Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Manual

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

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 the only reason for our existence. We realize that the skills and the 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 looks 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 people with disabilities. 
  • We value situations in which the individual with a disability receives needed services. 
  • We value an accessible environment. 
  • We value being responsive to the needs and concerns of our customers. 
  • We value the right of all customers to choose the 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 the necessary training to improve their professional skills.
  •  We value staff whom are creative, well trained, efficient, and knowledgeable about disabilities and developing careers for customers, and the use of assistive technology.

INTRODUCTION TO THE 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 in order to better serve our shared customers. The procedure manual can be found online at www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=25214.

Manual Updated: August 27, 2015

TERMS

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

Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) - within the context of this procedure manual, a CRP provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, to enable those individuals to maximize opportunities for employment including:

  1. Assessments 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.

Competitive Integrated Employment - The term 'competitive integrated employment' means work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis (including self-employment)
(A) for which an individual is compensated at a rate that

  • shall not be less than the higher of the rate specified in section 6 (a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206 (a)(1) or the rate specified in the applicable State or local minimum wage law;
  • and is not less than the customary rate paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by other employees who are not individuals with disabilities, and who are similarly situated in similar occupations by the same employer and who have similar training, experience, and skills; or
  •  in the case of an individual who is self employed, yields an income that is comparable to the income received by other individuals who are not individuals with disabilities, and who are self-employed in similar occupations or on similar tasks and who have similar training, experience, and skills; and 
  • is eligible for the level of benefits provided to other employees;

(B) that is at a location where the employee interacts with other coworkers who are not individuals with disabilities (not including supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to such employee) in an integrated setting; and (

C) that, as appropriate, presents opportunities for advancement that are similar to those for other employees who are not individuals with disabilities and who have similar positions.

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 Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or Designee - the individual designated to coordinate the day-to-day functions between a specific CRP and their local DHS - DRS office.

DHS - DRS Project Officer - the DHS - DRS staff member who is designated as the official contact person with the CRP.

Referral (DHS - DRS) - consists minimally of an individual's name, address, reported disability, counselor name, 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. 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 staffing should be held in person. If, on occasion this is not possible, staffing 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.

The purpose of the staffing is to determine customer progress toward vocational goals and to determine if services are to continue.

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) - Transition student is a student in their final year of high school transitioning from school to work. A community based rehabilitation program 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. Students can be referred for VR services through the CRP in their final year of school per DRS counselor approval. 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 530.5, any CRP doing business with DHS - DRS must meet and maintain national; accreditation standards through the likes of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation facilities (CARF), the National Accreditation Council (NAC), the Joint Commission (TJC), The Council on Accreditation (COA) or The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) for all programs and services identified in the CRP's contract. All CRPs 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 Project Officer within 30 days of receipt.

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 Project Officer assigned by the Community Resources Manager.

Client Assistance Program (CAP) - all projects and programs, including CRPs, that provide 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.

CAP helps people with disabilities receive quality services by advocating for their interests and helping them identify resources, understand procedures, resolve problems, and protect their rights in the rehabilitation process, employment and home services. CRP's should inform customers of a preferred mode of communication. CAP's website is http://intranet.dhs.illinois.gov/onenet/page.aspx?item=47333

Fiscal and Administrative Standards - the CRP will keep the following for a minimum of five years in addition to the current fiscal year:

  1. Signed copies of all forms and billings, including C-13 Invoice Vouchers and Group Billing sheets; 
  2. Signed records of individual service hours; 
  3. 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
  4. 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:

  1. Customers vocational goal (should be consistent with the customer's goal as stated on their IPE);
  2. The customer's needs and preferences pertaining to vocational goals; hours of work per week should be identified; 
  3. The date when services are to begin and what those services are to be;
  4. Provision of long-term services (i.e. natural supports, Social Security work incentives, private pay, etc.). 
  5. Customer Responsibility(s).

Individual Placement Plan (IPP) - The CRP's IPP is developed primarily by CRP staff, customer 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. The IPP will be shared with the DHS - DRS counselor within 10 working days of its development. The customer's vocational goal as stated on the IPP should match that which is stated on the customer's IPE. Any changes to the IPP should be approved by the 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.

