1. Purpose of DVR & Roles 2. Applying for DVR 3. Eligibility & DVR Wait List (OOS) 4. Plan for Employment (IPE) 5. DVR Services 6. Fiscal/Purchasing 7. Closing a DVR Case 8. Consumer Rights & Legal Info 9. Service Providers & Projects 10. Technical & General Info 11. A-Z Resources List 12. Chronological Announcements

Fiscal/Purchasing



DVR Policy Manual

Payment of Services Policies

Related Information & Resources

Fiscal Forms & Publications

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Federal Regulations

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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Sec. 361.53 Comparable services and benefits.

View Federal Regulation 361.53

(a) Determination of availability. The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that prior to providing an accommodation or auxiliary aid or service or any vocational rehabilitation services, except those services listed in paragraph (b) of this section, to an eligible individual or to members of the individual's family, the State unit must determine whether comparable services and benefits, as defined in §361.5(c)(8), exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual unless such a determination would interrupt or delay—

(1) The progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;

(2) An immediate job placement;

(3) The provision of vocational rehabilitation services to any individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate qualified medical professional.

(b) Exempt services. The following vocational rehabilitation services described in §361.48(b) are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs.

(2) Counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice.

(3) Referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies, including other components of the statewide workforce development system, if those services are not available under this part.

(4) Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services.

(5) Rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices.

(6) Post-employment services consisting of the services listed under paragraphs (b)(1) through (5) of this section.

(c) Provision of services. (1) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program and are available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome in the individual's individualized plan for employment, the designated State unit must use those comparable services or benefits to meet, in whole or part, the costs of the vocational rehabilitation services.

(2) If comparable services or benefits exist under any other program, but are not available to the individual at the time needed to ensure the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome specified in the individualized plan for employment, the designated State unit must provide vocational rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.

(d) Interagency coordination. (1) The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that the Governor, in consultation with the entity in the State responsible for the vocational rehabilitation program and other appropriate agencies, will ensure that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination takes effect between the designated State vocational rehabilitation unit and any appropriate public entity, including the State entity responsible for administering the State Medicaid program, a public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide workforce development system, to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, and, if appropriate, accommodations or auxiliary aids and services, (other than those services listed in paragraph (b) of this section) that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of those vocational rehabilitation services (including, if appropriate, accommodations or auxiliary aids and services) during the pendency of any interagency dispute in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section.

(2) The Governor may meet the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section through—

(i) A State statute or regulation;

(ii) A signed agreement between the respective officials of the public entities that clearly identifies the responsibilities of each public entity for the provision of the services; or

(iii) Another appropriate mechanism as determined by the designated State vocational rehabilitation unit.

(3) The interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination must include the following:

(i) Agency financial responsibility. An identification of, or description of a method for defining, the financial responsibility of the designated State unit and other public entities for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, and, if appropriate, accommodations or auxiliary aids and services other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section and a provision stating the financial responsibility of the public entity for providing those services.

(ii) Conditions, terms, and procedures of reimbursement. Information specifying the conditions, terms, and procedures under which the designated State unit must be reimbursed by the other public entities for providing vocational rehabilitation services, and accommodations or auxiliary aids and services based on the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination.

(iii) Interagency disputes. Information specifying procedures for resolving interagency disputes under the interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination, including procedures under which the designated State unit may initiate proceedings to secure reimbursement from other public entities or otherwise implement the provisions of the agreement or mechanism.

(iv) Procedures for coordination of services. Information specifying policies and procedures for public entities to determine and identify interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity to promote the coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services, and accommodations or auxiliary aids and services, other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) Responsibilities under other law. (1) If a public entity (other than the designated State unit) is obligated under Federal law (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, section 504 of the Act, or section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy or an interagency agreement established under this section, to provide or pay for any services considered to be vocational rehabilitation services (e.g., interpreter services under §361.48(j)), and, if appropriate, accommodations or auxiliary aids and services other than those services listed in paragraph (b) of this section, the public entity must fulfill that obligation or responsibility through—

(i) The terms of the interagency agreement or other requirements of this section;

(ii) Providing or paying for the service directly or by contract; or

(iii) Other arrangement.

(2) If a public entity other than the designated State unit fails to provide or pay for vocational rehabilitation services, and, if appropriate, accommodations or auxiliary aids and services for an eligible individual as established under this section, the designated State unit must provide or pay for those services to the individual and may claim reimbursement for the services from the public entity that failed to provide or pay for those services. The public entity must reimburse the designated State unit pursuant to the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism described in paragraph (d) of this section in accordance with the procedures established in the agreement or mechanism pursuant to paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1205-0522)

(Authority: Sections 12(c) and 101(a)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; 29 U.S.C. 709(c) and 721(a)(8))

Sec. 361.54 Participation of individuals in cost of services based on financial need.

