreements

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
DIVISION OF REHABILITATION SERVICES
COMMUNITY REHABILITATION PROGRAM PROCEDURES MANUAL

Mission

The mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, is to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving their goals of employment, education, and independent living.

Vision

Improving the independence of our customers is our only reason for existing. We realize that the skills and abilities of our front line staff are the keys to our success. Embracing, listening to, and collaborating with our community partners will sustain our success.

DHS/DRS will be a customer-driven organization, with all major decisions based on the needs of our customers. Our staff will be informed and valued, pursuing lifelong learning and striving to improve their professional skills. We will create an environment where customers and staff work in partnership, where customers enjoy working with staff, and where staff look forward to coming to work. Finally, we envision an agency where customers feel confident that their goals will be reached.

Values

  • We value DHS/DRS as a workplace that promotes, supports, recognizes, and invests in the importance of having a culturally diverse staff with the skills and knowledge to respectfully provide services to all our customers in a qualitative manner.
  • We value equal participation in society by persons with disabilities.
  • We value situations in which the individual with a disability gets needed service.
  • We value an accessible environment.
  • We value being responsive to the needs and concerns of customers.
  • We value the right of all customers to choose services that enable them to work and live independently in their communities.
  • We value community integration and the customer's right to live in the least restrictive environment.
  • We value lifelong learning for our staff and are committed to providing necessary training to improve their professional skills.
  • We value staff who are creative, well-trained, efficient, and knowledgeable about disability and developing careers for customers and the use of assistive technology

Introduction to Manual

This Policy and Procedures Manual was developed by DHS/DRS with input from the Community Rehabilitation Partners through the Facility Advisory Committee.  It will be periodically reviewed and updated and is subject to change in response to policy/rule changes and in order to better serve our customers. 

The procedure manual can be found online at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=25214 .

TERMS

  • Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) - within the context of this Procedure Manual, a "CRP" is a program that provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, to enable those individuals to maximize opportunities for employment, including:
    1. assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs;
    2. job development, placement, and retention services;
    3. psycho-social rehabilitation; and
    4. supported employment services and extended services.
  • DHS/DRS Customer - any individual who has been referred to DHS/DRS or is receiving any DHS/DRS services as outlined on the IPE.
  • DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Counselor - designated staff that maintains an assigned caseload and operates and administers the State vocational rehabilitation services program in accordance with the provisions of the State plan, the Rehabilitation Act, and regulations established by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor - the counselor designated to coordinate the day-to-day functions between a specific CRP and their local DHS/DRS office.
  • DHS/DRS Program Advisor - the DHS/DRS staff member who is designated as the official contact person with the CRP.
  • Integration - participation in the mainstream of community life by the DHS/DRS customers. This means that the person has the option to maintain social relationships with family members, peers, coworkers, as well as others within the community. Additionally, these persons have equal access to and the opportunity for full participation in community resources and activities available to the general public. With regard to employment, integration occurs when a person with a disability works alongside coworkers who are not disabled or has frequent interaction with the general public as a result of his/her job duties. Integration in work sites where groups of persons with disabilities work together may exist as long as the group consists of eight persons or less.
  • Support Reduction Schedule - a planned method of gradual reduction in the amount of ongoing support services provided to a customer receiving supported employment services. The purpose of the support reduction schedule is to reduce reliance on supports during the course of the customer's participation in supported employment services to the greatest degree possible while maintaining the customer in employment, and to assist the customer in making a transition into natural supports.
  • Transition Students (from School to Work) - Time-Limited SEP is often an appropriate venue to serve students transitioning from school to work. Students can be served by both the school and a community rehabilitation provider during their final year per counselor's approval. Students must be removed from school STEP Work Verification Sheet before they can be reported on the CRP Group Billing but should remain on STEP Flow Chart. An IPE is required prior to CRP services being initiated. In order for a CRP to claim a successful placement closure on a student graduate, the closure must be 90 days post graduation.
  • PROGRAM STANDARDS

  • Accreditation - Per DHS/DRS' rules found at 89 IL. Adm. Code 530, any CRP doing business with DHS/DRS must meet and maintain national accreditation standards through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the National Accreditation Council (NAC), the Accreditation Council, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO), or the Council on Accreditation (CA) for all programs of service identified in the provider's contract or cooperative working agreement. All providers with outcomes/successful placements identified in their contracts/agreements must have accredited placement programs.

    The CRP must submit a copy of the most recent national accreditation survey report to the DHS/DRS Program Advisor.

    A new CRP is one from which DHS/DRS has not previously purchased services. Such CRPs must become nationally accredited within a three year period of the first year that the purchased amount of services by DHS/DRS exceeds $20,000 annually. For those CRPs that are exempt from accreditation, they will be required to go through a Rule 530 Survey at least once every three years. This survey will be conducted by a Program Advisor assigned by the Community Resources Manager.

