Expected completion date: 07/2022
The more quickly an individual can begin receiving VR services, the more likely there will be employment success. Therefore, a major goal of RS is to facilitate expedited processes for applications, eligibility determination. development of Individual Plans for Employment (IPEs), and delivery of services. A variety of actions will be undertaken. For example, in offices where more than one counselor is stationed, RS has already established procedures for making same-day appointments available for individuals who inquire about services. Open office hours are being established in smaller offices to facilitate quicker initial interviews. Informational materials will be developed to help potential applicants understand VR eligibility and to encourage them to bring supporting documentation to their first appointments. Development of staff training is underway on eligibility and assessments. Process redesign efforts are focusing on consolidated interviews to cover initial intake, eligibility and plan development. These functions have previously occurred in multiple appointments. RS will also be working with community partners, such as centers for independent living, to assist individuals with disabilities in the referral and application processes. Data analysis will address timeliness standards by type of disability to identify opportunities for improvement. In June 2018, the average timeframe from eligibility to IPE was 92 days, well below the 150 days currently allowed by federal regulations. The June 2018 timeframe represents a 12% reduction in number of days compared to the same time period last year.