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Placement and Retention Services

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Performance Based Agreement (PBA)

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) purchases placement and retention services through a Performance Based Agreement (PBA) structure. Placement and retention services are intended for individuals who require assistance to prepare for, secure, retain, advance in or regain competitive integrated employment consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.

VRS makes payments for services provided under a PBA after key milestones are reached. The first PBA milestone payment is made after a Placement Plan is signed. A second PBA milestone payment is made after the employment-first shift is completed. The third, and final, PBA milestone payment is made after a person has successfully retained competitive integrated employment for a minimum of 90 days.

PBA milestones, rates and required documentation are identified in the sections below.

PBA Milestone Rates

Each PBA milestone will be pre-authorized by VRS staff and paid once per community partner, per open PBA. Payment of a PBA milestone will constitute payment in full for all services delivered during that phase of the PBA. Each PBA will include up to 20 hours of job coaching provided by the community partner.

Note: If multiple community partners are involved in providing placement and retention services to a job seeker, VRS pays the PBA milestone amounts to one primary community partner. The primary community partner can subcontract with another qualified community partner for service provision and payment.

PBAs initially authorized June 30, 2017 or earlier:

Milestone Without OCSS With OCSS
Signed Placement Plan Meeting $1,000 $1,000
*OCSS Differential N/A $ 400
Employment-First Shift Completed $1,300 $1,300
Successful Placement Closure $1,500 $1,500
Total $3,800 $4,200

PBAs initially authorized July 1, 2017 or later:

Milestone Without OCSS With OCSS
Signed Placement Plan Meeting $1,330 $1,330
*OCSS Differential N/A $ 400
Employment-First Shift Completed $1,200 $1,200
Successful Placement Closure $1,270 $1,270
Total $3,800 $4,200

*Occupational Communication Specialist Services (OCSS) Differential. A separate line identified as "OCSS Differential" will be added on the PBA authorization in the amount of $400 for a total of $4,200.

This differential will be authorized to Community Partners who demonstrate the ability to effectively serve Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) consumers AND have qualified staff that provide a specialized form of job coaching or specialized placement and retention services AND have an Intermediate Plus rating on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview or Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification.

Placement and Retention Services Defined

  • Placement Services
    • May include, but are not limited to: identifying and developing job opportunities, assisting with creating and updating resumes, completing job applications and pre-employment tests, preparing for job interviews, completing cover and thank you letters, making sure the job is a good match, assisting employers to identify and eliminate barriers to both competitive integrated employment and to the advancement of individuals with disabilities.
  • Retention Services
    • May include both job coaching and follow up, are provided to assist the individual's adjustment to competitive integrated employment and to identify and coordinate services needed to maximize skill development and maintain or advance in competitive integrated employment.

Delivery of Placement and Retention Services – Placement Team Approach Defined

Pre-Job Search Activities

Below is a list of activities the VRS Counselor must ensure are completed prior to the Signed Placement Plan Meeting.


If a job seeker is involved with an agency approved project, such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS), many of the pre-job search activities are completed jointly with the VRS Counselor, placement provider and possibly the mental health provider. No Invitation to Placement Team form is completed. (This exception applies only to the Pre-Job Search Activities section of the Placement Team Approach.)

VRS Counselor reviews and discusses with the Job Seeker the following:

  • Placement Team Approach
    • Emphasize roles/expectations for Core Team members: Job Seeker, Placement Professional and VRS Counselor.
    • Note: Other team members may include family, social worker, IL staff, other VRS staff, etc.
  • Informed choice options for receiving placement and retention services.
    • Encourage job seeker to contact a variety of placement professionals when possible.
  • Employment related skills and abilities.
  • Labor market information.
  • Services needed to support job seeker – at a minimum consider:
    • Supported Employment.
    • Independent Living Services.
    • Benefits planning.
    • Job coaching.
    • Reasonable accommodations and assistive technology.
  • Criminal background.
  • Credit report and bankruptcy issues.
  • Verify employment authorization documents.
  • Transportation.
  • Housing.
  • Care arrangements (child, spouse, elder).
  • Medical insurance.
  • Cultural or religious considerations.
  • Disability disclosure.

VRS Counselor ensures the following are completed and made available to the Placement Professional with reasonable time to review prior to the Signed Placement Plan Meeting.

  • Assessment of Vocational Rehabilitation Needs.
  • Completed Sample Employment Application.
  • Invitation to Placement Team.