  • Client Assistance Program - all projects and programs, including CRPs, that provides services to individuals with disabilities shall advise said individuals (or parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of the individual) of the availability and purpose of the Client Assistance Program (CAP), including information on means of seeking assistance under said program. CAP may be reached at 1-800-641-3929.
  • Fiscal and Administrative Standards - the CRP will keep the following for a minimum of five years in addition to the current fiscal year:
  • a. Signed copies of all forms and billings, including C-13 Invoice Vouchers and Group Billing sheets;
  • b. Signed records of individual service hours;
  • c. Records of payments made to customers for lunch, transportation, and/or maintenance with prior authorization by DHS/DRS. Such records must include a signed case receipt or canceled check for each payment; and
  • d. All such records which are required by the executed contract or agreement reference herein.
  • Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) - The DRS plan that is developed with the customer and others designated by the individual (signed by both customer and counselor). The IPE is to be shared with the CRP within 10 working days of the CRP's acceptance of the case. To provide direction to the CRP, the IPE should reflect:
  • a. Vocational goal (should be consistent with the customer's goal as stated in their IPE);
  • b. The customer's needs and preferences pertaining to vocational goals; hours of work per week should be identified;
  • c. The date when services are to begin and what those services are to be;
  • d. Provision of long-term services (i.e. natural supports, Social Security work incentives, private pay, etc.).
  • Individual Provider Plan (IPP) - The CRP's IPP (known by many other names depending on the particular CRP) is developed by the customer, DRS counselor, CRP staff, and others designated by the customer. The IPP should be customer-centered and show evidence of the customer's participation in its development. The IPP will govern services provided to the customer by the CRP and should be completed prior to entry into the CRP's program. The customer's vocational goal as stated on the IPP should match that which is stated on the customer's IPE. The IPP will be shared with the DHS/DRS Counselor within 10 working days of its development.

    Plan amendments are to be developed by the customer, counselor, and provider staff prior to implementation of the changes and provided to the customer and counselor within five working days after the start of services.

    The customer's IPP should contain the following:

    a. Vocational goal (should be consistent with the customer's goal as stated in their IPE);

    b. Need for full or part-time employment;

    c. Earnings necessary to live and hours per week identified (range);

    d. Benefits;

    e. Shift preference;

    f. Placement goals and objectives - includes what the customer, CRP, and DHS/DRS counselor roles will be in the process and time frames;

    g. Job development activities;

    h. Job retention activities;

    i. Customer follow-up services and;

    j. Appropriate signatures

    In order for the CRP to bill for services from DRS, the CRP must have a Notification of CRP Services from the DRS Counselor. All sections of the Notification for CRP Services must be filled out including vendor information, DRS Counselor information, customer name, case number, approval date, cancellation date, case status, program type, funding code, approved service dates, with approved services marked and signature of the counselor.

  • TELECOMMUNICATION/INTERPRETER COMPLIANCE - CRPs will use Telecommunication Relay Services when communicating with deaf or hard or hearing people. Dial 711 and you will be connected to a TRS operator. Give the operator the number of the person you are calling. If a referral is being made to a CRP for placement services and the DRS customer needs a sign language interpreter, the CRP is expected to assist in securing a licensed interpreter. All agreements which utilize sign language interpreter(s) except schools serving K-12 must adhere to the interpreters for the Deaf Licensure Act of 2007 (225 ILCS443). This requires ALL interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing to have a license to provide interpreter services. Licenses are issued by the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission. A listing of licensed interpreters can be found at: www.idhhc.state.il.us/interpreter.htm . DRS will reimburse the CRP for the interpreter expenses at the established DRS interpreter rates.
  • OUTCOMES

    Successful Outcome Criteria - To achieve a successful and suitable outcome, the following criteria must be met, as determined by the DHS/DRS customer and counselor:

    1. The customer has an active IPE, NOS form and CRP IPP from which competitive employment services were provided;
    2. The customer has participated in at least one program other than assessment that has been instrumental in job placement and/or job retention and has been listed on either a group billing sheet or an individual service/invoice voucher (C-13);
    3. The customer has attained a successful employment outcome as determined by the rehabilitation team, and a minimum of 90 days of follow-up has occurred following stabilization.
    4. VR services were provided which were necessary and consistent with the customer's goals and objectives in accordance with the IPE/IPP; and
    5. The customer has attained a successful employment outcome and has maintained such for no less than 90 calendar days. Suitable employment is indicated when all of the following are present:
    1. The customer and employer are both satisfied as evidenced by the customer's continued employment and as expressed by the customer at the time of customer participation, as documented in the final staffing;
    2. The customer is maintaining adequate interpersonal relationships and acceptable behavior in the job environment as evidenced by the customer's continued employment and as expressed by the customer at the time of customer participation, as documented in the final staffing; 
    3. The employment outcome is consistent with the customer's own unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities. If the occupation is different than the customer's long term vocational goal, the customer must approve the difference with documentation in the customer's case file regarding this difference and an IPE/IPP amendment written;
    4. The customer possesses acceptable skills to perform or continue the work satisfactorily as evidenced by the customer's continued employment;
    5. The employment is regular, reasonably permanent, (based on the goal established in the customer's IPE) and the customer received a wage commensurate with that paid to others for similar work as determined by wage information obtained by the counselor, i.e. Employment Security, U.S. Department of Labor, under legal requirements in the Illinois Minimum Wage Law respectively; and
    6. The employment and working conditions will not aggravate the customer's disability and the customer's disability in the job situation will not jeopardize the health and safety of him/herself or others based on the information in the case file and the counselor's knowledge of the job description and requirements.

