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FAQs

  1. Can Career Counseling and information and referral services be provided in groups and on-site at the 14c work site?
  2. Can you please discuss what your expectations are for the content of career counseling and information and referral services? What areas specifically would you like to have covered?
  3. If an individual working in subminimum wage employment refuses CC&I&R, can they continue to work in subminimum wage?
  4. If an individual reside in one State, but works in a 14c in another State, which VR program is responsible for providing the CC&I&R?
  5. If a CRP who is a 14(c) entity is contracted to provide an evaluation in the community for the purpose of the VR eligibility process and through the evaluation documentation it supports ineligibility, can the participant go into the 14 (c) facility to work for subminimum wage? Is there a conflict having the 14 (c) CRP provide the evaluation and then become the provider of employment at subminimum wage?
  6. If a school system has a contract with an entity to pay youth a sub-minimum wage that was begun prior to the publication of the regulations, is that contract ‘grandfathered’ in?
  7. Will someone who is working in a subminimum wage job and at the same time working a competitive job in the community, be required to participate in CC&I&R?
  8. If a VR program closed a case a year ago and knew that the individual was working in a subminimum wage job at the time of closure, does that person become one of the known individuals to the VR program, even though they "knew" the person was in SMW before Section 511 took effect? If the answer is yes, how far back would the VR program need to go in terms of previously closed cases qualifying as being "known?"
  9. If an individual is working in competitive integrated employment part of the day and working in a subminimum wage job for another part of the day, would the individual still have to receive career counseling and information and referral services at the prescribed time frames in order to continue working in the subminimum wage job?
  10. Is the IEP sufficient documentation to verify that the individual received transition services from the secondary school?
  11. If a youth refuses to participate in the VR process of to receive career counseling services, can they still work in subminimum wage:
  12. Can a 14c holder provide pre-employment transition services?
  13. Are all Ability One contracts classified as not competitive integrated employment, even if they meet all of the requirements for CIE found in the Rehab Act and the final Regs?
  14. If an individual is working in an Ability One contract that pays above minimum wage, do they still have to fulfill the requirements of Section 511?
  15. Once CC&I&R is provided to an individual, is it the responsibility of the VR program or the 14c holder to be sure that CC&I&R is provided again during the subsequent required time frames?
  16. If an individual that received CC&I&R at one 14c leaves and becomes employed at another 14c that same year, does he/she have to get CC&I&R again that same year because they are with a new 14c employer?
  17. Can a contractor sign the documentation that CC&I&R was provided to an individual if the VR program used the contractor to provide the service?
  18. Can the contractor sign the form verifying that the CC&I&R documentation was transmitted to the individual?
  19. If a youth informs the VR agency that they are not interested in pursuing competitive integrated employment, can the youth be found ineligible and work in subminimum wage employment if they fulfill all of the other requirements for Section 511?
  20. Can you identify the closure codes we should use when a youth is found ineligible for services either prior to or after IPE for the purposes of Section 511?
  21. If a youth was working in subminimum wage employment prior to July 22, 2016, and then wishes to leave his/her current employer and start another job for a new 14c employer at subminimum wage, would he/she be subject to the requirements of Section 511?
  22. If a youth wishes to enter subminimum wage employment but did not receive transition services, or does not have proof of completion of transition services and the information is not available from any school, and the youth did not receive pre-employment transition services, how can the youth fulfill the requirements for this documentation prior to entering subminimum wage employment assuming they fulfill the other requirements?
  23. 34 CFR 397.40(b) makes it clear that a VR program must provide information on self-advocacy, self-determination and peer mentoring training opportunities available in an individual’s geographic area within 30 days of being referred to the VR program by a 14c holder with less than 15 employees. Does the same time frame of 30 days apply for CC&I&R for adults that are currently working in a subminimum wage jobs once they are made known to the VR program?
  24. If an individual is working for an employer that pay more than the Federal minimum wage, but less than the State minimum wage, do the Section 511 requirements apply?
  25. Can a Guardian take the place of their ward in receipt of CC&I&R without the individual present and have it count as though the individual received CC&I&R?
  26. What are the time frame requirements for the provision of CC&I&R from year to year – How much flexibility is there in meeting the annual date requirement from one year to the next?

