EMPLOYMENT STABILITY AND THE MOVEMENT FROM TIME LIMITED TO LTESS FUNDING. BACKGROUND.
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While conducting LTESS case reviews and in reviewing the LTESS applications received, OESSP staff have found that there is some confusion on the part of some ESO and DRS field staff regarding the appropriate time to submit a LTESS application and when LTESS funding should begin.
Documentation indicated that some cases have been funded by LTESS too soon. Documentation indicated that the consumer had not been “stable” in the job for 30 days before long term follow along services began.
Documentation indicated that some cases began LTESS funding long after “stability” was reached and the case had been put in “Employed” status by the DRS counselor.
“Stability” is the direct/indirect intervention hours by the employment specialist divided by the number of consumer work hours for that time period (usually calculated weekly and/or monthly). Example: 10 intervention hours divided by 20 consumer work hours is 50%. While DRS case service and LTESS funds pay for employment specialist transportation and documentation, the hours spent providing these services do not enter into the calculation of “stability”.
Before the 30 day stability period ends, a LTESS application must be received no later than the 20thof the month preceding the start of follow along services. This ensures that LTESS funds will support LTFA after time limited services by the DRS counselor ends.
We recommend the ESO submit a LTESS application as soon the job coach determines the consumer’s job match is successful and the consumer will reach stability on the job. The LTESS application should not be submitted upon referral by DRS to the ESO or at the very beginning of training.
Once the consumer is stable for 30 days, the DRS counselor moves the case from “Service (18)” to “Employed (22)” status. LTESS funding should coincide with this case movement. The DRS counselor will then keep the case open for at least 90 more days.
Once the consumer has worked for those 90 days and remains stable on the job, the counselor closes the case as successfully closed in Employment (AWARE status “Closed – Rehab” old status 26).
LTESS funds vocational support services that are necessary and sufficient for consumers to maintain employment. Case management, independent living or other services that are not vocational in nature should not be billed to LTESS funds. Per the Code of Virginia, LTESS funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly to fund those services.