Work Toolkit:

Supporting people on waivers

Plan

People in the plan phase want competitive integrated employment but:

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

The Engage, Plan, Find, Keep framework graphic, highlighting the Plan phase

Waiver Case Managers

Understanding the waiver service

Waiver employment development services (plan) help a person discover personal strengths, interests and conditions for employment so they can set their work goals. People on waivers who want to access this service should talk to their waiver case manager.

For a complete list of covered services, limitations and more, see the community-based services manual.

Expected outcomes from the plan phase include:

The person defines overall work goals that align with their strengths, interests, talents and conditions for success. The goals are informed by person-centered discovery and work-based learning experiences.

Results in:

  • One-page profile
  • Summary of learning experiences
  • List of formal and informal supports
  • Description of work goals

The person knows how work and benefits can go together to support their goals, as well as the tools and resources to help them manage their benefits while working.

Results in:

  • Benefits summary
  • Saved DB101 estimator session

The person is set up for success in the find phase with resources and supports in place to help them reach their work goals. They have a positive summary and portfolio that informs their job search. 

Results in:

  • Sample application
  • Resume
  • Positive summary
  • Employment portfolio

Waiver employment service providers use the following activities to help people reach expected service outcomes.

Includes:

  • Activities to help the person define their strengths, interests, skills, talents, supports and resources
  • Interviews with the person, their informal supports and people important to the person to learn about their strengths and assets in an employment search
  • Identifying the person's previous employment and other relevant life experiences, including what they learned, liked and didn't like from each experience

Includes:

  • Peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities to learn from others with disabilities who are working in the community 
  • Career education to learn about specific occupations, positions and opportunities that meet the person's strengths, interests and conditions for employment 
  • Career planning to identify work goals and conditions for success

Includes:

  • Activities to help the person understand their benefits, including what happens to their benefits when they work and how work incentives can help 
  • Exploration of concerns and potential solutions
  • Introduction to benefits planning resources and tools

Includes:

  • Work-based learning experiences, such as volunteering, job shadowing or hands-on experiences 
  • Mock interviews or informational interviews, which allow the person to improve interview skills while learning about employment options 
  • Workplace tours or visits to local businesses to learn about different companies, products and services, and employment opportunities

Includes:

  • Education and planning for work-related transportation
  • Consideration of assistive technology, such as magnifiers, speech-to-text or text-to-speech software, captioning, and audio or visual cueing 
  • Education and planning for disability disclosure and possible accommodations, such as modified work tasks or responsibilities, flexible schedules or telework

Includes:

  • Completion of the positive summary (learnings from the plan phase, which will set the person up for success in the find phase) 
  • Compilation of a portfolio of outcome products, which informs the person's job search
  • Connection to community employment resources, such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Employmentserviceprovider

Selecting a service provider

Dually enrolled providers (providers who provide both waiver employment and VRS/SSB services) offer a more seamless transition to the find phase. It's important to help people understand their provider options and make an informed choice about which provider is best for them.

See a list of dually enrolled providers at MinnesotaHelp.info. Or, do your own search for a targeted list of dually enrolled providers:

  1. Visit MinnesotaHelp.info
  2. Type Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Community Partner in the search box and press enter
  3. Check Dual Waiver and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Community Partner under Licenses and Certifications in the left navigation column 
Employmentserviceprovider

Building the employment portfolio

The employment portfolio is a package of outcome products you help the person create during the plan phase. The portfolio informs the person's job search and helps set them up for success in the find phase.

The portfolio's cover page is a positive summary (a summary of what was learned during the plan phase). Watch this training video (11:04) to learn more about the positive summary and how to use it.

Within the portfolio, include everything you did with the person that can help them in the find phase. This prevents the person from having to repeat themselves and prevents others from repeating work you've already done. For example, the person could use the one-page profile to introduce themselves to potential employers or the integrated support star to talk about about their support needs with a VRS counselor.  

Below is a list of key items to include in the portfolio. It's OK to use different tools or activities to accomplish the same goals.