  1. Can Career Counseling and information and referral services be provided in groups and on-site at the 14c work site?

    Response:  Yes to both

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  2. Can you please discuss what your expectations are for the content of career counseling and information and referral services?  What areas specifically would you like to have covered?

    Response:  RSA has not been prescriptive around what elements should be included in career counseling.  The purpose is to help individuals entering into, or working in subminimum wage jobs to make an informed choice about whether they want to enter into competitive integrated employment. Career counseling can include information on how to help the individual identify their strengths, abilities, capabilities, and vocational interests.  It may include information about how work may affect SSI or SSDI benefits, labor market information and information on how an interested individual can apply for VR services.  Career counseling can be provided individually or in a group setting. 
    The "information and referral" should include information on Federal and State programs and other resources in the individual’s geographic area that offer employment-related services and supports designed to enable the individual to explore, discover, experience, and attain competitive integrated employment.

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  3. If an individual working in subminimum wage employment refuses CC&I&R, can they continue to work in subminimum wage?

    Response:  No.  An adult or a youth that refuses CC&I&R is not able to continue working in SMW employment if he/she refuses to receive the CC&I&R. 

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  4. If an individual reside in one State, but works in a 14c in another State, which VR program is responsible for providing the CC&I&R? 

    Response:  There is no prescriptive guidance on this scenario.  It is up to the VR programs to determine who is responsible for what.  If the scenario happens frequently enough, it might be helpful for the agencies to develop an agreement between themselves identifying responsibilities.

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  5. If a CRP who is a 14(c) entity is contracted to provide an evaluation in the community for the purpose of the VR eligibility process and through the evaluation documentation it supports ineligibility, can the participant go into the 14 (c) facility to work for subminimum wage?  Is there a conflict having the 14 (c) CRP provide the evaluation and then become the provider of employment at subminimum wage?

    Response:  There is no prohibition against this scenario.  The VR program should use its best judgment as to whether this scenario would present a conflict of interest and should make their own determination as to whether or not they should use the CRP for evaluation/assessment services.

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  6. If a school system has a contract with an entity to pay youth a sub-minimum wage that was begun prior to the publication of the regulations, is that contract ‘grandfathered’ in?

    Response:  No

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  7. Will someone who is working in a subminimum wage job and at the same time working a competitive job in the community, be required to participate in CC&I&R? 

    Response:  Yes

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  8. If a VR program closed a case a year ago and knew that the individual was working in a subminimum wage job at the time of closure, does that person become one of the known individuals to the VR program, even though they "knew" the person was in SMW before Section 511 took effect? If the answer is yes, how far back would the VR program need to go in terms of previously closed cases qualifying as being "known?"

    Response:  The VR program should go back to the date that WIOA was signed into law (July 22, 2014) when identifying "known" individuals that were closed with the VR program’s knowledge that they were entering or planning to enter subminimum wage employment.

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  9. If an individual is working in competitive integrated employment part of the day and working in a subminimum wage job for another part of the day, would the individual still have to receive career counseling and information and referral services at the prescribed time frames in order to continue working in the subminimum wage job?

    Response:  Yes, they would have to receive the CC&I&R at the prescribed intervals (every six months for the first year and annually thereafter for the life of the subminimum wage employment).

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  10. Is the IEP sufficient documentation to verify that the individual received transition services from the secondary school?

    Response:  Yes, the IEP is sufficient, but please be aware that the school provides the documentation to the VR program, who would provide it to the youth, who would provide it to the 14c holder.  Please be aware that FERPA rules regarding confidentiality apply in the transmittal of information to the 14c holder.