    RECOGNIZED OUTCOMES

    Competitive Employment (can include Competitive Placement, IPS, Milestones, and Menus) - when the customer has achieved integrated employment in the community at minimum wage or higher and with applicable fringe benefits (insurance, medical benefits, etc,). If customer does not have fringe benefits, counselor and customer must agree this placement is appropriate.

    Supported Employment Program (Competitive Employment with Ongoing Support) - when the customer has achieved integrated employment in the community at minimum wage or higher and with applicable fringe benefits and DRS case is transferred to Supported Employment Services or closed with natural supports. Often, due to the nature and severity of the disability, the customer needs intensive, on-going supports to maintain employment.

    Transition from School to Work - when the student/customer has achieved integrated employment in the community at minimum wage or a wage commensurate to the prevailing wage in the locality and with applicable fringe benefits and the following conditions have been met:

    1. The CRP assisted the student/customer prior to graduation, with the IEP, IPE, and IPP clearly delineating the transition;
    2. The student/customer required transition support services to maintain competitive employment for a minimum of 90 days post school exit (CRP can request outcome earlier in special cases based on plan, if all agree).
  • Conflict Resolution - When a DHS/DRS counselor does not agree with the outcome submitted by the CRP, and the CRP wishes to appeal, the following procedure will apply:

    1. The CRP may appeal in writing to the counselor's supervisor within ten working days of the notice of denial;
    2. b. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Program Advisor;
    3. The DHS/DRS supervisor will review the appeal and submit a written response to the CRP within 10 working days. A copy of this response will be submitted to the counselor and Program Advisor;
    4. If the CRP does not agree with the decision rendered by the supervisor, the CRP must send a written request for further review to the Administrator of Community Resources, DHS/DRS Central Office within 10 working days of receipt of the supervisor's decision. Copies of the request must be sent to the DHS/DRS Supervisor and Program Advisor by the CRP; 
    5. The Administrator of Community Resources will be the final level of the appeal, will review the issue, and render a written decision within ten working days. Copies of the final decision will be sent to the Provider, Rehabilitation Services Supervisor, and the Program Advisor.

    Referral (DHS/DRS) - consists minimally of an individual's name, address, reported disability, counselor district number, customers' DRS case number, age, sex, date of referral, reason for referral and must be in writing. The DHS/DRS referral will be furnished on the most current DHS/DRS' form. The DHS/DRS referral should be specific regarding what services are being requested (i.e. supported employment, job coaching, placement services, etc.). DHS/DRS and the provider will respond to referrals from each other within thirty calendar days evidenced by DRS and CRP documentation which can be received by email, fax, or phone consultation. The provider response will include the potential for acceptance of the customer into program services, the projected date of admission, and other appropriate information.

    The basis of any referral must be the determination of eligibility. Notification of Services must accompany the referral. Per the Federal Regulations, a customer must meet the following DRS eligibility requirements to be accepted into any DRS' program:

    Customer should meet all of the following:

    1. Have a physical or mental impairment that constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment;
    2. Require vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment consistent with the customer's goals; and 
    3. Will benefit from VR services in terms of employment outcome.

    Staffings - will be held at least every eight (8) weeks and will include the customer, DRS staff, CRP staff, and others designated by the customer. The staffings should be held in person. If, on occasion this is not possible, staffings can be conducted telephonically, or electronically. The CRP is responsible for writing and faxing the staffing report to the DRS counselor after obtaining the customer's signature. The DRS counselor then signs the report and faxes it back to the CRP. Documentation of the staffing, including signatures of those who were in attendance will be kept in the DHS/DRS and CRP file. If additional services are needed by the customer, the DRS Counselor must approve prior to services being provided.

    Case Closure - VR Counselor must inform CRP at time of case closure either in person, telephonically, or electronically. The preferred method of informing the CRP is in writing using the Notification of CRP Services form noting the cancellation date.