View Federal Regulation 361.54

(a) No Federal requirement. There is no Federal requirement that the financial need of individuals be considered in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.

(b) State unit requirements. (1) The State unit may choose to consider the financial need of eligible individuals or individuals who are receiving services through trial work experiences under §361.42(e) for purposes of determining the extent of their participation in the costs of vocational rehabilitation services, other than those services identified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(2) If the State unit chooses to consider financial need—

(i) It must maintain written policies—

(A) Explaining the method for determining the financial need of an eligible individual; and

(B) Specifying the types of vocational rehabilitation services for which the unit has established a financial needs test;

(ii) The policies must be applied uniformly to all individuals in similar circumstances;

(iii) The policies may require different levels of need for different geographic regions in the State, but must be applied uniformly to all individuals within each geographic region; and

(iv) The policies must ensure that the level of an individual's participation in the cost of vocational rehabilitation services is—

(A) Reasonable;

(B) Based on the individual's financial need, including consideration of any disability-related expenses paid by the individual; and

(C) Not so high as to effectively deny the individual a necessary service.

(3) The designated State unit may not apply a financial needs test, or require the financial participation of the individual—

(i) As a condition for furnishing the following vocational rehabilitation services:

(A) Assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services under §361.48(b)(1), except those non-assessment services that are provided to an individual with a significant disability during either an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations through the use of trial work experiences under §361.42(e).

(B) Assessment for determining vocational rehabilitation needs under §361.48(b)(2).

(C) Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance under §361.48(b)(3).

(D) Referral and other services under §361.48(b)(4).

(E) Job-related services under §361.48(b)(12).

(F) Personal assistance services under §361.48(b)(14).

(G) Any auxiliary aid or service (e.g., interpreter services under §361.48(b)(10), reader services under §361.48(b)(11)) that an individual with a disability requires under section 504 of the Act (29 U.S.C. 794) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.), or regulations implementing those laws, in order for the individual to participate in the vocational rehabilitation program as authorized under this part; or

(ii) As a condition for furnishing any vocational rehabilitation service if the individual in need of the service has been determined eligible for Social Security benefits under titles II or XVI of the Social Security Act.

(Authority: Section 12(c) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; 29 U.S.C. 709(c))

Rehabilitation Act

(8) Comparable services and benefits

View Rehabilittion Act Of 1973

(A) Determination of availability

(i) In general

The State plan shall include an assurance that, prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation service to an eligible individual, except those services specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a), the designated State unit will determine whether comparable services and benefits are available under any other program (other than a program carried out under this title) unless such a determination would interrupt or delay--

(I) the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment of the individual in accordance with section 102(b);

(II) an immediate job placement; or

(III) the provision of such service to any individual at extreme medical risk.

(ii) Awards and scholarships

For purposes of clause (i), comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.

(B) Interagency agreement

The State plan shall include an assurance that the Governor of the State, in consultation with the entity in the State responsible for the vocational rehabilitation program and other appropriate agencies, will ensure that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination takes effect between any appropriate public entity, including the State entity responsible for administering the State Medicaid program, a public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide workforce investment system, and the designated State unit, in order to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services described in subparagraph (A) (other than those services specified in paragraph (5)(D), and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a)), that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of such vocational rehabilitation services during the pendency of any dispute described in clause (iii). Such agreement or mechanism shall include the following:

(i) Agency financial responsibility

An identification of, or a description of a method for defining, the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services, and a provision stating the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services.

(ii) Conditions, terms, and procedures of reimbursement

Information specifying the conditions, terms, and procedures under which a designated State unit shall be reimbursed by other public entities for providing such services, based on the provisions of such agreement or mechanism.

(iii) Interagency disputes

Information specifying procedures for resolving interagency disputes under the agreement or other mechanism (including procedures under which the designated State unit may initiate proceedings to secure reimbursement from other public entities or otherwise implement the provisions of the agreement or mechanism).

(iv) Coordination of services procedures

Information specifying policies and procedures for public entities to determine and identify the interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity to promote the coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services (except those services specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a)).

(C) Responsibilities of other public entities

(i) Responsibilities under other law

Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), if any public entity other than a designated State unit is obligated under Federal or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy or under this paragraph, to provide or pay for any services that are also considered to be vocational rehabilitation services (other than those specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 103(a)), such public entity shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, either directly or by contract or other arrangement.

