Extended employment is defined as work in a "non-integrated or sheltered setting for which compensation is in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act." Put simply, if the employment setting has the eligible individual working in an environment where a majority of the other employees have disabilities, or if the eligible individual is being compensated at less than minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the placement is considered to be extended employment. Effective October 1, 2001, extended employment will no longer be considered as an employment outcome. This means that any case where an eligible individual chooses to go to work in a sheltered or extended setting cannot be closed as Status 26 (Closed, Rehabilitated). More importantly, an eligible individual who expresses a goal of working in an extended setting does not have a vocational goal that satisfies the requirement for eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services. The following represent RSB’s policy regarding eligible individuals in extended employment:
(A) If RSB staff come into contact with an applicant who expresses an employment goal of extended employment, they should:
1. Not open a VR case
2. Refer the applicant to services available at the local One Stop Career Center
3. Refer the applicant to local extended employment providers
4. Assist the applicant with certification for eligibility for extended employment
5. Explain the availability of VR services if the applicant considers competitive employment (and explain that competitive employment is the purpose of VR)
6. Explain that VR services can be provided to an applicant in an extended employment setting if they are preparing for competitive employment, either now or in the future
7. Refer the applicant to the Social Security Administration (SSA) or to a Benefit Planner to access information regarding their ability to work while receiving benefits from SSA
(B) If an eligible individual with an open VR case is working in, or accepts, employment in an extended setting, RSB staff should:
1. Determine if the eligible individual has an employment goal of competitive employment
2. Determine if the extended employment placement is consistent with training to prepare the eligible individual for competitive employment. For purposes of this policy, any period of extended employment planned for less than 6 months will be considered as transitional employment. Any plan which proposes extended employment in excess of 6 months must be approved by the Deputy Director or designee. If the employment cannot be considered as transitional employment leading to competitive employment, the case should be closed in Status 28 or Status 30 as appropriate.
(C) If an eligible individual’s VR case is closed due to their having accepted extended employment and being unable to achieve competitive employment, or having made an informed choice to remain in extended employment, RSB staff shall:
1. Annually review and reevaluate the status of the eligible individual for a period of two years (or longer if requested by the eligible individual) to determine if their interests, priorities and needs could lead to an competitive employment closure. (RSB state office will provide a periodic printout with a list of eligible individuals who require review.)
2. Ensure that the eligible individual or their representative have input into the review/reevaluation, and document that input in the case record.
3. Make maximum efforts to assist the eligible individual in engaging in competitive employment.
4. Ensure that the eligible individual (or his/her representative) signs an acknowledgment that the review has taken place
NOTE: Per memorandum dtd.11-06-01 Subject: Services for Consumers in Extended Employment
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