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Work Toolkit:


The basics


HCBS waiver

HCBS waiver employment services help people with disabilities engage in employment conversations, plan their path to employment and access ongoing supports to maintain employment.

Below are descriptions of each waiver service. If you're a waiver case manager, check the waiver employment services quick reference guide (PDF) for at-a-glance details on authorization of employment services. 

Employment exploration services help people learn about competitive integrated employment, engage in work experiences and make decisions about their employment path. Get details on employment exploration services from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Who can benefit

  • People unsure or skeptical about working in competitive integrated employment 
  • People saying "yes" to a conversation about employment options during a WIOA 511 conversation 
  • People who've been working in noncompetitive employment (sheltered workshops, mobile work crews)
  • Recent graduates from high school or transition programming who continue to need support understanding the work world

How to describe it

Working and earning money opens doors to new things, such as living in your own place, having more choices about how to spend your free time, and having other opportunities that can positively impact your life. Still, thinking about working for the first time can be a little scary. If you want to learn more about what work looks like or address things you're nervous about, employment exploration services might be a good option.

During the plan phase, employment development services help people identify their employment goals and learn about personal strengths, interests and conditions for employment. Get details on employment development services from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Who can benefit

People who are interested in pursuing employment but:  

  • Are not sure what it looks like or what they want to do   
  • Have barriers or conditions for employment  
  • Have little experience in competitive employment  

How to describe it  

Discovering your personal strengths and interests can be a helpful starting place on the path to finding a career. If you want a job but aren't sure what it looks like or what you have to offer, employment development services might be right for you. 

Employment development services are short-term (up to four months). They set you up for a successful job search by:

  • Finding your strengths
  • Exploring your interests
  • Helping you find work experiences
  • Developing your resume
  • Creating tools about your employment plan that you can share with others

During the find phase, employment development services help people start a job search. These services are authorized only when Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS)/State Services for the Blind (SSB) is unavailable. See guidance for employment service authorization and details on employment development services from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. 

Who can benefit

  • People who would like to find competitive integrated employment when VRS/SSB is unavailable  

How to describe it 

Do you wonder how to find the right job? If you don't have access to Vocational Rehabilitation Services or State Services for the Blind, employment development services can help.

During the keep phase, employment support services help people who have a job and need ongoing supports to maintain their employment. This waiver service can also provide ongoing support to participate in a work crew. Get details on employment support services from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Who can benefit

  • People who are working in community businesses and need supports to succeed in employment  

How to describe 

Employment support services help you succeed at work. We all need support at times, doing things like organizing work tasks, managing schedules or communicating with our employers. If you have a job or get one in the future, you can get job coaching or other support through employment support services. 

Prevocational services help people prepare for jobs with competitive pay by teaching general work skills and concepts.

Important considerations:

  • Informed choice is critical. Prevocational services may involve sheltered workshop services and subminimum wages. Before authorizing prevocational services, case managers must ensure that a person is making the decision with full understanding of the risks and benefits.  
  • Services are time limited for new recipients. Prevocational services carry a three-year time limit for people who start receiving services after January 1, 2021. Case managers must ensure the person advances out of prevocational services. 

Get details on prevocational services from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Who can benefit 

  • People who need support to build general work skills (not specific to any single profession)  
  • People who need to build skills in areas such as attendance, attention span, social interactions or task completion in order to be successful in competitive integrated employment

How to describe it 

Prevocational services help you build skills that you can use when you start working in the community. If you want to have a job someday but have some things you need to practice and learn to help you be successful at work, prevocational services is one way to build those skills. 

If you participate in prevocational services, it's important to know that you might get paid below minimum wage and work primarily with other people with disabilities. You can receive prevocational services for up to three years.

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