As of 10/1/2017, this manual has been retired. For current policies, procedures, and standards for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Division, please refer to the following manuals:

In this manual, references to DARS now refer to TWC. The manual includes both links to public content and links to content available only to staff.

Chapter 16: Closure

16.1 Overview

This chapter contains DRS policy regarding

16.2 Successful Closures

16.2.1 Requirements for a Successful Closure

(Revised 06/09)

Before you may close a case as successful, you must ensure that the following requirements are met:

The employment period is a critical stage in the VR process. During this time, monitor the consumer's stability on the job and ensure that he or she no longer needs vocational rehabilitation services.* Provide counseling and guidance services as needed for the entire period.

*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.56

16.2.2 Substantial Services

A service is "substantial" when it helps the consumer to achieve an employment outcome by

A service is substantial when it meets one or more of the criteria above regardless of the amount of counselor time, effort, and funds expended.

16.2.3 Post-Employment Services

(Revised 06/08, 02/11)

See Chapter 2: Initial Contact and Application, 2.7.3 Reopening a Closed Case for guidance in determining whether post-employment services are necessary. If so,

  1. complete an IPE amendment;
  2. provide a copy to the consumer (and representative, if any); and
  3. enclose a cover letter that includes the intent of the statements in the sample letter, DARS5209, VR Successful Closure with Post-Employment Services letter.

When post-employment services are not necessary,

  1. notify the consumer in writing; and
  2. *include the intent of the statements in the sample letter, DARS5208, VR Successful Closure letter. This letter is an IPE amendment.*

*Based on CFR Sections 361.46(c)(1)(2)(3) and 361.56(d)

16.2.4 Verifying Consumer Employment

To verify consumer employment,

16.2.5 Counseling as the Only Service

When counseling is the only VR service other than employment assistance, show how the counseling constitutes a substantial service. See 16.2.2 Substantial Services for a definition.

16.2.6 Conditions for Successful Employment

(Revised 09/11)

Employment is considered "successful" when, after a reasonable period (not less than 90 days), the following conditions listed have been met:

*Based on 34 CFR Sections 361.5(b)(11) and (16) and 361.56(c)

16.2.7 More than One Employment in the 90-Day Period

A consumer may have more than one job, consecutively or concurrently, during the 90-day period and still meet the requirements for successful closure, as long as each job is consistent with

Consecutive Jobs

Employment is "consecutive" and does not require a new 90-day employment period if the

See Consecutive Employment Scenarios for examples.

Concurrent Jobs

A consumer may have more than one job at the same time during the minimum 90-day period. See Concurrent Employment Scenarios for examples.

16.2.8 Special Types of Employment

(Revised 12/15)

Worker on an Institutional Campus

Some consumers in state schools for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities or who are in state mental hospitals:

The following criteria must be met to close the case as "employed."

The consumer must:

In addition, the work performed must be something that otherwise would be performed by a regular employee, and meals and lodging must be shown as wages at the time of closure. Each institution determines the amount. If the consumer is in the community, the actual salary must be shown as wages.

Job Corps Trainee

The enrollment period is temporary (usually not exceeding two years) for a residential program of education, training, and counseling for disadvantaged youths, age 16 through 21.

This program does not meet the criteria for successful employment. Do not claim a successful closure while the consumer is in training.

Living and Working in Another State

Some consumers, particularly those receiving training out of state (for example, Gallaudet University, National Technical Institute for the Deaf) choose to live and work in another state. If the consumer has completed the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) except for employment assistance and related services and decides to reside in another state,

If the consumer decides to reside in another state, has not substantially completed the IPE, and additional VR services are needed, close the case as unsuccessful and notify the consumer and the VR agency in the other state that the case is closed.

16.2.9 Closing Successful Cases

(Revised 02/11)

Before closing a case as successfully rehabilitated, complete the following actions:

  1. confirm that the criteria for closure and the conditions for successful employment have been met. See
  2. review the case
  3. check for any open service authorizations and any associated financial actions needed;
  4. ensure that verification of employment is in the case file, (see 16.2.4 Verifying Consumer Employment or Chapter 9: Employment Services, 9.6.11 Required Documentation for Closing as Self-Employed);
  5. confirm that
    • substantial services were delivered, and
    • 90 days have passed since the end of substantial services;
  6. ensure that agreements for extended services are still in place, where necessary; and
  7. notify the consumer of closure and availability of post-employment services. Secure the consumer's agreement, or address concerns. Use DARS5209, VR Successful Closure with Post-Employment Services letter or DARS5208, VR Successful Closure letter if the consumer does not need post-employment services.