DHS/DRS Responsibilities

DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Counselor -

  1. Attend staffing in person, by phone or electronically, and visit customers on the work site.
  2. Develop IPE, NOS and review group billing for assigned customers and verify approval of services before submission to the supervisor or designee. 
  3. Review assigned cases on billing against current Notification of Services form.

DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor - designated to coordinate day-to-day functions between a specific provider and DHS/DRS.

a. Provide input in agreement and program development.

b. Distribute group billings and SEP Reports.

c. DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor will disseminate the group billing throughout their office for appropriate staff to review CRP billing against current Notification of Services forms.

DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor

  1. Review and sign group billing and submit to Project Officer by 15th of month.

DHS/DRS Program Advisor

  1. Develop contracts and cooperative agreements;
  2. Monitor program performance on a monthly basis and providing feedback to the provider on at least a quarterly basis;
  3. Perform on-site reviews of all contracted CRPs no less than every three years;
  4. Conduct Rule 530 certification surveys of programs that are not nationally accredited;
  5. Conduct billing reviews of CRP files on DRS customers;
  6. Conduct Accessibility Surveys as needed;
  7. Provide technical assistance to DRS and CRP staff;
  8. Process CRP billing within 2 days of receipt and forward to DHS/DRS Contract and/or Fiscal Unit(s).

Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Responsibilities

Fiscal and Administrative Standards

The CRP will keep the following for a minimum of 5 years (current year plus 5):

  1. Signed copies of all forms and billings, including Notification of CRP Services, Invoice Vouchers and Group Billing sheets and SEP Monthly Reports;
  2. Signed records of individual service hours;
  3. Records of payments made to individuals for transportation and/or maintenance when authorized by DHS/DRS. Such records must include a signed cash receipt or canceled check for each payment; and
  4. All such records which are required by the executed contract or agreement referenced herein.

Individual Provider Plan (IPP)

The CRP's IPP (known by many other names depending on the particular provider) is developed by the customer, DRS counselor, CRP staff, and others designated by the customer. The IPP will govern services provided to the customer by the CRP and should be completed prior to entry into the CRP's program and a copy submitted to the DHS/DRS counselor.

Plan amendments are to be developed by the customer, counselor, and provider staff prior to implementation of the changes and provided to the customer and counselor within five working days after the start of services.

Program Accessibility

DHS/DRS requires compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. All programs offered by the CRP must be accessible to all individuals with disabilities. The physical plant(s) of the provider must be in compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U S C 4151, et seq.), the Uniform Accessibility Standards, and their implementing Standards in 41 CFR 101-19.6 et seq, and the American Standards Institute (ANSI), 1989, 34 CFR 361.45, and regulations promulgated by the Illinois Capitol Development Board (71 IL Adm Code 400) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U S C 12101).

Referral

A referral consists minimally of an individual's name, address, reported disability, age, sex, date of referral, reason for referral and must be in writing. The provider referral will be furnished on the most current provider form. DHS/DRS and the provider will respond to referrals from the other in writing within thirty calendar days. The DHS/DRS response will include whether the customer has been accepted into DHS/DRS program. If DHS/DRS does not respond within the thirty days, the CRP should contact the office supervisor with concerns. If not satisfied at that point, the CRP should contact the CRP Advisor within fifteen days. The purpose of any referral is to determine eligibility.

Safety

The provider must maintain an active safety program to assure that all buildings and programs operated by the provider are safe to all individuals. Safety policies and procedures must be in compliance with the National Standards (I. Physical Facilities, Health and Safety) or 89 IL Adm Code 530.140. Community-based sites must also meet the individual's environmental and safety needs.

Staffings

Staffings will be held at least every eight (8) weeks, can be held more frequently, and will include the customer, DRS staff, CRP staff, and others designated by the customer. For Extended Supported Employment Program cases the staffings will be held at least every 6 months. The staffings can be held in person, telephonically, or electronically. The CRP is responsible for faxing the staffing report to the DRS counselor after obtaining the customer's signature. The DRS counselor then signs the report and faxes it back to the CRP. Documentation of the staffing, including signatures of those who were in attendance, case notes, and documentation of SEP hours will be kept in the CRP's file

Outcome

Upon 90 calendar days of successful employment, the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) will contact the customer for final employment verification. The CRP will then complete the successful placement report and send it to the DRS counselor for his/her signature and verification.

Case Closure

CRP must notify DRS of intent to close case in person telephonically or electronically. Reason for closure should be identified.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS AND CODES

Contracts and Agreements

DHS/DRS continue its emphasis on providing more community-based programming which will lead to more integrated community employment. DHS/DRS may purchase any of the following services for persons with most severe and severe disabilities from Community Rehabilitation Programs.

Below, DHS/DRS service description codes are listed in parentheses next to the service type.

EVALUATION

The traditional use of vocational evaluation may not be appropriate for all individuals and, as such, the value of standard vocational evaluation and/or situational assessment should be assessed and determined by the DHS/DRS Counselor on a case by case basis.

