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2012 Florida Partners In Crisis Annual Conference

July 12-13, 2012
Overview of the
Vocational Rehabilitation
Program in Florida
A Federal/State Partnership with
To Assist Individuals with
Disabilities with Employment
1918 – The Soldiers Rehabilitation Act
Supplemented traditional pension given to soldiers
with a disability with vocational rehabilitation
where employment was “feasible”
1920 – Smith-Fess Act Extended vocational rehabilitation
to civilians
1935 – Social Security Act Established vocational
rehabilitation as a permanent program
1973 – Rehabilitation Act
Right to participate in planning a rehabilitation
program Choice
It is the mission of the Florida
Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation to help individuals
with disabilities achieve gainful
employment and the highest
level of independence
person with a physical or mental
 Has
 Or
a record of such impediment
is regarded as having one
A disability is defined by the ADA as a
physical or mental impairment of a
person that substantially limits one or
more major life activities such as…
Psychological Functioning, etc…
Clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards
addressing discrimination by reinstating a broad
scope of protection under ADA
The term “disability” must now be construed in
favor of broad coverage of employees “to the
maximum extend permitted
“Major life activity” –Major bodily functions
The individual requires vocational
rehabilitation services to prepare for,
obtain, retain, or regain employment.
Receiving Social Security Disability Income
or Supplemental Security Income and intend
to become employed.
An eligibility decision should be made
within 60 days after you apply for services.
Speech and Language Therapy
On-Site Job/Task Analysis
Training and Education After High
Medical and Psychological Diagnosis
and Treatment
Vocational Evaluation
Career Planning
Job Placement
Counseling and Guidance
Assessment of Technology Needs
Job Coaching
Mental Illnesses In The Workplace
28 million workers in the U.S. workforce
experience a mental or substance use
#1 Alcohol abuse/dependence
#2 Major depression
#3 Social phobia, an anxiety disorder
Hertz, Rob P. PhD and Christine Baker,
“The Impact of Mental Disorders on Work,” June 2002
Stigma is the aura of shame and blame
It is a barrier to well-being and a full life
It holds applicants back
Deters people from seeking help
May cause discomfort for returning
Stigma is not just the use of the wrong
word or action
 Stigma is a barrier and discourages
individuals and their families from
getting the help they need due to fear of
being discriminated against
 Many people would rather tell employers
they have committed a petty crime and
were in jail than admit to being in a
psychiatric hospital
What People Believe….
Nearly half of the population associate mental
illness with violence
57% believe that mental illnesses can not be
diagnosed as accurately as physical illnesses
Many peers think that mental illness is a poor
excuse for bad behavior
38% unwilling to be friends with a person
having a mental health problem
64% unwilling to have a person with
schizophrenia as a co-worker
People with mental illnesses can’t hold
Media often ridicules mental illnesses and
portrays them as depressed and dangerous
Horrific events are covered by the media,
whereas, stories of hope and recovery are
A sense of purpose
 A sense of pride
 A sense of belonging
 Valuable social interaction
 Role Recovery
work is so integral to one’s self-worth,
finding and belonging to a mental
health-friendly workplace is of great
significance to people who have
experienced mental illnesses
New EEOC Rules on Criminal Histories May Affect Small-Business Hiring
Many small businesses had no idea there was anything
wrong with a blanket ban on hiring anybody with a criminal
In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) signaled a
crackdown on employers that use criminal histories to discriminate against job
applicants illegally. But to judge from conversations with business owners, labor
lawyers, and human resources consultants, many small businesses had no
idea there was anything wrong with practices like a blanket ban on hiring
anybody with a criminal record. The notion that using criminal records in
employment decisions could constitute discrimination has been government
policy since at least the 1970s. The EEOC has in the past issued policy
statements about how employers may use criminal records without running
afoul of the Civil Rights Act, but in April the agency published new enforcement
guidance. Though the underlying theory appears unchanged, labor lawyers say
the new policy requires companies to establish procedures to show they are not
using criminal records to discriminate by race or national origin
On-The-Job Training
What is On-the-Job Training
Making the Match
To expand the employment opportunities for
most individuals receiving SSDI and/or SSI
Reduce their dependency on SSA
Less than 1% of SSDI and SSI beneficiaries
attain paid employment enabling them to
be self-sufficient
One-third of the people who leave the rolls
return in 3 years
If one half of one percent of those
individuals were to attain self-supporting
employment, savings would total $3.5
Address barriers that beneficiaries encounter
when obtaining/returning to work
Expand availability of health care services and
medical coverage
Eliminate work disincentives
Provide enhanced benefits planning and
assistance from service providers
To expand the number of service providers
who are available to serve beneficiaries.