(ii) Reimbursement

If a public entity other than the designated State unit fails to provide or pay for the services described in clause (i) for an eligible individual, the designated State unit shall provide or pay for such services to the individual. Such designated State unit may claim reimbursement for the services from the public entity that failed to provide or pay for such services. Such public entity shall reimburse the designated State unit pursuant to the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism described in this paragraph according to the procedures established in such agreement or mechanism pursuant to subparagraph (B)(ii).

(D) Methods

The Governor of a State may meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) through--

(i) a State statute or regulation;

(ii) a signed agreement between the respective officials of the public entities that clearly identifies the responsibilities of each public entity relating to the provision of services; or

(iii) another appropriate method, as determined by the designated State unit.

EDGAR

Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) and Other Applicable Grant Regulations

View EDGAR

Frequently Asked Questions

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Attendant Care/Childcare Questions

1. Is there a standard rate for attendant care?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - No. DVR should stay within the rate range established by the county within which the consumer resides? (Reviewed: 03/2018)

2. Can a family member be paid to provide attendant care for a consumer?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Yes. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

3. Does a childcare center need to be certified for DVR to purchase services with them?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - No. For example, family members can provide child care. On the other hand, DVR staff have a responsibility to ensure the quality of services being purchased. Reasonable prudence should be shown in picking a provider. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

4. Do consumers have to use a childcare provider who is at least provisionally certified if they are not on W-2?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst]

1. A consumer can use anyone they choose for child care. The certification is done through the county.

2. The rate can be negotiated but no more than what is paid for a provisionally certified provider.

3. We can pay the vendor or the consumer, preferably the vendor through a PO. Billing can be any agreed upon unit (daily, weekly or monthly for hours provided). If the consumer is paid/reimbursed, receipts will be required. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

Fee Schedule/Rate/Cost

5. Who has the authority to approve exceptions to fee schedules (i.e., over $5,000 per academic year while in training)?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - In Wisconsin, the WDA Director. The director can also delegate this to a VR Supervisor. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

6. We are required to obtain three price quotes. What if vendors require a fee or assessment? Can we pay those fees?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Yes. You may purchase additional assessments if necessary to obtain the additional estimates. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

7. What is the DVR current definition of a high cost plan?

DVR does not have a definition of a high cost plan. If any given purchase exceeds $5,000, it must be approved by a WDA Director/VR Supervisor. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

8. When should we code something as activity code 146 Small Business?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - We need to report annually to RSA expenditures for small business. They define these in the following way: "expenditures made for the provision of services supporting small business enterprises".

"These services would include technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses, develop business plans, and otherwise provide resources, to the extent such resources are authorized to be provided through the statewide workforce investment system, to eligible individuals who are pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome." (Reviewed: 03/2018)

9. Is WisLoan a resource that could help an individual with home remodeling costs (wheelchair or expand bathrooms)?

[Answer from Patti Kraemer] - Yes, WisLoan would be an appropriate resource, but... the question comes up regarding how much of the addition would be covered if part of it is for the accessibility and how much is for other reasons. That type of decision would be left to our nine member board. With that being said, please refer the person and we would take the application and go from there. The person does need to own the home to apply for this type of loan through this program. Also, if the person is able to get a home equity loan, they may be able to get a lower interest rate that way. Our interest rate will be 2% points above prime - or at this time about 6.75%. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

10. With Statewide Service rate increases, which rate do we use when we are invoiced?

The prevailing rate on the date the service occurs (e.g., Hire Date; Hire + 90 Days). It doesn't matter when the purchase order was generated. It is very important that the staff doing the receiving double check the dates of the event in question before approving - do not assume the date on the invoice is always correct. If a higher rate is applicable (a lower rate was originally authorized), then do a change order to the PO authorizing the higher rate. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

MA Program Payment/Rates Questions

11. Are we limited to just the Medical Assistance price guidelines when purchasing glasses for a consumer?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Yes, if you can find a vendor who will provide the service for that amount. As far as the frames are concerned, if the consumer wants more expensive ones, he/she would have to pay the extra. Unless there is a rehabilitation plan reason why other frames or lenses are needed. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

12. Prosthetic MA rates …

[Entire Question] - I would like to know what action to take when a vendor charges more than the Medical Assistance rate for services such as purchase of prosthesis. In this case, there were also extenuating circumstances in that the consumer was larger than average size. Are we expected to search for a vendor who will provide the MA rate?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - You ask several questions.

• Should you try to find a vendor who will accept the MA rate? Yes.

• If you can't find a vendor who will accept the MA rate, is it OK to get three price quotations and go with the lowest of the three? Yes.

• Can the consumer pick whichever vendor he wants if he pays the extra? Yes.

• Is the justification for why the vendors would not accept the MA rate sufficient for this case? Yes.