The goal of an evaluation should be to provide for a comfortable transition and an optimal fit with the program and the community environment. When appropriate for the individual's needs, a community employment assessment may be provided.

  1. Functional Vocational Assessment (03150) - assists the individual with a limited survey of his/her vocational interests and abilities based on local curriculum and DHS/DRS Counselor request.
  2. Vocational Evaluation (03100) & Pycho-Social Evaluation (03325) - assists the customer with either an assessment of his/her ability to function in a single area (i.e. clerical) or a broad-based assessment of individual interests and abilities utilizing a variety of tests, work samples, and situational assessments. The goal of the vocational assessment is to assist the customer in developing vocational goals by indentifying rehabilitation challenges and strategies to address them, and by making recommendations about job catagories, specific jobs, and ways to obtain the skills necessary to achieve employment. A psycho-social evaluation may also include intensive counseling and case management in support of clinical services to assist the customer.
  3. Community-Based Work Assessment [can include OJE](03600) - assists the customer through observation in a community work setting, by assessing his/her work skills, work habits and attitudes, social and personal characteristics, vocational interests, employment preferences, family support, and other needs as determined by the rehabilitation team. The customer will be paid either minimum or commensurate wage based on the prevailing wages paid by the employer, and/or CRP, and/or DHS/DRS.

TRAINING

  1. Occupational Skills Training (03300) - assists the individual with a formal program of instruction with a written curriculum that develops appropriate skills and knowledge for a specific occupational objective or job family. The goal of the training is to prepare the individual for competitive employment. It is preferred that training is offered at a community site, but can also be offered at the CRP. Minimum or commensurate wage based on prevailing wage in the community will be paid by the employer and/or the CRP. 
  2. Psycho-social Rehabilitation (03330) - has a primary goal of preventing hospitalization and assisting the individual in maximizing his/her potential. When the major focus of a customer's psyco-social rehabilitation is vocational rehabilitation services, it is appropriate for the DHS/DRS Counselor to authorize services to an approved provider. A customer's psycho-social rehabilitation service plan may include any one of the following: vocational evaluation/community assessment, specific skills training, and community based employment services. These service components may be designed to assist the individual in obtaining and maintaining either competitive or supported employment.
  3. Transitional Employment Program (03400) - not to be confused with school transition, Program intended to assist the individual with an array of time-limited services provided by the CRP at a community worksite which leads to competitive integrated employment. Minimum or a wage commensurate to the prevailing wage in the locality will be paid by the employer and/or CRP.

COMMUNITY BASED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

The following services which lead to community integrated employment can only be authorized by the DHS/DRS Counselor, upon his/her approval of the customer's placement plan.

  1. Competitive Employment Services (02725) - can include Placement, IPS, Menu, or Milestone arrangements. It is integrated employment in the community which pays the employee minimum or a wage commensurate with the prevailing wage in the locality and applicable fringe benefits. The individual must be stable on the job and have worked a minimum of 90 calendar days prior to awarding a successful outcome. Services provided generally include the following:
    1. Assessment - assists the individual through observation of job readiness, transferable skills, social and personal characteristics, vocational interests, employment preferances, retention and coping skills and develop a job match profile.
    2. Job Development and Placement - using job match techniques, assists the individual in identifying specific jobs that are available and accessible within the community. Job seeking and retention skills training can be used to develop necessary skills to enable the individual to secure his/her job and to develop an understanding of how to keep a job.
    3. Training - on-the-job training is provided to the individual if the individual needs to learn specific tasks associated with the job. The training supervision can be provided by the CRP or the employer. Job coaching services can be provided when intensive support is needed. However, these services are expected to decrease in frequency and eventually be discontinued as the individual's performance on the job stabilizes.
    4. follow-Up - time limited service which includes direct and indirect support to an employee and/or employer to allow for adequate job adjustment and retention or further job development and placement.

b. Verification - Successful outcomes are determined by the DHS/DRS counselor and are based on the customer's achievement of his/her vocational goal as identified on the IPE.

  1. Successful outcomes will be reported monthly by providers and submitted to the appropriate DHS/DRS liaison counselor for verification.
  2. It is expected that providers will claim only one outcome per customer per contract year. If such circumstances warrant and if appropriate the DHS/DRS counselor, in conjunction with the DHS/DRS supervisor, may review and determine an exception.
  3. When two CRP's request credit for an outcome for the same customer, the DHS/DRS counselor may award one-half of the outcome to each provider if the customer participated in an approved program within each CRP. No more than two providers will be allowed to share an outcome.
  4. Under the following circumstances, the provider will not receive full credit:
    • No reported activity such as intake, documented counseling sessions, job development, job counseling, job placement. All written services should be documented by provider to DRS.
    • No documented communication made by provider to DRS.
    • DRS counselor has documentation demonstrating DRS Counselor has provided more placement services than the provider.