Increase the number of beneficiaries entering
the work force.
Reduce dependency on cash benefits.
Social Security Administration (SSA)
Employment Networks (ENs)
State VR Agencies
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance
Disability Rights Florida
Designated by Congress to oversee the
implementation of the Ticket to Work
Responsible for writing the Regulations for
the TTWP
Monitoring the success/short-comings of the
Determining which beneficiaries will receive
Has final say on all decisions
Organizations or groups of organizations that
have come together to provide necessary
services to a beneficiary in support of an
employment goal
Recruited by MAXIMUS; approved by SSA
Responsible for
overseeing the
administration/dayto-day functions of
the TTWP
Maintain list of
available ENs
Ensure all
information is in
accessible format to
Resolve payment
Monitor ENs to
ensure adequate
choices are available
to beneficiaries
Ensure EN services
are available to
beneficiaries in all
geographical areas
SSA funds P & A services, an advocacy and
protection program dedicated to beneficiaries
of Social Security.
Ticket beneficiaries must contact this
program for rights and remedies under the
Ticket Program.
* Between Ages 18 to 64
* Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits
* Completed a Medical Review by SSA
* Once you are eligible, contact MAXIMUS for
information regarding the Program
* Select an Employment Network with which
to receive services
* Activate your Ticket by signing a Plan of
* Once you are working take advantage of
Ongoing Support Services to help you
stabilize in employment
Preliminary Consultation (Information &
Benefits Summary and Analysis
Work Incentives Analysis and Plan
Optional Services as required
Preliminary Consultation (Information and Referral)
This service is offered to eligible DVR consumers early in
the rehabilitation process and may be provided to
consumers at Referral or Application Statuses.
DVR Orientations and Initial Interviews will be revised to
include basic information concerning the impact of
working on SSA benefits and a general review of the
Work Incentives available to Ticket-holders.
Benefits Summary & Analysis (BS&A)
This service is for consumers in Plan Development to Service
statuses or beyond and includes verification of benefits
through the Benefits Planning Query (BPQY), gathering
information about benefits from all relevant sources, such as
SSA, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, subsidized housing,
etc., and conducting a detailed, in-person intake interview
with the consumer to begin to analyze which work incentives
could apply to their situation and the impact considering
various scenarios (i.e., not working, working part-time and
working full-time).
Work Incentives Analysis & Plan (WIAP)
This service is for individuals in Plan Development
to Service statuses and beyond and have an offer of
employment in a specific job or are working
already, and will be working more than 10 hours a
week. It includes verification of benefits (BPQY),
gathering information about benefits from all
relevant sources, such as SSA, Medicaid, Medicare,
food stamps, subsidized housing, etc., and
conducting a detailed, in person intake interview
with the consumer to begin to analyze which work
incentives could apply to their situation.
Assisting a consumer with establishing an
IRWE (Impairment Related Work Expense)
Assisting a consumer with establishing an
Employer Subsidy.
Assisting a consumer with resolution of a
specific benefits issue, e.g., overpayment
Assisting with the development of a Plan
for Achieving Self Support (PASS)
How do I become a vendor websites
Register with the My Florida MarketPlace (MFMP)
Statewide electronic procurement system at:
This online registration must take place prior to DVR’s
Standard Vendor Application process being finalized
A vendor is a person or business that works with people
who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, gain
or retain employment by providing training opportunities
On-The-Job Training & The Employer
Provide Information for the Monthly Progress Report
The provider is contractually responsible for
the development and submission of the OJT
Track and report OJT Participant’s training hours
Report progress of OJT Participant’s on learning
the various components of the job
Identify any Training Strategies to address
On-The-Job Training & The Employer
Participant Payment & Employer Reimbursement
OJT Participant is paid by the Employer
Reimbursement to the Employer occurs one time
per month based on number of hours recorded on
the Monthly Training Progress Report multiplied by
the total hourly rate on the approved OJT Agreement
If VR provides services, helps the Ticketholder get a job and closes the case, the
Ticket-holder’s Ticket still has value!