(Reviewed: 03/2018)

13. Should we wait for MA to see if they will pay? If it takes a month does that constitute a delay in services?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - The answer depends on what you plan to do with the consumer. Is there activity imminent which requires that the procedure/work be done quickly? What would the cost of the delay be to the consumer? Some people are on a relatively slow track and a month delay is insignificant. For others, it could cost them a job. You need to decide based on your work with the consumer to date. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

14. We received a receipt for groceries that indicates that consumer paid with Food Stamps.

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - We should not pay for anything paid for by Food Stamps. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

15. I can't find the MA fee for a medical service I need to purchase. Can I authorize at the clinic's usual rate?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - If you can't find the MA rate for the service, then authorize at the rate quoted by the hospital.

If you can find the MA rate, then authorize at the MA rate regardless of the hospital billing at a higher rate. Then when the invoice is received and receiving is done, the person doing the receiving can indicate that payment should only be made at the authorized rate. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

16. I have a consumer who owes for BadgerCare costs incurred prior to becoming a DVR consumer. Can we pay for this?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - DVR cannot pay for expenses incurred prior to the individual becoming a DVR consumer. Therefore, DVR cannot pay for the back BadgerCare costs. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

Reimbursement Questions

17. Is there a policy on paying tax when we reimburse someone? The vendor would not accept a PO.

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Yes, if the vendor will not accept a PO and there is not a vendor at the same price who will. Then we can pay state sales tax. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

18. Where does it say DVR can't reimburse a consumer for state sales tax?

In the policy manual under the heading Rates of Payment is the following:

The service that will meet the consumer's need at the least cost to the DVR shall be the service purchased. In all purchasing, the consumer may choose his or her preferred vendor. In making this selection, if the consumer chooses a product or vendor that exceeds the maximum rate of payment established by the above procedures, the consumer will be responsible for the excess amount.

This is interpreted to mean that if the consumer makes a decision which results in the payment of sales tax when a more cost effective option is available, then the sales tax is an excess or extra cost and it is the consumer's responsibility.

If, on the other hand, the service is not available through use of a purchase order and the only way to purchase it is to pay the sales tax, then this would not be an additional cost created by the consumer's choice and DVR could pay the sales tax. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

19. If a consumer is encouraged to bring in copies of medical records, but no prior authorization, can we reimburse?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - We should be telling the consumers to bring in their medical records if they can obtain them at no cost.

If there would be a cost we would need to authorize the purchase of the records through and authorization for services case note prior to the purchase of the service, following the process outlined in the fiscal manual.

If there was no prior authorization, a prior authorization exception would need to be requested as outlined in the fiscal manual. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

Training Grant

20. Does the training grant fee schedule also apply to Masters and PhD situations where PELL grants are not available?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Sometimes, significant grants and assistance are available to post graduate students, but often special application and special effort is required to apply for them. Where comparable benefits are available, the student will be expected to make the maximum effort required by the law to obtain them. When comparable benefits are not available, each situation will need to be evaluated individually to determine whether an exception to the fee schedule is warranted or not. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

21. Should consumers report grants they receive from DVR to the IRS as income?

No, consumers should not report any value of goods, services, or cash received from DVR as income.

For IRS purposes, their publication 17 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf) Chapter 12 (Other income) page 86 under the section “Welfare and Other Public Assistance Benefits” under the subsection “persons with disabilities” (page 91) states: “You must include in income, compensation benefits you receive for services you perform unless the compensation is otherwise excluded. However, you do not include in income the value of goods, services, and cash that you receive, not in return for your services, but for your training and rehabilitation because you have a disability.

Consumers should contact the IRS directly with any specific questions they may have. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

Transportation

22. If we provide travel funding at public transportation rate, must it be used to ride bus or can they use for gas?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - The consumer can use whatever method he/she wants. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

23. What is the mileage reimbursement rate for consumers using a modified van or a modified car?

For modified vans, the consumer should be paid the turndown rate for modified van as established by the department - http://dwdworkweb/asdfin/travel/travelrates.htm. For modified cars, use the turndown rate for cars. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

24. Mileage Reimbursement …

[Entire Question] - A current consumer is asking to be reimbursed for previous mileage as he states DVR counselor never told him this was available. He said he called CAP and they said we can go back one year. As part of this question-what is the obligation of DVR counselors to inform consumers of services available such as mileage?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - First, as to reimbursement for services not provided, counselors do not have the authority to reimburse for services which were not prior authorized. It is really an appeal issue.

As to your question of counselor's responsibility to inform consumers of all the services they might be eligible for, yes, the Rehabilitation Act does require that we fully inform consumers of the complete scope of services in preparation for development of the IPE. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

25. If I send a PO to a public transportation service and we get an invoice does the consumer need to fill out a travel log?

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] – No. (Reviewed: 03/2018)

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