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. Site Map 12. Chronological Policy Changes

Fiscal/Purchasing



Policy

Comparable Services and Benefits

Before providing any VR services to a consumer, or members of a consumer's family, except for services exempt from determination of comparable benefits, DVR staff must determine if comparable benefits or services exist under any other Federal, State, or local public agencies, by health insurance, or by employee benefits and whether those benefits or services are available to the consumer at the time needed. Services and benefits provided by non-profits (e.g., charities, churches, Goodwill, clothing banks, etc.) and consumer PASS Plans through the Social Security Administration are not considered comparable services or benefits.

If available, the comparable benefits and services shall be used in whole or in part to cover the cost of VR services, unless such determination would interrupt or delay:

The following services are exempt from the determination of comparable benefits:

Comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.

Financial Contribution

The Wisconsin DVR will not apply or require a financial needs test as a condition for providing most VR services. A financial needs test, as applied by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is required for post-secondary education services.*

Consumers shall be advised that they can voluntarily participate in the cost of the services listed in their plan for employment but are not required to do so.

(*Indicates Wisconsin-Imposed Requirements.)

Fee Schedules

Wisconsin policies are based on 34 CFR 361.50(c). Rates of payment for the fee schedule and for contracted services are established to ensure a reasonable cost to the program for each service, not so low as to deny an individual a necessary service, not absolute, and permitting exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

DVR fee schedule rates of payment are determined based upon a competitive pricing analysis and an analysis of DVR costs for these services over a period of time of not less than one year, but no more than two years. As appropriate, DVR will set rates based upon approved State, County, or Federal rates for the same purchased services. If this process is used, it will be specified in the fee schedule.

DVR has established specific agreements with providers of several commonly used and provided statewide services. Each of these has been described in technical specifications to ensure a consistent level of service delivery. The rate of payment for these services are based upon the average time and cost of providing the service as described in the technical specifications and is established with input from the providers.

Services provided under these agreements include:

WDAs may develop rates, procedures, and technical specifications for other services not on the statewide contracted service fee schedule.

DVR has established an exception process to be utilized if a consumer has a service need exceeding the published fee amount for services covered by a fee schedule.

Rates of Payment Determinations

DVR will determine reasonable rates for services. Services that will meet the consumer’s need at the least cost to DVR shall be the service purchased.

In all purchasing, the consumer may choose his or her preferred provider. In making this selection, if the consumer chooses a product or provider that exceeds the maximum rate of payment established by the above procedures, the consumer will be responsible for the excess amount unless an exception has been granted. The DVR shall not place a dollar limit on specific service categories or on the total services provided to the consumer.

The procedures described in DVR’s Exception Request/Process Form (DVR-14918-E) shall be used to request, review and document approval of purchases of goods and services that exceed the prices established by provider comparisons, contracts or fee schedules. The DVR shall not be responsible for the cost of out-of-state services in excess of the cost of in-state services if either service would meet the consumer’s needs.

Required Fiscal Case Documentation

Authorization for Services

All purchased services shall be authorized in the file, as outlined in the Fiscal Manual, prior to the provision of services and according to all legal, state purchasing, DWD, and DVR requirements. The Bureau of Consumer Services Director or Assistant Director, as designated by the Administrator, may approve exceptions, as allowed by law or regulation, to the above policy on an individual case basis. Depending on the circumstances, failure to follow these procedures could result in discipline to the employee. The consumer or service provider could be liable for the unauthorized costs. See Fiscal Manual.

Related Information

Forms/Publications

Rehabilitation Act/Federal Regulations Comparison

Federal Regulations

Sec. 361.5(a)(10) Comparable services and benefits means--

(i) Services and benefits that are--

(A) Provided or paid for, in whole or in part, by other Federal, State, or local public agencies, by health insurance, or by employee benefits;

(B) 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 in accordance with Sec. 361.53; and

(C) Commensurate to the services that the individual would otherwise receive from the designated State vocational rehabilitation agency.

(ii) For the purposes of this definition, comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.

Sec. 361.53(c)(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 IPE, the designated State unit must use those comparable services or benefits to meet, in whole or part, the costs of the vocational rehabilitation services.

Sec. 361.50 Written policies governing the provision of services for individuals with disabilities.

(a) Policies. The State unit must develop and maintain written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation services specified in Sec. 361.48 and the criteria under

which each service is provided. The policies must ensure that the provision of services is based on the rehabilitation needs of each individual as identified in that individual's IPE and is consistent with the individual's informed choice. The written policies may not establish any arbitrary limits on the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services to be provided to the individual to achieve an employment outcome. The policies must be developed in accordance with the following provisions:

(b) Out-of-State services.