Explore hands-on tools > person-centered discovery to find the tools below and others:

  • A one-page profile
    To let people know what's important to the person and how best to support them. 
    Key tool: My profile 
  • Their team
    To document a list of people who can help the person reach their work goals. 
    Key tool: Build my team 
  • Their resources and supports
    To identify the person's current informal and formal resources and supports, including those that may be needed to reach their employment goals. 
    Key tool: My resources and supports

Explore hands-on tools > benefits planning to find the tools below and others:

  • A benefits lookup
    To verify the person's benefits and inform benefits planning. 
    Key tool: Get a benefits lookup
  • DB101 estimator results
    To help the person understand what happens to their benefits when they work, address concerns and identify helpful work incentives. 
    Key tool: See how work and benefits work together

Explore hands-on tools > application and resumes for the tools below and others:

  • A completed resume
    To share with employers when the person starts looking for a job.
  • A sample application
    To help the person have the information needed to fill out a job application.

Explore hands-on tools > job exploration for the tools below and others:

  • Interests, talents and skills
    To document the person's interests, talents and skills and how they align with specific careers.
    Key tool: Interest profiler
  • Experiences and learnings
    To capture the person's experiences and what they learned from each experience.   
    Key tool: The learning log or 4+1 questions

The positive summary offers an at-a-glance look at key discoveries from the plan phase that can support a person-centered job search. The positive summary should be completed with the person when they're ready to move on to the find phase.  

To create and share a positive summary in My Vault, check the work path for an activity called My Positive Summary. You can also find a positive summary fillable form and sample under hands-on tools > positive summary.

You may find it helpful to fill out the summary form as you go. Then, take time near the end of the service to review and update the summary. Make sure the person reviews and approves the completed summary. It's their summary and should reflect what they want to share. 

Explain to the person how their portfolio can help them communicate and reach their job goals. This will help them decide who should see their portfolio.

You can help them share their portfolio by using their My Vault account, or you can get a release to share the portfolio on their behalf.  

My Vault makes it easy to build, upload and share the portfolio. For example:

  • All activities completed in My Vault's work and benefits planning paths are automatically saved as PDFs in the file tab and can be easily and securely shared.  
  • Other information and files (such as files saved on a desktop) can be uploaded into My Vault using the file tab.
  • You can complete the positive summary activity through your own professional My Vault account and then share it with the person so they have it in their My Vault account. 
  • The build my team work activity makes it easy for the person to keep track of people who can help them meet their work goals, as well as share information to keep them updated.   
VRS

Working with VRS/SSB

If the person wants VRS/SSB services to help find a job, work closely with the local VRS/SSB to ensure smooth service transitions and rapid engagement. Waiver providers are encouraged to connect with VRS/SSB early and often during the plan phase.

Contact VRS/SSB when:

  • The person or you have questions. This might be things like what services and supports the person will get through VRS/SSB, when or how to make a referral, or how things from the plan phase will be used in the job search.
  • You need to coordinate supports. Connecting with VRS/SSB early in the plan phase can be helpful if you have questions about how to set up your services to work with the person's VRS/SSB supports. If you haven't worked with VRS/SSB before, this early contact can help create a good working relationship.
  • The person will soon be ready to move to the find phase. Because determining eligibility and priority for VRS/SSB services takes time, connect with them at least 30 days before you think the person will want to start their job search. This helps ensure a smooth and timely transition.

The VRS/SSB waiver liaison is a new role created to make it easier for waiver employment service providers and waiver case managers to connect with VRS/SSB.

If you're not sure where to start or you want to talk with someone who's been specially trained in working with waiver services, a VRS/SSB waiver liaison can be a great resource. You can connect with a VRS/SSB liaison any time you have questions about VRS/SSB or want to collaborate. If you have a good working relationship with your local VRS/SSB office or counselors, you don't need to work through a liaison.

Review the VRS and SSB Waiver Liaison Contact List to find a liaison in your area.

Most VRS offices are housed within a CareerForce location. Check this interactive map of VRS offices across the state and this listing of SSB offices. Help the person find the office that is most convenient for them.

If the person decides to pursue a job search with support from VRS/SSB, waiver employment service providers can help the person:

  • Identify the most accessible VRS/SSB location
  • Connect with VRS/SSB to start the application process
  • Share their employment portfolio and any other important documents to speed the VRS/SSB eligibility determination process and avoid duplication of efforts 

If the person doesn't want to create a My Vault account, they can share the information with VRS/SSB by email, or they can sign a release to allow you to share the information on their behalf.  

« Previous: Engage | Next: Find »