NOTE: When a customer receives employment services under a performance contract, he/she can be moved to a time-limited SEP contract but cannot be counted as a performance outcome. When the customer receiving Supported Employment services transitions to a long-term program or natural supports, an outcome will be awarded to the DHS/DRS counselor only.

NOTE: When the Community Rehabilitation Program is the employer, the VR agency will determine on a case-by-case basis if the particular work unit which houses the individual's job position, satisfies the definition of "integrated setting" and, thus, constitutes an employment outcome under the VR program. This determination must be made with respect to all employment positions sought by VR customers at CRPs, not only those funded under JWOD contracts. It is essential that DHS/DRS analyze whether the work-unit which houses the actual position sought by the individual constitutes an "integrated setting", because it is possible that a certain work unit within a CRP would satisfy the definition of "integrated setting" whereas others may not.

c. Individual Placement and Support Services [IPS] (02725) - designed for individuals with a serious mental illness in order to help them obtain and maintain employment. The IPS approach is to place an individual into employment as soon as possible, placing less emphasis on the traditional concept of employment "readiness". It is believed that working is therapeutic for many individuals with a serious mental illness and therefore contributes to their recovery. While it is intended that DRS staff provide an expedited response to IPS cases, VR counselors are reminded that they are responsible for all elements of the case, from application to certification to IPE development and closure. The DHS/DRS counselor is responsible for ongoing monitoring of customers placed through IPS contracts. A key feature of the IPS concept is regular communication between the IPS provider and the DHS/DRS counselor. The typical schedule is for monthly meetings between the IPS provider and the DHS/DRS counselor.

  1. Part of the ongoing process is documentation of milestones at 15, 45 and 90 days after placement or IPE development (whichever date is later). DHS/DRS counselors must sign off on IPS provider requests within seven days of receiving the milestone report.
  2. The criteria for closure of a case is the same as for any other case where the customer has achieved the employment outcome on his or her IPE (see 89 Illinois Administrative Code 595.40). In addition to customer satisfaction with the job and wage and benefit assurances, a determination by the counselor that the individual has achieved employment stability and no longer needs VR services.
  3. If the counselor agrees that all criteria have been met, the counselor signs the Successful Placement Report form. The counselor's signature on the form both verifies that the individual has achieved his or her employment outcome and also authorizes the DRS Fiscal Unit to make a payment to the IPS provider.
  4. Diagnostic information relating to serious mental illness must be provided by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts (LPHA). This term is defined under Division of Mental Health rules ( 59 Illinois Administrative Code 132.25) as:
  5. Licensed Practitioner of the Healing Arts or LPHA - An Illinois licensed health care practitioner who, within the scope of State law, has the ability to independently make a clinical assessment, certify a diagnosis and recommend treatment for persons with a mental illness and who is one of the following: a physician; an advanced practice nurse with psychiatric specialty licensed under the Nurse Practice Act [225 ILCS 65]; a clinical psychologist licensed under the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act [225 ILCS 15]; a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licensed under the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act [225 ILCS 20]; a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) licensed under the Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing Act [225 ILCS 107]; or a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) licensed under the Marriage and Family Therapist Licensing Act [225 ILCS 55] and 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1283.
  6. Counselors should note that this definition is identical to that given in the DRS rule (89 Illinois Administrative Code 590.60 "Qualification of Medical and Psychological Service Providers") with respect to mental health professionals. Therefore, diagnostic information provided by any professional in the categories listed above is sufficient to determine the existence of a disability consistent with the DRS rule (89 Illinois Administrative Code 553.25 "Disability Documentation").

Billing Procedures for Performance & IPS Contracts -

  1. The Group Billing will be sent by the provider to the DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor within five working days of the beginning of the month; a copy will be sent to the DHS/DRS Program Advisor, who will then submit the Group Billing to Central Support after verification by DHS/DRS Liaison. 
  2. The DHS/DRS liaison counselor/RSS will submit the verified group billings to the Project Officer and CRP within 10 days upon receiving group billings from CRP.
  3. Each month, the CRP submits a Successful Placement Report (IL 488-16801) to the Liaison Counselor or customer's individual counselor to verify, even if no placements have occurred. Once the DHS/DRS staff has verified the outcomes, the verified, signed copy is submitted to the Program Advisor and the CRP.

Completion of the Group Billings -

Services and service description codes will be obtained from the referring counselor and will mirror the services identified in the IPE/IPP.

Complete the following items in full:

  1. Enter the Document (Contract) number in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Enter Vendor number and zip code. 
  3. Enter Program name (i.e. Comp Place, Milestone, etc). 
  4. List customers alphabetically.
  5. Enter customer ID and Social Security numbers (last 4 digits of Social Security Number). 
  6. Enter case status and district numbers. 
  7. Use complete date(s) of actual service rather than dates of the billing period. 
  8. Service interruptions will result in more than one service date. 
  9. Enter service type/service description code. 
  10. Enter units (customer count, Milestone) by customer and then total number of units.

