Note: Federal fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.
The employment outcome should be consistent with an individual's unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. Employment outcome occupations are listed in the Occupational Information Network-Standard Occupational Classification (O*NET-SOC) Titles published by the U.S. Department of Labor (including self-employment in an occupation).
If an Informal Administrative Review, mediation, or hearing is requested within the appeal deadline, even after the case is closed, it may be necessary to continue to provide vocational counseling and guidance and other services pending the outcome of the appeal (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57 and Chapter 15, APPEALS, Policy 3).
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The Closed- Rehab Letter in AWARE (with PES, without PES, or Partnership Plus version as appropriate to the case) shall be used for cases closed in Closed - Rehab status after the VR client agrees to close the case. No earlier than day 90 in Employed status, the counselor shall provide the Letter to the individual, supplemented by appropriate modes of communication as necessary (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.56).
The 30-day Closure Notice - Cannot Locate/Contact letter in AWARE may be used at any time during the life of the case.
To close the case as "cannot locate or contact," the counselor shall document multiple attempts to contact or locate the client, in an appropriate mode of communication, and then send the letter with a 30-day response deadline. For returned mail without a forwarding address, see Section D3. The case may be closed in AWARE the day after the deadline.
The 30-day Closure Notice letter in AWARE with 30-day deadline to request a consultation regarding the closure decision, supplemented by other appropriate modes of communication as necessary, shall be provided to the individual before Closed – Other status, to ensure the client receives notice of their rights per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.57. The 30-day Closure Notice letter in AWARE shall be used except when closure reason is:
Guidance: If the case is in Application status, the waiting period for the individual's response to the closure notification letter could result in the case being kept in Application status past the deadline to make an eligibility determination. However, this is acceptable and should be taken into consideration when reviewing the AWARE report of cases past the deadline.
The counselor shall obtain the individual’s agreement to close the case and then shall provide the Successful PES Closure letter and close the case in Closed – Other status. Non-response to the letter is not sufficient documentation of client agreement.
At case closure, the counselor shall update the AWARE Closure screen so DRS can report accurate closed case data to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.40).
At case closure for SSI/SSDI clients, the Ticket to Work screen must be completed and the Closed - Rehab Partnership Plus letter must be sent.
If personal injury legal action has been taken or is pending, the counselor shall, if not already done, complete and send the RS-457 to Fiscal, give a copy to the VR client, and keep a copy in the case record (it should be saved electronically).
When closing a case from PES status, update the Closure Follow Up Layout screen (for instructions see AWARE Manual).
The Counselor shall conduct a review and
re-evaluation with the individual semi-annually for the first two years and
annually thereafter when the client’s employment at case closure does not meet
the criteria of competitive integrated employment, for the duration of the
individual’s employment. The counselor shall use the RS-455 form to record the
results of the semi-annual and annual reviews (per agency mandate) and shall
maintain a signed copy in the case record. The review results includes
individuals not available for the review (refuses the review, does not want
further involvement, no longer resides in Virginia, dies, retires from
sheltered workshop, cannot be located, etc.) A copy of the form may be sent to the
Employment Services Organization (ESO) if the ESO wants a copy for their file
and the client or if appropriate; their legal representative has signed a
release allowing for the sharing of client information. See Policy 3: Section B2 of this chapter.
The Counselor shall review the ineligibility decision within 12 months of closure, and annually thereafter if requested by the individual or his or her authorized representative (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). The individual will be notified of their right to this review by the Annual Review letter. The results of all annual reviews shall be documented in the client record and completed in AWARE. The review does not need not to be conducted in situations when the individual has refused it, the individual is no longer present in the Commonwealth, the individual's whereabouts are unknown, or the individual's medical condition is rapidly progressive or terminal. These reasons should be documented in the individual’s case record.
If 1) the case was closed in Closed-Other status, and 2) the reason was due to disability too significant for the individual to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome or unfavorable medical prognosis, the counselor shall review the case within 12 months of the closure (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). The purpose of the review is to assess whether the individual’s circumstances have changed to the point that the individual can benefit from services in terms of achieving an employment outcome and to decide whether to reopen the case. The individual will be notified of their right to this review when their case is closed and by the Annual Review Letter (see Policy 1: Section D10 of this Chapter). After the case has been reviewed, the counselor shall review the case annually thereafter if requested by the individual or by the individual’s representative (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). The counselor should consider whether a rehabilitation technology assessment is appropriate (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43). The counselor shall (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.43) document the results of the review in AWARE.
It is required that the counselor review the following cases after case closure (per 2016
Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.55):