Even if the Ticket-holder is working, the
Ticket-holder can be referred to an EN for
additional services.
 Provide
Beneficiaries with Other
Service Provider Options
 Ensure
Seamless Sequential
Services from VR and EN
 Address
the Need for a System of
Ongoing Support
Must be an Employment Network as approved
by SSA
Must be certified by DVR as a Vendor of EN
DVR will execute a Memorandum of
Agreement with EN to initiate the partnership.
Call DVR for more information and assistance
– (850) 245-3341 or via website –
Referral of Clients for Post Employment Services
At case closure, the Division may refer consumers
to an EN, who is also a qualified DVR vendor of
Employment Network Services, for job-related
services that will aid a consumer in achieving
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) levels of
employment. SGA is achieved when a consumer is
employed for nine (9) months within a twelve (12)
month period and the consumer is earning, during
that period of time, SGA earnings established by
the SSA.
Payment for Services
$1000 for providing ongoing support that
results in the consumer being able to achieve
at least 7 months of SGA employment that
will lead to 9 months of SGA employment and
a valid claim for DVR to be reimbursed for the
cost of its services.
Total Cases – 1301
31.6% of total – above SGA
68.4% below SGA
21.6% at 75% - 99% of SGA
28.5% at 50% - 74% of SGA
18.3% at 49% or less of SGA
Cases below 50% of SGA (238)
217 – Average Weekly Wage if working fulltime would be at SGA
8 – at SGA if working 20 hours per week
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit
was designed to provide a
tax incentive to employers
for hiring individuals with disabilities
and certain target groups to help them
enter or re-enter the labor force
Federal Tax Credits
From $2,400 up to $9,600 worth of credit
The Veterans Opportunity to
Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of
2011, provides seamless
transition for Service members,
expands education and training
opportunities for Veterans, and
provides tax credits for
employers who hire Veterans
with service-connected
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Washington, DC 20420
Reviewed/Updated Date: June 11, 2012
Gloria Harrison
Department of Economic Opportunity
WOTC Program
MSC G-300
TALLAHASSEE, FL 32399-4140
Phone: 850-921-3299
Email: gloria.harrison@deo.myflorida.c
Tax Credits and Financial Incentives
Architectural/Transportation Tax
Deduction: IRS Code Section 190,
Barrier Removal
Allows businesses an annual deduction
of up to $15,000 for expenses incurred
to remove physical, structural, and
transportation barriers for persons with
disabilities in the workplace
Tax Credits and Financial
Small Business Tax Credit: IRS
Code 44, Disabled Access Credit
Helps small businesses cover the
cost of making their businesses
accessible, up to a maximum
benefit of $5,000
I.R.S. Code Section 44
Disabled Access Credit
Sign language interpreters
Readers or materials
(Braille or large print)
for employees who have
visual impairments
Adaptive equipment
Consulting fees
The VR Corporate Consultant works
one on one with employers to assist
with disability and employment issues
ADA training and consultation
Reasonable accommodation services
and information
Disability Awareness Training
Grant Philosophy
The Able Trust's mission is to be a key leader in providing
Floridians with disabilities successful opportunities for
employment. One way our mission is accomplished is
through the Grant Program.
The goal of The Able Trust grant program is to provide
funds to qualifying organizations to assist individuals with
disabilities gain competitive employment of their choice in
their community.
The Able Trust recognizes the great diversity of people
across the state of Florida and is fully committed to
providing grant funding opportunities that serve different
disability populations in both Florida’s urban and rural
The Able Trust will accept proposals for
review from organizations that are either
governmental agencies or are currently
qualified as tax exempt under Internal
Revenue Code Section 501(c) 3 which
demonstrate an interest to serve the
employment needs of individuals with
disabilities in the state of Florida
The Able Trust
Ability Awards
Annually recognizes small and large
employers for best disability employment practices
Award recipients receive
a commendation from the Governor
Accept Difference
Value Difference
Teach Difference
Till Difference Doesn’t Make a Difference
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
2002-A Old Saint Augustine Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-4862
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