The customer's IPP should contain the following: 

  1. Vocational goal (should be consistent with the customer's goal as stated in their IPE); 
  2. Need for full or part-time employment; 
  3. Earnings and hours preferred by or obtainable by the customer; 
  4. Benefits; 
  5. Shift preference; 
  6. Placement goals and objectives - includes what the customer, CRP, and DHS - DRS counselor roles will be in the process and time frames;
  7. Job development activities;
  8. Job retention activities;
  9. Customer follow-up services; 
  10. Appropriate signatures;
  11.  Closure/cancellation date

In order for the CRP to bill for services from DRS, the CRP must have a Notification of Services (NOS) from the DRS counselor. All sections of the Notification for Services must be filled out including:

  • Provider information;
  • DHS - DRS Project Officer Information; 
  • Contract Number; 
  • Contract Category; 
  • DRS counselor information; 
  • Customer name; 
  • Case number; 
  • Case Status;
  • Projected Service Dates;
  • Cancellation date; 
  • Local DRS Office; 
  • Counselor Name and District Number; 
  • Approved services marked; 
  • Signature of the Counselor.

TELECOMMUNICATION/INTERPRETER COMPLIANCE - When appropriate, CRPs will use Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS) when communicating with deaf or hard of hearing people. Dial 711 and you will be connected to a TRS operator. Give the operator the number of the person you are calling. This communication takes place via text. Others use Video Relay Services (VRS) which utilizes a sign language interpreter. Individuals who use VRS have a 10-digit phone number. There is no need to dial 711 when there is a 10-digit number.

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). The Licenses held by Interpreters indicate in which environments they are able to interpret. For specifics, go to "Interpreter License Levels for Assignments" http://intranet.dhs.illinois.gov/onenet/page.aspx?item=44738

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/interprter.htm.

The CRP is expected to secure an appropriately licensed interpreter for meetings with CRP staff and for job interviews arranged for DRS customers. DRS will reimburse the CRP for the interpreter expenses at the established DRS interpreter rates. CRP must send the DRS staff an invoice for the interpreting services.

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. A copy of the appeal must be sent to the Project Officer; 
  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 Project Officer;
  4. If the CRP does not agree with the decision rendered by the supervisor, or the supervisor does not respond within 10 working days, 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 Project Officer 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 Project Officer.

OUTCOMES

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

  1. The customer has an active IPE, NOS and CRP IPP from which competitive employment services were provided; 
  2. The customer has received at least one service 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 for a minimum 90 days for which stabilization has occurred and has maintained such for no less than 90 calendar days. Successful 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 DRS 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, 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 their health and safety or others based on the information in the case file and the counselor's knowledge of the job description and requirements.
  4. VR services were provided which were necessary and consistent with the customer's goals and objectives in accordance with the IPE/IPP; and

RECOGNIZED OUTCOMES

Competitive Integrated Employment (Milestone and IPS Milestone) - when the customer has achieved competitive 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 Integrated Employment with Ongoing Support) - when the customer has achieved competitive integrated employment in the community at minimum wage or higher and with applicable fringe benefits and the VR case is closed with the customer receiving unpaid natural supports or paid supports from another source. 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 competitive 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 IPP and IPE clearly delineating the transition; 
  2. The student/customer required transition support services to maintain competitive integrated employment for a minimum of 90 days post school exit.

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. 
  4. Initial customer on Group Billing for approval. 
  5. Notify CRP if services are denied for billing.

DHS-DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or Designee - designated to coordinate day-to-day functions between a specific provider and DHS - DRS.

  1. Provide input in agreement and program development. 
  2. Distribute group billings and SEP Reports. 
  3. Disseminate the group billing throughout their office for appropriate staff to review CRP billing against current Notification of Services. 
  4. Notify CRP if services are denied for billing. 
  5. Review and sign group billing and submit to Project Officer by 15th of month.

DHS - DRS Project Officer -

  1. Develop contracts with input from the local DHS - DRS office; 
  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 once 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 as warranted;
  6. Conduct Accessibility Surveys as needed;
  7. Provide technical assistance to DRS and CRP staff;
  8. Process CRP billing within 5 working days of receipt and forward to DHS - DRS Contract and/or Fiscal Unit(s).
  9. Send copy of payment request to CRP.

Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Responsibilities

Fiscal and Administrative Standards

The CRP will keep the following for a minimum of 6 years (current year plus 5):

  1. Signed copies of all forms and billings, including Notification of Services, Invoice Vouchers and Group Billing sheets and SEP Monthly Reports; 
  2. Signed records of individual service hours; 
  3. Provider will submit, for cases selected by DRS, records that are sufficient to document the wages and earnings of the individuals achieving an employment outcome. Wage records include copies of a pay check, pay check stub, pay warrant, bank record confirming direct deposit, information from third party online resources such as The Work Number or other record approved by DRS. Wage records will be submitted to the local DRS office, the project officer and DRS Quality Assurance no later than 30 days after the request by DRS; 
  4. 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
  5. All such records which are required by the executed contract or agreement referenced herein.

Program Accessibility

DHS - DRS require compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). All programs offered by the CRP must be accessible to all individuals with disabilities, and the provider must be in compliance with applicable requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm), the Illinois Accessibility Code (http://222/illinois.gov/cdb/business/codes/pages/IllinoisAccessibilityCode.aspx), and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (http://dhs.illinois.gov/iitaa).

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 staffing will be held at least every 6 months. The staffing 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.

Case Closure

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

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS AND CODES

DHS - DRS continues 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 significant and very significant 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) & Psycho-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 categories, 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.

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 - can include 15 (02735), 45 (02745), 90 (02725) day milestones. It is competitive integrated employment in the community which pays the employee minimum wage 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 preferences, and retention and coping skills and develops a job match profile. 
    2. Job Coaching - Supports an individual in maintaining satisfactory work output once employed. Job Coaching may involve one-on-one personal training while the individual is working, observation of the individual with only limited direct intervention, one-on-one meetings with the individual to discuss work-related progress or issues, suggestions for enhanced efficiency and productivity, creative use of pictorial or other cues to direct task completion, development of natural supports in the workplace, and any other tools or techniques deemed appropriate in helping an individual to achieve satisfactory work output and to maintain or retain employment. 
    3. Job Development and Placement - Uses job match techniques and assists the individual in identifying specific jobs that are available and accessible in the community. Job readiness, job seeking and retention skills training can be used to develop necessary skills to enable the individual to secure the job and to develop an understanding of how to keep the job. 
    4. Job Retention - is provided to the customer if he or she needs training, monitoring, or job coaching for specific tasks associated with the job. Services may also involve working with the employer, co-workers, and family members to enhance the customer's job stability. These services are expected to decrease in frequency and eventually be discontinued as the individual's performance on the job is stabilized. 
    5. Job Training - Trainees become acquainted with the daily routine of work and develop specific vocational skills, including the use of basic occupational tools and equipment. Training is provided for the purpose of employment in a specific occupation.
    6. Career Development Services (CD) - supports an individual in developing a clear vision regarding the individual's preferred employment outcome, establishes the steps needed to achieve this outcome, and supports the individual in directly connecting with appropriate identified community-based employment opportunities.
  2. Verification - Successful outcomes are determined by the DHS - DRS counselor and are based on the customer's achievement of the vocational goal as identified on the IPE.
    1. Successful outcomes will be reported monthly by providers and submitted to the appropriate DHS - DRS Supervisor and 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. 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 milestone contract, he/she can be moved to a time-limited SEP contract but cannot be counted as a milestone outcome. When the customer receiving Supported Employment services transitions to a long-term program or natural supports, no outcome will be awarded to the CRP involved.
        NOTE: No provider may claim payment for a competitive employment outcome when the provider is the employer of the DRS customer without the prior written approval from DRS. DRS will evaluate the nature of the job placement and determine whether it meets the criteria for "competitive integrated employment" as defined in the federal Work Innovation and Opportunity Act and is consistent with the guidelines provided in Rehabilitation Services Administration Technical Assistance Circular TAC-06-01.
  3. Individual Placement and Support Services [IPS] - 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". 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. 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 are 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. 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: 
    4. 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. 
    5. 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 Milestone Contracts -