IPS - Job Stability Program (30 days - 03331)(60 days - 03332) - The Job Stability Program (JSP) is designed for individuals with a serious mental illness who have achieved employment after receiving services from an agency that has a contract with DRS to provide Individual Placement and Support Services (IPS).

  1. Considerations and pre-planning - The customer must have completed at least 90 days of employment and met all criteria for case closure. JSP may only be used with providers who have an IPS job placement contract with DRS for the current fiscal year.
    1. Procedures - The customer's case must be closed as a successful competitive employment outcome. A Closure Notification form (IL 488-0717) must be signed by the counselor and sent to the customer.
    2. Justification for Post Employment - The counselor must write a WebCM case note that includes a justification explaining why the customer needs additional support to maintain employment.
  2. Movement to Post Employment Status - The counselor must put the customer's case into post employment status by initiating a new IPE in WebCM. If not already in place, the IPS case indicator must be added to the case in WebCM.
    1. Contents of the Post Employment IPE - The post employment IPE must include information and referral as well as counseling and guidance services, listing DRS as the provider. The plan must include the primary service "Job Stability Program" and list the IPS agency as the provider.
  3. Notification of CRP Services Form - The counselor must send a Notification of CRP Services form (IL 488-2226) to the ISP provider agency.
    1. JSP Milestone Structure - The Job Stability Program is structured to include two milestones. The first milestone occurs when the customer achieves 30 days of job stability after the original case closure. The second milestone occurs when the customer achieves 60 days of job stability after the original case closure.
  4. Documentation of Job Stability - For each milestone, the IPS provider must submit to the counselor a report confirming the customer's continued employment. The report must list the place of employment and the type of job the customer is working, as well as the average hours worked during the reporting period and the wages paid.
  5. Authorizing for JSP Milestone Payments - The rate for each of the JSP milestones is set at $700 for a total of $1,400. Payments are made through the case authorization system in the DRS office. Please note that this is a change from the system under ARRA where payments were processed through the central office. The authorization for the 30 day milestone payment must use the service description code 03331. The authorization for the 60 day milestone payment must use the service description code 03332. Calculation of days of job stability must be made from the date of the post-employment IPE.
  6. Closure from Post Employment - The Job Stability Program ends when one of the following events occurs: the customer completes 60 days of continued employment; or the customer loses his or her job. In either situation the counselor must close the customer's case from post employment. Closure from post employment requires that the closure must be discussed with the customer. A Closure Notification form (IL 488-0717) must be completed and signed by the counselor and forwarded to the customer. A copy of the closure form must be sent to the IPS provider to document the termination of JSP services.

Job coaching - refers to the training of an employee by an approved specialist, who uses structured intervention techniques to help the employee learn to perform job tasks to the employer's specifications and to learn the interpersonal skills necessary to be accepted as a worker at the job site and in related community contacts. While job coaching is often associated with supported employment, it can be provided as a vocational rehabilitation service to individuals who are do not have a goal of supported employment, e.g. for an individual who requires some coaching for a particular job but does not require coaching throughout their entire work life. For individuals who do require job coaching for their entire work life should be considered for supported employment services.

Supported Employment Program [SEP] (07400) - Supported employment is a service designed to assist individuals with most significant disabilities to obtain and retain competitive employment through the use of effective ongoing support services. While DRS has provided supported employment services for many years with considerable success, policy and procedural changes are required in order to assure compliance with state and federal supported employment regulations. These changes include: provision of time-limited services; utilization of a support reduction schedule; limiting pre-employment (job development) services; and insuring that all customers are paid at least the minimum wage for their work while receiving supported employment services.

Consequently, the following requirements are established for VR services, effective immediately:

  1. VR customers receiving supported employment services may not be placed into any job that pays less than the minimum wage. (see definitions below)
  2. Any IPE including supported employment must be written for a period no longer than six months. 
  3. All IPEs including supported employment must contain a support reduction schedule that reduces the proportion of support hours by at least 20 percent over a six month time period. The intention of the support reduction schedule is to reduce paid support services to zero or to the minimum required by the customer by the time supported employment services are completed.
  4. Providers may bill DRS for no more than 96 hours of pre-employment (job development) services to a customer. 
  5. Only individuals determined to have a most significant disability may receive supported employment services. (see definitions below) 
  6. Individuals with a substantial employment history may not receive supported employment services (see definitions below) 
  7. Supported employment services may be provided to a customer for no more than 18 months, unless there are special circumstances which require additional time to achieve an employment outcome. The counselor must write a case note describing the special circumstances and the office supervisor must enter a case note approving the extension of services. (see definitions below)

Definitions Relating to Supported Employment in DRS Administrative Rules (89 Illinois Administrative Code Section 521)

"Supported Employment" means competitive employment in an integrated setting with ongoing support services for customers with the most significant disabilities:

  • for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of their disability; and
  • who, because of the nature of their disabilities, need intensive supported employment services in order to perform this work.