16.3 Unsuccessful Closures after Eligibility Determination

16.3.1 Requirements for Unsuccessful Closures

You may decide to close a consumer's case as unsuccessful only after you

16.3.2 Reasons and Procedures for Unsuccessful Closures

(Revised 02/11, 04/14)

In every case, the reason for closure must be evident to the reasonable reader. The case file must reflect circumstances leading to closure and the process followed at closure.

After the closure has been processed in ReHabWorks, a closure letter is available to complete, print, and mail to the consumer.

Reason

Definition

Additional Closure Procedure

Death

 

No notification is required.

Contact with the family is required only if DRS can reclaim equipment that was purchased. Be sensitive and minimize disruption to the family caused by reclaiming the equipment.

Consult with the Central Office program specialist for rehabilitation technology about which items to reclaim.

Disability Too Severe

You decide through clear and convincing evidence that VR services will not enable the consumer to achieve an employment outcome because of the severity of the disability. See Chapter 3: Eligibility, 3.9.1 Determining Clear and Convincing Evidence.

Ensure that the case file reflects the factors that contribute to the closure decision.

Refer the consumer to a local provider of nonintegrated extended employment, when available.

Extended (Sheltered) Employment

(VR Only)

You decide to close the case because the consumer

  • is unable to achieve employment in an integrated setting, or
  • chooses to remain in nonintegrated employment.

Use occupation code 699.999 for employment information "not for closure."

Conduct an annual review for two years after case closure and thereafter when requested by the consumer or representative. Use DARS3120, Extended Employment Review; obtain an appropriate signature, and file the DARS3120 in the paper case file.

Extended Services Not Available

The consumer could benefit from supported employment services, but no source of extended services is available.

Document that you explored

  • comparable benefits, natural supports, community services, etc. and
  • the factors that made it impossible to arrange an agreement for extended support.

Incarcerated in prison or jail

The individual will be unavailable to participate in a VR program for a considerable period of time because they are incarcerated in a prison, jail, or other criminal correction facility.

Advise the consumer or their designated representative that they may reapply for services when they are released from incarceration.

Institutionalized

The individual has entered an institution other than a prison or jail, and will be unavailable to participate in a VR program for an indefinite or considerable period of time. (Includes hospitals, nursing homes, treatment centers, etc.).

Provide information about community-based services where appropriate.

Other

Services may be denied or ended for other reasons, such as the consumer has achieved employment without substantial VR services.

Document the reason for closure.

Referred to Another Agency or DARS Program

The services of another agency are more appropriate than a DRS program.

Follow procedures in Chapter 3: Eligibility, 3.11.1 Overview/Referral to Other Resources

Notify the consumer of

  • closure, and
  • the right to appeal.

Transportation Not Feasible

Suitable transportation for accepting or maintaining employment is either not available or not feasible (too costly, inaccessible, etc.).

Consider transportation alternatives, and ensure that the case file reflects an investigation of alternatives and the reasons they were not available or feasible. See Chapter 13: Supplementary Services, 13.3 Transportation Services.

Unable to Locate or Moved Out of State

Contact with the consumer is lost after documented, repeated attempts by telephone and mail over a reasonable period have failed. Also used when the consumer moves out of state and gives little evidence of returning any time soon.

If the consumer moves to another state and additional VR services are necessary,

  • when possible, provide the consumer with the name and address of the VR agency office nearest the new residence (obtain from the appropriate state office of VR services); and
  • upon request, provide the VR agency with copies of appropriate case folder materials.

At time of closure, all consumers must be sent a closure letter generated by RHW that includes the reason for closure and information re: their right to appeal the decision. (Exception: Do not send closure letter for a case where the closure reason is "death.") If you are unable to send a closure letter to a consumer, you must document in the case file your justification for not sending it.

16.3.3 Consumers Considering Residing in Institutions after Unsuccessful Closure

(Revised 05/11)

Help the consumer make an informed choice about residing in an institution, including a nursing home, by informing the consumer of any community support that may help him or her function in the most independent setting possible.

16.4 How to Change an Unsuccessful Closure to a Successful Closure

(Added 05/11, revised 12/15)

Refer to Chapter 2: Initial Contact and Application, 2.7.4 Adjusting the Phase of a Previously Closed Case for information on adjusting the phase of a case.