Supported Employment

Supported employment is competitive employment with ongoing support services for clients with the most severe disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a severe disability; and who, because of the nature and severity of their disabilities, needs intensive time-limited services from Rehabilitation Services (RS) and extended ongoing services after transition in order to be employed. Supported employment includes transitional employment for individuals with the most severe disabilities due to mental illness.

Intensive time-limited services from RS may include:

Such services may be provided by RS for a period not to exceed 18 months unless there are special circumstances and the counselor and client agree that a longer period is needed to achieve job stabilization. Sufficient monitoring (at least twice monthly) at the work site must be done to adequately assess employment stability. Off-site monitoring may be approved when requested by the client and when circumstances warrant. (Federal supported employment regulations establish the minimum requirements for off-site monitoring to consist of two meetings with the client and one meeting with the employer each month.)

In addition to the standard Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) requirements, an IPE for individuals with the most severe disabilities for whom a vocational goal in a supported employment setting has been determined to be appropriate will also contain:

  1. A description of the time-limited supported employment services to be provided by RS.
  2. A description of the extended ongoing services needed and identification of the source of extended ongoing services or, in the event that identification of the source is not possible at the time the IPE is developed, a statement explaining the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that services will become available.
  3. A provision for periodic monitoring to ensure satisfactory progress toward meeting the work goals by the time of transition to extended ongoing services.
  4. The client’s goal for number of hours to work.
  5. The criteria for job stabilization. Job stabilization shall be individually determined for each client. This criteria should describe the methodology that will be used to determine when vocational rehabilitation (VR) funding should cease and ongoing support will take over.
  6. Projection of the number of hours of job coaching needed for the client to reach stabilization and case closure.

Closure as rehabilitated in supported employment should be based upon the following factors:

In order for the employment outcome for the individual to be considered competitive, it must be in an integrated setting and the client must be paid at or above the minimum wage but not less than the wages and benefits customarily paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by non-disabled individuals. RS shall annually review and re-evaluate the status of individuals in supported employment who have achieved an employment outcome that does not meet the definition of competitive employment. The review will focus on determining progress toward competitive employment. The review will include input from the individual or the individual’s representative regarding his or her interests, priorities and needs.

Transitional employment: Transitional employment is an authorized supported employment model that may be used for clients with severe and persistent mental illness. Transitional employment consists of a series of temporary job placements in integrated competitive work with ongoing support services, including continuing sequential job placements. This model is useful in helping the client accomplish work-related objectives, such as overcoming anxieties related to work; developing work tolerance; evaluating work behaviors related to the vocational objective; testing the feasibility of a specific vocational objective; and providing intermediate non-threatening steps toward permanent placement. The purpose is to enable the client to achieve job stability and transition to extended ongoing services. RS shall be responsible for the provision of the intensive time-limited services. Transitional employment cases may be closed in Status 26 in temporary placements if appropriate. After transition to extended ongoing services, the responsibility is with the community extended service provider to provide continuing sequential job placements until job permanency is achieved.

Effective Date: May 1, 1998