RSA-227 - Annual Client Assistance Program (CAP) Report

Nebraska (NEBRASKA DEPT OF EDUCATION - CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM/DVR) - H161A140028 - FY2014

General Information

Designated Agency Identification

NameNebraska Vocational Rehabilitation
Address301 Centennial Mall South-6th Floor
Address Line 2Box 94987
CityLincoln
StateNebraska
Zip Code68509
E-mail Addressmark.schultz@nebraska.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.cap.ne.gov
Phone402.471.1202
TTY 402.471.3644
Toll-free Phone877.637.3422
Toll-free TTY800.637.3422
Fax402.471.0788

Operating Agency (if different from Designated Agency)

NameNebraska Vocational Rehabilitation
Address301 Centennial Mall South-6th Floor
Address Line 2Box 94987
CityLincoln
Zip Code68509
E-mail Addressmark.schultz@nebraska.gov
Website Addresshttp://www.cap.ne.gov
Phone402.471.1202
TTY402.471.3644
Toll-free Phone877.637.3422
Toll-free TTY800.637.3422
Fax402.471.0788

Additional Information

Name of CAP Director/CoordinatorVictoria Rasmussen
Person to contact regarding reportVictoria Rasmussen
Contact Person Phone402.471.3656

Part I. Agency Workload Data

A. Information and Referral Services (I&R)

Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. Information regarding the Rehabilitation Act75
2. Information regarding Title I of the ADA7
3. Other information provided1,096
4. Total I&R services provided (Lines A1+A2+A3)1,178
5. Individuals attending trainings by CAP staff (approximate)328

B. Individuals served

An individual is counted only once during a fiscal year. Multiple counts are not permitted for Lines B1-B3.

1. Individuals who are still being served as of October 1 (carryover from prior year)6
2. Additional individuals who were served during the year18
3. Total individuals served (Lines B1+B2)24
4. Individuals (from Line B3) who had multiple case files opened/closed this year. (In unusual situations, an individual may have more than one case file opened/closed during a fiscal year. This number is not added to the total in Line B3 above.)0

C. Individual still being served as of September 30

Carryover to next year. This total may not exceed Line I.B3. 2

D. Reasons for closing individuals' case files

Choose one primary reason for closing each case file. There may be more case files than the total number of individuals served to account for those unusual situations, referred to in Line I.B4, when an individual had multiple case files closed during the year.

1. All issues resolved in individual's favor13
2. Some issues resolved in individual's favor (when there are multiple issues)2
3. CAP determines VR agency position/decision was appropriate for the individual5
4. Individual's case lacks legal merit; (inappropriate for CAP intervention)0
5. Individual chose alternative representation0
6. Individual decided not to pursue resolution2
7. Appeals were unsuccessful0
8. CAP services not needed due to individual's death, relocation, etc.0
9. Individual refused to cooperate with CAP0
10. CAP unable to take case due to lack of resources0
11. Other (please explain)

I had no cases entered as other.

E. Results achieved for individuals

1. Controlling law/policy explained to individual9
2. Application for services completed.3
3. Eligibility determination expedited0
4. Individual participated in evaluation0
5. IPE developed/implemented6
6. Communication re-established between individual and other party2
7. Individual assigned to new counselor/office0
8. Alternative resources identified for individual1
9. ADA/504/EEO/OCR/ complaint made0
10. Other0
11. Other (please explain)

Part II. Program Data

A. Age

As of the beginning of the fiscal year. Multiple responses are not permitted.

1. 21 and under6
2. 22 - 406
3. 41 - 6412
4. 65 and over0
5. Total (Sum of Lines A1 through A4. Total must equal Line I.B3.)24

B. Gender

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Female13
2. Male11
3. Total (Sum of Lines B1 and B2. Total must equal Line I.B3.)24

C. Race/ethnicity

1. Hispanic/Latino of any race1
For individuals who are non-Hispanic/Latino only
2. American Indian or Alaskan Native0
3. Asian0
4. Black or African American3
5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander0
6. White20
7. Two or more races0
8. Race/ethnicity unknown0

D. Primary disabling condition of individuals served

Multiple responses not permitted.