  1. The Group Billing will be sent by the provider to the DHS - DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or designee by the fifth working day of the month; a copy will be sent to the DHS - DRS Project Officer, who will then submit the Group Billing to Central Support after verification by DHS - DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor/Counselor. 
  2. The DHS - DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or designee will submit the verified group billings to the Project Officer and CRP within 10 days upon receiving group billings from 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. Month/Year of service
  2. Vendor FEIN/SSN
  3. Vendor name, address, city, state and zip code
  4. Contract Number
  5. Program 
  6. Rate - per milestone, outcome or service 
  7. DRS Office 
  8. Customer Name - alphabetically, first and last names (no initials)
  9. Customer Number
  10. Customer last 4 digits of Social Security Number 
  11. Status - use the number associated with the status 
  12. Counselor District 
  13. Service From/Service To-only within month being billed. 
  14. Type Service 
  15. Service Description - Mirrors NOS (Notification of Services) 
  16. Units - SEP-TL and some Menu services equal number of hours-all others equal 1 
  17. Amount Billed - will auto-calculate Rate times Units, this will be a locked field
  18. Counselors Initials - Shows verification of customer approval 
  19. Totals - will auto-calculate
  20. Vendor signature 
  21. DRS Supervisor Signature 
  22. DRS Project Officer signature

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 (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 Services Form - The counselor must send a Notification of Services (IL 488-2226) to the IPS 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. 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 (IL 488-0717) must be completed and signed by the counselor and forwarded to the customer. A copy of the Closure Notification and NOS cancellation 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 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. Individuals who require job coaching for their entire work life should be considered for supported employment services.

Milestone performance contracts include job coaching as a service. Job coaching cannot be paid for as an additional service to any customer served under a milestone performance contract.

Supported Employment Program [SEP] (07400) - Supported employment is a service designed to assist individuals with most significant disabilities obtain and retain competitive integrated 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 24 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 integrated 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 24 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 24 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.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. 
  4. Actual Staffing Time - Meeting time spent staffing the case between customers, CRP and DHS-DRS staff.

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. Month/Year of service 
  2. Vendor FEIN/SSN 
  3. Vendor name, address, city, state and zip code
  4. Contract Number 
  5. Program 
  6. Rate - per milestone, outcome or service 
  7. DRS Office 
  8. Customer Name - alphabetically, first and last names (no initials)
  9. Customer Number 
  10. Customer last 4 digits of Social Security Number 
  11. Status - use the number associated with the status
  12. Counselor District
  13. Service From/Service To-only within month being billed. 
  14. Type Service 
  15. Service Description - Mirrors NOS (Notification of Services) 
  16. Units - SEP-TL and some Menu services equal number of hours-all others equal 1 
  17. Amount billed - will auto-calculate Rate times Units, this will be a locked field 
  18. Counselor Initials - Shows verification of customer approval. 
  19. Totals - will auto-calculate 
  20. Vendor signature 
  21. DRS Supervisor signature 
  22. DRS Project Officer signature

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

  1. Enter Program Name. 
  2. 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 Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or designee within five working days of the beginning of the month; a copy will be sent to the DHS - DRS Project Officer, who will then submit the Group Billing to Central Support after verification by DHS - DRS Liaison. If the CRP cannot make the deadline, the CRP will notify DHS-DRS. 
  2. The DHS - DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or designee 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 Rehabilitation Services Supervisor or designee, with a courtesy copy to the Project Officer.

MILESTONE RATE AGREEMENT

Scope of Services

The Milestone Program is a statewide program under the direction of the Department of Human Services - Division of Rehabilitation Services (DHS - DRS), Vocational Rehabilitation Program. This program assists individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities in obtaining and maintaining community based competitive employment and measures success at 15, 45 and 90 days of competitive employment. Competitive employment is integrated employment within the community which pays the customer (employee) at least minimum wage or a wage commensurate to the prevailing wage and applicable fringe benefits. Providers use job matching techniques to assist individuals in identifying specific jobs or potential employers that are available and accessible in the community.

Providers are expected to employ a variety of techniques and services necessary in obtaining and maintaining community based competitive employment consistent with the employment outcome goal identified on the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Services and training may include but are not limited to: assessments and evaluations of job readiness, specialized training, career development services, trial work, transferable skills, social and personal characteristics, vocational skills, computer skills, communication skills, interviewing skills, employment preferences, and job seeking skills. Job retention services, including observation and monitoring as well as direct on-the-job supports including job coaching are also included and designed as follow-up services to ensure job stability and job performance.

No provider may claim payment for a competitive employment outcome when the provider is the employer of the DRS customer without the prior written approval from DRS. DRS will evaluate the nature of the job placement and determine whether it meets the criteria for "competitive integrated employment" as defined in the federal Work Innovation and Opportunity Act and is consistent with the guidelines provided in Rehabilitation Services Administration Technical Assistance Circular TAC-06-01.