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  11. If a youth refuses to participate in the VR process of to receive career counseling services, can they still work in subminimum wage:

    Response:  No.  This answer is found on page 526 of the Final Rule for the VR program and says:
    "If a youth chooses not to participate in the activities required by section 511 of the Act and final part 397, or chooses to opt out of the vocational rehabilitation process entirely, such a choice will impact the permissibility of the youth to work at subminimum wage and preclude him or her from obtaining subminimum wage employment given the limitations imposed by section 511 of the Act and final part 397. Accordingly, DSUs should inform youth with disabilities and/or their guardians of the youth’s ineligibility for subminimum wage employment if he or she refuses to participate in the required activities."

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  12. Can a 14c holder provide pre-employment transition services?

    Response:  Yes.  Page 388 of the Final Rule for the VR program states:
    Similarly, nothing in the Act prohibits States from coordinating the provision of pre-employment transition services with entities that hold certificates issued by the Department of Labor under section 14(c) of the FLSA. However, the Department strongly encourages training in competitive integrated settings to prepare students for competitive integrated employment. In addition, there is no statutory basis here to require that self-advocacy instruction be provided by a specific entity.

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  13. Are all Ability One contracts classified as not competitive integrated employment, even if they meet all of the requirements for CIE found in the Rehab Act and the final Regs?

    Response: Each Ability One contract work setting must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it qualifies as competitive integrated employment. Just because a work setting is operated under an Ability One contract, does not automatically disqualify it as CIE. Each case must be evaluated individually.

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  14. If an individual is working in an Ability One contract that pays above minimum wage, do they still have to fulfill the requirements of Section 511?

    Response: Section 511 requirements only apply if an individual is working for a 14c holder and earning less than minimum wage. There are some circumstances when an individual is working in an Ability One contract and is earning above minimum wage, but at some point during the year, their productivity is reevaluated and they may end up earning less than minimum wage based on a low productivity evaluation. In that case, the requirements in Section 511 apply. If the individual would never be earning less than minimum wage, they would not have to meet the requirements in Section 511.

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  15. Once CC&I&R is provided to an individual, is it the responsibility of the VR program or the 14c holder to be sure that CC&I&R is provided again during the subsequent required time frames?

    Response:The final responsibility for the provision of CC&I&R rests with the VR program, so the VR program would be responsible for ensuring that the CC&I&R is provided in subsequent years. Although arranging for the provision of CC&I&R to individuals is ideally achieved through a cooperative partnership between the VR program and the 14c holder, the ultimate responsibility for the provision of initial and ongoing CC&I&R rests with the VR program.

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  16. If an individual that received CC&I&R at one 14c leaves and becomes employed at another 14c that same year, does he/she have to get CC&I&R again that same year because they are with a new 14c employer?

    Response: No, the documentation that the individual received CC&I&R would "follow" the individual to the new employer.

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  17. Can a contractor sign the documentation that CC&I&R was provided to an individual if the VR program used the contractor to provide the service?

    Response:Yes

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  18. Can the contractor sign the form verifying that the CC&I&R documentation was transmitted to the individual?

    Response: No, the verification of transmittal to the individual must be signed by the VR program, even if the service was contracted.

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  19. If a youth informs the VR agency that they are not interested in pursuing competitive integrated employment, can the youth be found ineligible and work in subminimum wage employment if they fulfill all of the other requirements for Section 511?

    Response: If a youth makes an informed choice not to pursue competitive integrated employment, the youth can be determined ineligible for VR services any time after application and may enter subminimum wage employment if they have fulfilled the other requirements in Section 511. The basis for this determination is found in 34 CFR 361.43.

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  20. Can you identify the closure codes we should use when a youth is found ineligible for services either prior to or after IPE for the purposes of Section 511?

    Response:
    Scenario One: A youth applicant for VR services makes an informed choice prior to an eligibility determination that he/she is not interested in pursuing CIE and wants to enter subminimum wage employment. The counselor finds the person ineligible.

