​Chapter 8.16 Contents:

A. Supported Employment
[REVISED: 12/1/16]

1. The need for extended services (long term follow along) after VR case closure is what distinguishes supported employment (SE) from other types of employment outcomes.

2. SE means (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (53) and (54), and  State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) means competitive integrated employment (for definition, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section A2), including customized employment, for a client:

a. With a most significant disability (for definition, see Chapter 3, DISABILITY, Policy 1, Section B), including youth with a most significant disability, and

b. For whom competitive employment either: i) has not traditionally occurred or ii) has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability, and

c. Who because of the nature and severity of the disability, needs one or more intensive ongoing services (also called SE services) from  the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and

d. Who needs extended services (also called long-term follow-along services) to perform the work after VR case closure.


3. If the client no longer requires SE services, that individual is no longer an appropriate candidate for SE.

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B. SE Services

[REVISED: 9/15/22]

1. Ongoing services (also called Supported Employment (SE) services) (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(37) are  delivered by skilled job trainers who accompany the individual for intensive job skill training at the work site and provide the following :

a. Progress monitoring at least twice a month at the work site (or off-site, especially at client request).
b.  Intensive job skills training and interventions at the work site until the client is stable in employment. See Chapter 8.09, JCTS, Policy 1.
c.  Job development, job retention, and job placement.
d. Social skills training.
e. Regular observation or supervision.
f. Follow-up services, such as regular contact with the employer, client, and other appropriate individuals, to reinforce and stabilize the job placement.
g. Facilitation of natural supports at the work site.

2. The counselor may provide SE services (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.46 (b)) under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IEP).  SE services shall not be provided before Service status.

3. Following movement to extended services, VR services unavailable from an extended services provider, may (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (54) (iv)) be provided as a Post-Employment Service (PES) during Employed status subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome but before case closure. (See Chapter 8.22 Post Employment Services) .

4. Before the counselor includes SE services and expected extended services in the IPE, the case record shall document: 

a. All requirements in Chapter 6.03, SITUATIONAL ASSESSMENT, Policy 2 are met, and 

b. Counselor consultation with the Employment Service Organization (ESO) SE vendor and any identified funding source for extended services (and special education staff for students with most significant disabilities receiving special education services).

5. The IPE shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.46 (b) include:

a. Expected extended services needed, providers, and funding sources.  See Virginia DRS Supported Employment Guide for resources.  If unknown but there is a reasonable expectation that a source will become available at the time needed, the counselor shall justify this expectation.  For example, “Local CSB funding is available to fund extended services.”

b. Specific SE services recommended in the Situational Assessment Report that are to be provided by DRS.  SE services shall be provided from job placement until movement to extended services (long term follow along) at VR case closure.

c. If job skills training is provided, a statement that it will occur at the work site.

d. Job placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on client abilities, limitations, and informed choice.

e. Weekly work requirement goal to be achieved by the time of movement to extended services.

f. Twice a month monitoring of progress at the work site (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (38) (ii) (A)).  If the IPE provides for off-site monitoring, it shall consist of at least two meetings with the client each month and (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) at least one contact with the employer each month.

g. Progress measured through the required monitoring of progress meetings and Monthly Vendor Report.

h. Any other VR services the client and counselor agree are needed to achieve the employment goal.

6. SE services shall (per Public Law 114-18, Section 7(39)) be time-limited to 24 months after job placement, unless the client and counselor document special circumstances that justify a longer period.

7. SE services may be provided through the individual placement model (supported employment job coach) or group placements with one job coach provided by vendors approved by DARS to provide this service.

8. There is no limit on the number of clients working at the same work site.

9. SE services shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) be subject to comparable benefits policy.  See Chapter 14.2, COMPARABLE, Policy 1

10. SE services shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54) be subject to consumer financial participation policy and Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results. See Chapter 14.3, FINANCIAL, Policy 1

11. The counselor shall use the appropriate agency fund codes, which change annually.  For current agency fund codes, see the Chart of Accounts under the Fiscal Web site on the DARS Intranet.  For Service/Item (S/I) codes and other service Authorization information, see Virginia DRS Supported Employment Guide and the DARS Services Reference Manual, Other services, SE category.  For vendor list and negotiated rates, see DARS Training and Facilities Manual, ESO Rate Sheets.

12. DRS staff shall not request vendor payment until the counselor receives the monthly vendor report.  For report format and other billing information, see Virginia DRS Supported Employment Guide. Also see Chapter 14.4, VENDORS, Policy 2.

13. Counselor moves the SE case into Employed status on the job placement/Employment Date. The client is not considered to be stable in employment on this date.

14. Once the counselor determines the client has reached stability in employment and extended services have begun (see Virginia DRS Supported Employment Guide for information on stability in employment) the counselor shall check in AWARE that the client is stable in employment.  The 90 day time period required for closure begins on the date the client begins to receive extended services .

15. An individual receiving SE is considered to have achieved competitive integrated employment (per 2016 Federal Regulations 34 CFR 361.5(c) (9)) providing the individual earns at least minimum wage or the customary amount paid to other employees without disabilities in equivalent positions and with similar experience in an integrated setting at the time of VR case closure (not job placement/employment date).

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C. Qualified Vendor for SE Services

[REVISED: 10/1/13]

See DRS Training and Facilities Manual.  For additional vendor requirements, see Chapter 14.4, VENDORS, Policy 2.
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2. Extended Services

[REVISED: 3/14/16]

1. Extended services (long term follow along services) include, but are not limited to:

a. SE vendor contact with either the client or employer at least once a month to ensure stable employment, and
b. Development and maintenance of natural workplace supports.

2. The purchase of Extended services (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (20)) with vocational rehabilitation 110 funds or Title VI Supported Employment funds shall not be provided to adults age 25 and older.

3. The purchase of Extended services (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (20)) with vocational rehabilitation 110 funds or Title VI Supported Employment funds may be provided to a youth with the most significant disability age 14 to 24

 a. for up to four years; or

 b. until age 25 when the youth no longer meets the definition of youth with a disability; or

 c. until an alternative funding source has been found; or

 d.  until the youth no longer requires the service.

Note:  DRS Director Approval is required at IPE development for all plans that will require extended services  funded by DRS.

 3. Movement to extended services shall occur when the client becomes stable in employment.  For closure requirements, see Chapter 11, CLOSURE, Policy 1, Section A2.

4. The case is documented in AWARE as stable in employment when it is transferred to extended services.

5. During the 90 days before anticipated case closure, the counselor shall ensure stability based on the following:

a. Funding for extended services has been secured.

 b. Job coaching and related interventions have decreased to a level necessary to maintain the client in employment.  Intervention has reached a plateau or leveled out.

 c. Client is emotionally or behaviorally stable.

 d. Client performs expected job duties.

 e. Supervisor reports satisfaction with client job performance.

 f. Client is satisfied with the job and work environment.

 g. Necessary modifications and accommodations have been made at the worksite.

 h. Client has reliable transportation to and from work.

 i. Client is compensated at or above minimum wage but not less than the customary wage paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by employees without disabilities.

6.  Cases of youth with disabilities shall not be closed as employed while extended services are being purchased with 110 funds or Title VI Supported Employment  funds (per 2016 Federal Regulations 34 CFR 361.5 (c) (19)). However, these cases shall be closed as employed once 90 days stability has been reached and sources of funding for extended services have been found.

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Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.