1. Blindness (both eyes)3
2. Other visual impairments0
3. Deafness4
4. Hard of hearing0
5. Deaf-blind0
6. Orthopedic impairments4
7. Absense of extremities0
8. Mental illness4
9. Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)1
10. Mental retardation1
11. Specific learning disabilities (SLD)3
12. Neurological disorders1
13. Respiratory disorders0
14. Heart and other circulatory conditions0
15. Digestive disorders0
16. Genitourinary conditions0
17. Speech Impairments0
18. AIDS/HIV positive0
19. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)2
20. All other disabilities1
21. Disabilities not known0
22. Total (Sum of Lines D1 through D21. Total must equal Line I. B3.)24

E. Types of individuals served

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Applicants of VR Program7
2. Clients of VR Program15
3. Applicants or clients of IL Program2
4. Applicants or clients of other programs and projects funded under the Act0

F. Source of individual's concern

Multiple responses permitted.

1. VR agency only22
2. Other Rehabilitation Act sources only2
3. Both VR agency and other Rehabilitation Act sources0
4. Employer0

G. Problem areas

Multiple responses permitted.

1. Individual requests information1
2. Communication problems between individual and counselor0
3. Conflict about services to be provided17
4. Related to application/eligibility process6
5. Related to IPE development/implementation0
6. Other Rehabilitation Act-related problems0
7. Non-Rehabilitation Act related0
8. Related to Title I of the ADA0

H. Types of CAP services provided

Choose one primary CAP service provided for each case file/service record.

1. Information/referral0
2. Advisory/interpretational14
3. Negotiation8
4. Administrative/informal review0
5. Alternative dispute resolution0
6. Formal appeal/fair hearing0
7. Legal remedy0
8. Transportation0

Part III. Narrative

Narrative

Client Assistance Program Narrative Report 2013/2014

The Nebraska Client Assistance Program (CAP) is an internal CAP administered by Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR). Sources of funds expended in the provision of services to persons eligible for CAP are all federal funds. Nebraska’s CAP consists of a full time Program Director and a part-time Resource Information Specialist. The professional full-time equivalent is 100% of year position filled and 1.0 person-years. The professional part-time equivalent is 100% of year position filled; full-time equivalent is .625 and .6 person-years.

FY 14 Expenditures

Salary 82,953.20 Fringe 29,924.21 Materials 8.17 Postage 179.78 Telephone 1,479.01 Rent 2,584.81 Travel 1,233.49 Copying 874.62 Indirect Cost 6,816.52 Miscellaneous 811.42

Grand total 126,865.23

FY 14

Grant Award 121,770.00 FY 13 Carryover 33,479.34 Total available 155,249.34 Expenditures 126,865.23 FY 14 Carryover 28,384.11

FY 15 Budget

Salary 84,820.00 Fringe 32,353.00 Materials 100.00 Postage 175.00 Telephone 2,000.00 Rent 3,000.00 Travel 1,504.77 Copying 1,000.00 Indirect Cost 11,309.00 Miscellaneous 700.00

Grand total 136,961.77

FY 15

Grant Award 121,770.00 FY 14 Carryover 28,384.11 Total FY 15 150,154.11 Projected Budget 136,961.77

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) maintains a Hotline for Disability Services (Hotline), statewide toll-free information, referral and advisory service for persons with disabilities. The Hotline maintains and continually updates a computerized database that identifies all federal, state, and local programs that assist persons with disabilities and pertinent information about each of these programs, including; geographic area served, ages served, disability served, specific services provided, eligibility criteria, how to apply and the appeal procedure. The CAP assists callers in identifying specific needs, matches those needs to available services using the computerized database and provides advice to the caller regarding benefits available and their rights and responsibilities. The Resource Information Specialist continues to be a liaison with Health and Human Services and provides valuable information to callers of the Hotline and clients served under the Act to explore all possible resources and to assist them in getting the maximum out of their benefits. This year the Hotline for Disability Services provided information to 1178 callers about services and benefits available.

The Client Assistance Program maintains the statewide toll-free number to allow easy access for clients or applicants who are searching for benefits available to them through rehabilitation programs under the Act and related federal and state assistance. The Client Assistance Program makes available to clients or applicants necessary brochures and handbooks to further assist in understanding services and programs provided under the Act. The CAP toll-free number is included on agency forms if further information is needed to understand benefits and services. The CAP is familiar with the benefits and services available under the Act and is able to provide immediate information and advice for clients.