Deliverables

Competitive employment is integrated employment within the community which pays the customer (employee) at least minimum wage or a wage commensurate to the prevailing wage and applicable fringe benefits. The goal is for the customer to reach job stability for at least 90 days on a competitive job. Upon achievement of job stability of at least 90 days of successful employment, the Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) will contact the customer for final employment verification. Deliverables are customer specific and unique to the IPE and may include one or more of the following activities to meet employment milestones of 15, 45 and 90 days of employment.

Outcome Based Measures

  1. Provide support to customers in achieving 15 days of competitive employment using one or more of the designated activities below. 
  2. Provide support to customers achieving 45 days of competitive employment using one or more of the designated activities below. 
  3. Provide support to customers achieving 90 days of competitive employment using one or more of the designated activities below.

Designated Activities

  1. Assessment - Assess the individual through observation of job readiness, transferable skills, social and personal characteristics, vocational interest, employment preferences, and retention and coping skills, and develop a job match profile.
  2. Job coaching - supports an individual in maintaining satisfactory work output once employed. Job Coaching may involve one-on-one personal training while the individual is working, observation of the individual with only limited direct intervention, one-on-one meetings with the individual to discuss work-related progress or issues, suggestions for enhanced efficiency and productivity, creative use of pictorial or other cues to direct task completion, development of natural supports in the workplace, and any other tool or techniques deemed appropriate in helping an individual to achieve satisfactory work output and to maintain or retain employment. 
  3. Job Development and Placement - Uses job match techniques and assists the individual in identifying specific jobs that are available and accessible in the community. Job readiness, job seeking, and retention skills training can be used to develop necessary skills to enable the individual to secure the job and to develop an understanding of how to keep the job. 
  4. Job Retention - Is provided to the customer if he or she needs training, monitoring or job coaching for specific tasks associated with the job. Services may also involve working with the employer, co-worker, and family members to enhance the customer's job stability. These services are expected to decrease in frequency and eventually be discontinued as the individual's performance on the job is stabilized. 
  5. Skills Training - Trainees become acquainted with the daily routine of work and develop specific vocational skills, including the use of basic occupational tools and equipment. Training is provided for the purpose of employment in a specific occupation. 
  6. Career Development Services (CD) - Supports an individual in developing a clear vision regarding the individual's preferred employment outcome, establishes the steps needed to achieve this outcome, and supports the individual in navigating each of these steps. Career Development supports an individual in directly connecting with appropriate identified community-based employment opportunities.

The following reporting requirements apply: 

  1. The provided must submit to both the DRS Local Office(s) and Project Officer a Monthly Group Billing on all DRS customers served either by fax, email and/or regular mail by the 5th of each month. 
  2. The provided must submit wage records for cases selected by DRS in order to verify employment no later than 30 days after the date of the request. Records must conform to requirements listed under "Fiscal Standards" above. 
  3. Staffing Report must be submitted by fax, email and/or regular mail to the DRS Counselor every eight weeks. 
  4. On Site reviews of DRS customer's files and provider files will be performed no less than every three years and as needed.

Payment - MILESTONE PROGRAMS

List Services Rate for the Services
15 days employed $1,354.00
45 days employed $2,032.00
90 days employed $3,386.00

Performance Measures

Performance measures will be reported monthly to the DRS Contract Project Officer.

  1. Number and percentage of customers maintaining competitive employment for 15 days. This will be measured via submission of the Monthly Group Billing. The Provider must submit to both the DRS Local Office(s) and Project Officer a Monthly Group Billing on all DRS customers placed either by fax, email and/or regular mail by the 5th working day of each month upon completion of the employment milestone. Providers will also submit a master list of customers, including name, case number and social security number to the Project Officer monthly.
  2. Number and percentage of customers maintaining competitive employment for 45 days. This will be measured via submission of the Monthly Group Billing. The provider must submit to both the DRS Local Office(s) and Project Officer a Monthly Group Billing on all DRS customers placed either by fax, email and/or regular mail by the 5th working day of each month upon completion of the employment milestone. 
  3. Number and percentage of customers maintaining competitive employment for 90 days. This will be measured via submission of the Monthly Group Billing. The provider must submit to both the DRS Local Office(s) and Project Officer a Monthly Group Billing on all DRS customers placed either by fax, email and/or regular mail by the 5th working day of each month upon completion of the employment milestone.