Job Search Key Components

Signed Placement Plan Meeting
  • Placement Professional leads the conversation and discussion at the meeting.
  • Roles, expectations and responsibilities of job seeker, Placement Professional and VRS Counselor are discussed and agreed upon.
  • All three core team members receive a copy of the signed Placement Plan. VRS Placement Plan (either VRS or Community Partner Placement Plan may be used)
  • Summary report of the meeting is completed by the Placement Professional and, at a minimum, includes:
    • Names, titles and agency of all attendees.
    • The discussion and decisions from the meeting.
    • Date of the first 60-Day Check-In meeting.
    • Date of the first meeting between the job seeker and Placement Professional.

The Summary Report for Signed Placement Plan Meeting form or an email that includes the information from the Summary Report form along with an invoice must be received by VRS prior to approving payment for 1st PBA milestone.

  • Sample Summary Report for Signed Placement Plan Meeting
  • Any core team member can discontinue placement and retention services if objectives are not being met or progress is not being achieved. The team member wishing to discontinue services is responsible for contacting the other team members.

Frequent Communication, Problem Solving and Collaboration

It is expected that frequent communication, problem solving and collaboration will occur between all team members throughout the entire placement and retention services process.

Placement Professional Communication Expectations

  • At least weekly communication attempts with the job seeker.
  • Completed resume copy sent to VRS.
  • Two written communication updates per month, on or before the 1st and 15th, will continue through closure of placement and retention services.
    • Email the Communication Update form or a copy of your case notes with the same information requested on the Communication Update form.

60-Day Check-In

All core team members meet in person at least every 60 days until the job seeker has obtained competitive integrated employment and worked their first shift. These recurring meetings provide an opportunity to:

  • Review progress.
  • Identify and address any barriers.
  • Amend Employment or Placement Plan as needed.
  • Implement any new strategies.

Post-Job Offer, Pre-Job Start

  • Placement Professional contacts VRS Counselor when job offer is received.
  • Placement Professional discusses with job seeker and VRS Counselor:
    • Any needed supports.
    • Uniforms, work clothes, shoes, if needed.
    • Any reasonable accommodations or assistive technology needs.
    • Transportation arrangements to and from work.
    • Any scheduling conflicts such as medical appointments or care arrangements.
  • Address any new discoveries impacting successful competitive integrated employment.
  • Consider meeting with the job seeker to assist with preparation for first day of work.
  • Communicate with employer as appropriate and convey findings to VRS Counselor.

Employment-First Shift Completed

Within seven days of employment start date provide the VRS Counselor with the job offer information.

  • Submit either the Communication Update form or an email that includes the same information from the Communication Update form along with an invoice for the 2nd PBA milestone payment.

Post Job-Start Support

  • Support must match the individual's unique vocational rehabilitation needs.
  • Placement Professional or Job Coach must provide, at a minimum, follow up at least every other week.
  • Twice monthly Communication Updates continue until closure from placement and retention services.
  • The 20 hours of job coaching included in the PBA are documented using either the Job Coaching Report form or other documentation which includes the information in the Job Coaching Report form.
  • The Job Coaching Report is provided to the VRS Counselor at least every other week. Reports documenting job coaching services are required for job coaching hours within a PBA and when additional job coaching hours have been approved and authorized.
  • Sample Job Coaching Report

30-Day Post Job-Start Check-In

The VRS Counselor conducts at least one check-in with the individual following their first 30 days of employment.

Conditions for Successful Closure from Placement and Retention Services

  • The job is consistent with the goals and services outlined in the Employment Plan.
  • The individual and VRS counselor agree the employment is satisfactory and the individual is performing well on the job.
  • The individual must:
    • Be paid at or above the highest applicable federal or state or prevailing minimum wage; and
    • Be paid at or above the customary rate and be eligible for the same level of benefits as persons without disabilities doing similar work and with comparable training, skills, and experiences with that employer.
  • The individual has made substantial progress toward consistently working the number of hours per week established in the Placement Plan.
  • The work is performed in a competitive integrated employment setting.
  • Any ongoing supports are adequate to meet the individual's needs with respect to retaining employment.
  • The 90 days of employment began after any VRS paid training services such as On-the-Job Training have been completed.
  • The 90 days of employment must be with the same employer and the same position unless the individual has made the informed decision for successive temporary employment assignments.
  • For Supported Employment situations, follow-up services have been provided for a minimum of 90 days after the individual has stabilized on the job and has made the transition to extended ongoing supports.
  • The VRS record of service does not have to be closed before the community partner can receive the final PBA milestone payment as VRS may still be involved in providing other service to the individual.

Successful Closure from Placement and Retention Services

Provide VRS with the details regarding the successful closure. Consider using the Placement and Retention Services Closure Summary Case Note Considerations form as a guide.

  • Submit the summary information details regarding the successful closure from placement and retention services using either the Communication Update form or an email along with an invoice for the final PBA milestone payment.

Updated May 22, 2017

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