    1. Type of exit:

      1. Code 3: Individual exited after eligibility, but prior to a signed IPE (if after IPE)
      2. Code 0: Individual exited as an applicant, prior to eligibility determination or trial work. (if individual makes the determination prior to eligibility determination).
    2. Reason for exit:
      Code 19
      : Other. RSA will be adding a code to capture anyone choosing subminimum wage employment in the next 911 revision, so for now, use code 19.

    Scenario 2: A youth applies and is found eligible and has an IPE written. After the IPE is written and services have been provided, the youth determines that he/she is no longer interested in pursuing CIE and is closed as ineligible.

    1. Type of exit:
      Code 4
      : Individual exited after an IPE without an employment outcome.
    2. Reason for exit:

      1. Code 6: Ineligible: After the individual was determined to be eligible, is later determined not to have met eligibility criteria.

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  21. If a youth was working in subminimum wage employment prior to July 22, 2016, and then wishes to leave his/her current employer and start another job for a new 14c employer at subminimum wage, would he/she be subject to the requirements of Section 511?

    Response: Yes, the youth would have to fulfill all of the requirements of Section 511 as the new employer would have to have all of the documentation required to employ a youth at subminimum wage.

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  22. If a youth wishes to enter subminimum wage employment but did not receive transition services, or does not have proof of completion of transition services and the information is not available from any school, and the youth did not receive pre-employment transition services, how can the youth fulfill the requirements for this documentation prior to entering subminimum wage employment assuming they fulfill the other requirements?

    Response: If the youth did not receive transition services or there is no documentation available verifying this fact, and the youth did not receive pre-employment transition services, then this requirement is waived and the youth can go about fulfilling the other requirements of Section 511 and enter subminimum wage employment if all other requirements are met. The VR program must document that verification of transition and/or pre-employment transition services is not available.

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  23. 34 CFR 397.40(b) makes it clear that a VR program must provide information on self-advocacy, self-determination and peer mentoring training opportunities available in an individual’s geographic area within 30 days of being referred to the VR program by a 14c holder with less than 15 employees. Does the same time frame of 30 days apply for CC&I&R for adults that are currently working in a subminimum wage jobs once they are made known to the VR program?

    Response: No. CC&I&R must be provided once every six months during the first year of employment and annually thereafter. There is no requirement in the Regulations that CC&I&R be provided within 30 days of the individual being known to the VR program if they are an adult that is entering in or is currently employed in subminimum wage employment.

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  24. If an individual is working for an employer that pay more than the Federal minimum wage, but less than the State minimum wage, do the Section 511 requirements apply?

    Response: Section 511 only applies to individuals earning less than the Federal minimum wage. In this scenario (earning more than Federal minimum wage, but less than State minimum wage), Section 511 requirements do not apply.

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  25. Can a Guardian take the place of their ward in receipt of CC&I&R without the individual present and have it count as though the individual received CC&I&R?

    Response: No, the individual (subminimum wage worker) must receive the CC&I&R directly. A parent or Guardian can be present, but they cannot take the place of the individual.

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  26. What are the time frame requirements for the provision of CC&I&R from year to year – How much flexibility is there in meeting the annual date requirement from one year to the next?

    Response:The time frame for CC&I&R is an annual requirement (Unless it is the first year of employment when it must be provided every six months), but it is tied to the individual’s date of employment. For individuals who were employed at subminimum wage prior to July 22, 2016, the annual requirement for CC&I&R services is July 22 of each year. This means they must receive such services some time during the year but prior to July 22.

    For individuals who became employed at subminimum wage after July 22, 2016, the annual requirement is tied to their date of employment. For instance, if they became employed on September 1, 2016, they must receive CC&I&R services prior to September 1 of each subsequent year. Those services can be provided at any point during the year so long as they are provided prior to September 1 of the subsequent year.

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