"Supported Employment Services" means ongoing services needed to support and maintain an individual with the most significant disability in supported employment. These services are provided for a period of time not to exceed 18 months, unless, under special circumstances, the time is extended to achieve the rehabilitation objectives identified in the IPE.

"Time-limited Services", in the context of supported employment services, means services that are provided for a period of no more than 18 months in accordance with a support reduction schedule. Under special circumstances this time period may be extended with the agreement of the customer and the counselor when an extension is needed to achieve the employment outcome.

Case Documentation for Time-Limited SEP -

  1. Referral
  2. IPE and Amendment(s) 
  3. IPP and Amendment(s) 
  4. Staffing reports - should occur at least every eight weeks 
  5. Daily activity contact sheets, including hours and summary results of the planned objectives 
  6. Provisions for support reduction (formerly fading) to natural supports

Billing Procedures for SEP Contracts -

Billable Units

For Time-Limited Supported Employment units should reflect direct service which can occur in fifteen minute increments. Only the following four services can be billed:

  1. Job Development - the process of locating appropriate competitive, integrated, community-based employment. It consists of job market screening, employer contact, job analysis, job match, and activities such as job club and transportation training. Upon counselor approval, a provider can continue to bill DHS/DRS, for up to ninety days, for "job re-development" on that customer separated from his/her job in Time-Limited SEP. IPE and IPP amendments should reflect those changes in the service plan.
  2. Job Coaching - instruction in areas which develop and maintain the customer's skills and knowledge for a specific goal in order to maintain said customer in competitive employment. Areas of instruction can include transportation training, systematic task instruction, and networking with family and the employer to promote the development of natural supports. Job coaches are not the employee's supervisor at the job site. Job coaching does not automatically mean SEP services.
  3. Job Retention/Counseling - individual and/or group counseling designed to assist the customer in maintaining competitive employment. This service is not intended to supplant regular counseling services provided under the Departments of Mental Health or Developmental Disabilities but is intended to cover those additional needs relative to employment.
  4.  Job Retention - The provider's "job retention" activities begin by fostering the employer/employee relationship through consultation and documentation on the following:
    1. individual job coaching in specific job functions and/or skills, work habits, and employer/employee relations;
    2. assistance with job modification(s);
    3. disability awareness training for the employer and/or other workers;
    4. individual transportation training; and
    5. appropriate off-site counseling provided to address the customer's retention needs. This counseling is not intended as regular counseling services under the auspices of mental health and developmental disabilities but is intended to address those additional needs relative to maintaining the customer's employment.

Staffing time - customer, counselor and CRP must participate in the staffing.

NOTE: When more than one (and no more than eight) customers are being served by one Job coach, billing will reflect the percentage of the hour each customer received (i.e. four customers = 1/4 hour each on the billing).

Completion of the Group Billings -

Services and service description codes will be obtained from the referring counselor and will mirror the services identified in the IPE/IPP.

Complete the following items in full:

  1. Enter the Document (Contract) number in the upper right-hand corner
  2. Enter Vendor number and zip code
  3. Enter Program name (i.e. SEP)
  4. List customers alphabetically
  5. Enter customer ID and Social Security numbers (last 4 digits of Social Security Number)
  6. Enter case status and district numbers
  7. Use complete date(s) of actual service rather than dates of the billing period
  8. Service interruptions will result in more than one service date
  9. Enter service type/service description code
  10. Enter units (customer count, Milestone) by customer and then total number of units.

Completion of Monthly Supported Employment Report - Complete the following items in full:

  1. Enter Program Name
  2. b. List customers alphabetically with ID numbers
  3. Enter work hours, work wages, and employer
  4. Enter complete placement date
  5. Enter work model/group size, service hours
  6. Enter separation date and/or termination date and reason

NOTE: "Separation" applies when the customer separates from his/her job. "Termination" applies when Supported Employment Programming is discontinued.

Distribution -

  1. The Group Billing will be sent by the provider to the DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor within five working days of the beginning of the month; a copy will be sent to the DHS/DRS Program Advisor, who will then submit the Group Billing to Central Support after verification by DHS/DRS Liaison.
  2. The DHS/DRS liaison counselor/RSS will submit the verified group billings to the Project Officer and CRP within 10 days upon receiving group billings from CRP.
  3. A copy of the Monthly Supported Employment Report will be sent directly to the DHS/DRS Liaison Counselor, with a courtesy copy to the Program Advisor. The Program Advisor will send a copy of the verified report to Central Support.

The CRP and the Program Advisor may be able take into account alternative methods of contracting.


August 22, 2013