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 34: Transportation

34.1 Definition

(Revised 4/3/06, 07/16)

*Transportation means travel and related expenses that are necessary to enable an applicant or eligible individual to participate in a vocational rehabilitation service provided under an individualized plan for employment or for an assessment to determine eligibility, including expenses for training in the use of public transportation.*

Based on 34 CFR Sections 361.5(b)(57) and 361.48(h)

34.2 Transportation Services

Transportation of a consumer for any purpose must be by the most economical and effective carrier.

State law prohibits the state comptroller from issuing a transportation warrant directly to a person who owes the state or federal government delinquent taxes or a defaulted debt (for example, a Texas Guaranteed Student Loan). For more information see the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Hold Procedures.

Transportation warrants are mailed:

Do not use the Consumer Emergency Fund for transportation except in an emergency (that is, a sudden, urgent, dangerous, and usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action). See DARS Business Procedures Manual Chapter 23: Accounting, 23.3 Consumer Emergency Fund.

34.3 Transportation Providers

Public Carrier. A public carrier is a vehicle or set of vehicles in the business of transporting the public, such as:

Transportation provided by a public carrier must be paid via ReHabWorks, may not exceed actual cost, and must include a signed receipt from the provider.

Private or Third-Party Carrier. A private carrier is a vehicle owned by a person or private organization other than the consumer, and not customarily for hire. For example, you may pay the consumer's family member, neighbor, or residential service provider to transport the consumer if he or she does not have:

The Consumer as the Carrier. DARS reimburses the consumer for the use of the consumer's vehicle for transportation when this is the most economical and effective method.

To receive reimbursement for travel expenses, the consumer must submit receipts and other information as deemed appropriate by staff including a statement identifying the starting point, the number of miles traveled, and the destination point.

34.4 Transporting the Consumer in a DARS Staff Member's Vehicle

Transport the consumer in your own vehicle only when transporting the consumer coincides with travel during your regular duties, or there is an emergency. Do not accept reimbursement from the consumer.

Exercise particular care when transporting a consumer in your personal vehicle. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, DARS can be liable should the consumer be injured because of a wrongful act or the negligence of a DARS employee. The DARS employee must exercise the degree of care that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under the same circumstances.

Notify your manager in advance if it is necessary to transport the consumer in a DARS staff member's personal vehicle.

34.5 Types of Transportation

Two types of transportation are available:

You may authorize and pay transportation in advance.

Transportation Type When Provided Limits Required Documentation

Recurring transportation

Recurring payments to the consumer or a third party to offset the consumer's ongoing expenses that are necessary for the consumer to participate in VR assessments or IPE services.

  • Actual cost to consumer for public transportation.
  • Actual mileage times a maximum of 55 cents per mile when paid directly to private or third party.
  • Actual mileage times a maximum of 21 cents per mile*, not to exceed $50 per week, when paid directly to consumer.
  • Service justification case note that includes calculations and source used to define "actual mileage"
  • Verification of consumer participation in service

Non-recurring transportation

One-time payment to the consumer or a third party for transportation that is necessary for the consumer to participate in VR assessments or IPE services.

  • Manager approval required over $400.
  • If the payment is over $400, contact ReHabWorks Data Maintenance Unit by emailing rhw.providerservices@twc.state.tx.us to have the consumer established as a provider.
  • Service justification case note that includes calculations and source used to define "actual mileage"
  • Verification of consumer participation in service

*The rate is adjusted quarterly.

34.6 Airfare

Central Billing

Consumer airfare purchases are completed using the Consumer Central Billed Account (CBA).
Using the CBA for consumer airfare purchases allows caseload-carrying staff members to purchase consumer airfare at state-contracted rates.
In addition to reducing airfare costs for consumer travel, using the CBA has the following benefits:

When using the CBA, reservations should be made at least 14 days in advance and ticketed at least 7 days in advance, to allow for review and to ensure that the itinerary is acceptable to the consumer. For travel being requested during holiday periods, reservations should be made 30 days in advance.

Requesting Consumer Air Travel

The caseload-carrying staff or their designee must:

Note on the DARS1762 any special needs or requirements the consumer or passenger may have. For example, note whether the consumer:

Procedure

The following procedure is used to book and verify the travel.

  1. General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team authorizes the charge to the Consumer CBA.
  2. The travel agency:
    • books the airfare, and
    • emails the reservation and ticket confirmation itinerary to General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team.
  3. General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team:
    • maintains a printed copy of the itinerary in the Consumer CBA; and
    • forwards the confirmation by email to the DARS staff person who requested the travel.
  4. You must respond by email to the DARS Consumer Airfare mailbox to confirm that the forwarded itinerary is acceptable.

    Upon confirming the itinerary as acceptable, complete a service record and service authorization using the date, purchase price, and fees information provided.

  5. Do not authorize the service authorization for payment at this time.
  6. At the airport, the consumer or passenger must provide:

    Once the consumer travel is shown on the bank statement, you will receive a mass email from the DARS Accounting Group staff members paying the bank statement. The email will show all consumer(s) that traveled within that bank statement period. The email will instruct you to add the service authorization number in the appropriate column for your consumer.

  7. The accounting staff will verify and audit the service authorization and then reply back when you can receive and authorize payment for the consumers travel.

Creating the Service Record and Service Authorization

When the DARS staff member who requested travel receives confirmation of travel information from the General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team, he or she must complete a service record and service authorization in ReHabWorks. (See ReHabWorks Users Guide, Chapter 16: Case Service Record, 16.2.10 Consumer Airfare for details.)

Processing the Payment

In order for the General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team to process a payment for consumer travel, the DARS staff person must have created the service record and the SA in ReHabWorks.
If any discrepancies are noted between the service record, SA, and/or invoice received by the General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team, it will email you to resolve the differences.

Cancelled Flights

All airfare is paid with a DARS CBA credit card. If the consumer's ticket requires cancellation, the staff person who requested the travel must notify the General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team immediately by email at DARS Consumer Airfare or by phone at 1-866-440-0423, option 7, for immediate assistance. The responsibilities and conditions stated below apply.

The General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team is responsible for contacting the travel agency to cancel the travel request.

If a consumer changes or cancels his or her flight itinerary for any reason, additional costs incurred will be the responsibility of the consumer.

The DARS staff person is responsible for closing the service authorization in ReHabWorks.

A cancellation fee is charged for all Short's Travel itineraries.

Air Travel Questions

If you have questions about consumer airfare procedures, contact the General Accounting—Consumer Airfare Team for clarification and/or assistance by