(1) The State unit may establish a preference for in-State services, provided that the preference does not effectively deny an individual a necessary service. If the individual chooses an out-of-

State service at a higher cost than an in-State service, if either service would meet the individual's rehabilitation needs, the designated State unit is not responsible for those costs in excess of the cost of the in-State service.

(2) The State unit may not establish policies that effectively prohibit the provision of out-of-State services.

(c) Payment for services.

(1) The State unit must establish and maintain written policies to govern the rates of payment for all purchased vocational rehabilitation services.

(2) The State unit may establish a fee schedule designed to ensure a reasonable cost to the program for each service, if the schedule is--

(i) Not so low as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and

(ii) Not absolute and permits exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

(3) The State unit may not place absolute dollar limits on specific service categories or on the total services provided to an individual.

(d) Duration of services.

(1) The State unit may establish reasonable time periods for the provision of services provided that the time periods are--

(i) Not so short as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and

(ii) Not absolute and permit exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

(2) The State unit may not establish absolute time limits on the provision of specific services or on the provision of services to an individual. The duration of each service needed by an individual must be determined on an individual basis and reflected in that individual's individualized plan for employment.

(e) Authorization of services. The State unit must establish policies related to the timely authorization of services, including any conditions under which verbal authorization can be given.

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

(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 Sec. 361.42(e) or during an extended evaluation under Sec. 361.42(f) 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 Sec. 361.48(a), 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 Sec. 361.42(e) or an extended evaluation under Sec. 361.42(f).

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

(C) Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance under Sec. 361.48(c).

(D) Referral and other services under Sec. 361.48(d).

(E) Job-related services under Sec. 361.48(l).

(F) Personal assistance services under Sec. 361.48(n).

(G) Any auxiliary aid or service (e.g., interpreter services under Sec. 361.48(j), reader services under Sec. 361.48(k)) 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 VR 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.

Sec. 361.53 Comparable services and benefits.

(a) Determination of availability. The State plan must assure that prior to providing 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 Sec. 361.5(b)(10), 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; or

(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 Sec. 361.48(a) 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 investment 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 IPE, 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 in the individual's IPE, the designated State unit must provide vocational rehabilitation services until those comparable services and benefits become available.

(d) Interagency coordination.

(1) The 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 investment system, to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services (other than those services listed in paragraph (b) of this section) that are included in the IPE, including the provision of those vocational rehabilitation 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 public entity for providing the vocational rehabilitation 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 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 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 Investment

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 Sec. 361.48(j)), 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 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.

(1) The State unit must establish and maintain written policies to govern the rates of payment for all purchased vocational rehabilitation services.

(2) The State unit may establish a fee schedule designed to ensure a reasonable cost to the program for each service, if the schedule is--

(i) Not so low as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and

(ii) Not absolute and permits exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

(3) The State unit may not place absolute dollar limits on specific service categories or on the total services provided to an individual.

(d) Duration of services.

(1) The State unit may establish reasonable time periods for the provision of services provided that the time periods are--

(i) Not so short as to effectively deny an individual a necessary service; and

(ii) Not absolute and permit exceptions so that individual needs can be addressed.

(2) The State unit may not establish absolute time limits on the provision of specific services or on the provision of services to an individual. The duration of each service needed by an individual must be determined on an individual basis and reflected in that individual's individualized plan for employment.

(e) Authorization of services. The State unit must establish policies related to the timely authorization of services, including any conditions under which verbal authorization can be given.

Rehabilitation Act

(8) Comparable services and benefits

(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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Activating the headings using enter from the keyboard expands the answer text underneath the question, so it can be read.

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: 07/2014)

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

[Opinion of DVR Policy Analyst] - Yes. (Reviewed: 07/2014)

24. 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: 07/2014)

25. 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: 07/2014)

Fee Schedule/Rate/Cost

6. 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: 06/2014)

11. 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: 06/2014)

15. 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: 06/2014)

18. 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: 06/2014)

20. 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: 07/2014)

21. 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. (Posted: 08/2014)

MA Program Payment/Rates Questions

7. 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: 06/2014)

8. 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: 06/2014)

9. 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: 06/2014)

10. 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: 06/2014)

12. 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: 06/2014)

13. 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: 06/2014)

Reimbursement Questions

14. 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: 06/2014)

16. 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: 06/2014)

17. 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: 06/2014)

Training Grant

3. 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: 06/2014)

5. 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: 06/2014)

Transportation

2. 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: 06/2014)

4. 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. For modified cars, use the turndown rate for cars. (Reviewed: 06/2014)

19. 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: 06/2014)

22. 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: 06/2014)

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