Summary of presentations made: The marketing plan emphasizing the services available through the Hotline for Disability Services component and the Client Assistance Program are ongoing throughout the fiscal year. There were 42 requests for information or brochures about the Client Assistance Program and the Hotline for Disability Services. This year presentations and office visits were made regarding the services available: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board, VR’s New Staff Orientation, Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) New Staff, League of Human Dignity in Omaha, Heartland Family Service-Papillion, ENCAP-Omaha, Epilepsy Support Group-Omaha, Sarpy County Sheriff Office, Parkinson Association and Support Group-Omaha, Coordinated Funding Committee-Lincoln, SENCA-Nebraska City, Department Health and Human Services-Nebraska City, Autism Board-Lincoln, Independence Rising, Panhandle Independent Living Services, Apogee, Easter Seals, Community Alliance, Nebraska VR Omaha West, Commission for the Deaf new Director, Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired new Center Director, current NCBVI Center clients, NCBVI Omaha staff meeting, NCBVI North Platte District meeting conference call, AgrAbility and Brain Injury Ombudsman.

One of the most effective ways to reach the public about services available through the Hotline and CAP is through the referral sources. There are 1,600 agencies in the Hotline Directory and this year the focus was on advocacy, support groups and community action programs. Over 80 agencies were contacted by letter or email, which included a brochure.

Another way for referral sources to be aware of our services is to participate with organizations and groups through committees. The Client Assistance Program is involved with the Coordinated Funding Committee, Special Education Transition Council, Veterans Brain Injury Task Force, Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council, and Energy Assistance Committee.

Newsletter Articles: Parkinson Association Autism AbilitiesFund

New links on websites: Stroke Association Epilepsy Parkinson Association Autism

Involvement with the advisory boards: The CAP Director is a member of the general agency’s State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). CAP provides a report on cases and outcomes at each meeting of the SRC. CAP participates on the Client Service Delivery Committee.

The CAP Director is a Board, Council and Committee member of Disability Rights Nebraska.

A Board of Commissioners oversees the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. CAP is made aware of agenda and meeting times and attends when possible. CAP provides a report on cases and outcomes for each meeting to the Director of NCBVI and this is presented at the Commissioner’s meeting.

Attend Statewide Independent Living Council meetings and IL Partner meetings when possible.

Outreach to unserved/underserved populations:

CAP sent brochures to over 184 agencies/programs VR and NCBVI had contacted as part of their unserved/underserved outreach plan.

CAP continues to work with the Traumatic Brain Injury Council, and a member of a Latino Committee and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Committee both facilitated by VR.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Act clearly mandates CAP to engage in mediation or other forms of dispute resolution prior to seeking a formal or legal remedy on behalf of the individual served. This year CAP did not provide any mediation or other form of dispute resolution. Negotiation is used most frequently in resolving concerns. The Nebraska CAP uses procedures at the lowest level of the complaint process before resorting to any administrative or legal remedies. CAP will enter into a letter contract with the appropriate Office of Dispute Resolution to provide mediation for clients of CAP. The Nebraska Client Assistance Program maintains a Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy which states the Nebraska CAP has the discretion to decide whether a particular alternative dispute resolution procedure (including mediation) is appropriate if at all, in a particular case. Nebraska CAP may base this decision on the circumstances of the case, including the issues raised, applicable legal deadlines and State Administrative requirements, as well as its level of resources, including financial and staff availability. The Nebraska CAP will not use any alternative dispute resolution procedures if it means missing any deadlines for formal administrative or legal remedies. Nebraska CAP will document in the individual’s file the reasoning for not using alternative dispute resolution procedures prior to pursuing a formal administrative or legal remedy.

Systemic Advocacy: The Nebraska CAP is involved in meetings with the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and VR staff on an on-going basis. This has proved to be valuable in providing comments regarding policies, procedures and presenting systemic issues. CAP has direct access to the Directors and Program and Assistant Directors of both agencies regarding policies, procedures and specific case concerns.

Another avenue to address systemic issues is to participate in committees within the agencies. This past year CAP was involved in:

Vocational Rehabilitation: Placement Committee, Job Seeking Skills, Latino, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Sex Offender, Evaluation Reporting Process and Disruptive Client

Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Placement Committee, Field and Center Committee, Center Forms Committee

The CAP Director meets with the VR Director and Program Directors on a quarterly basis to present the closed CAP cases and to discuss any systemic issues that may need to be addressed through additional training or discussion of policy guidance as a result of these cases. At the next scheduled Development and Implementation Group (DIG), which includes all Office Directors, Program Directors and VR Director this same information is discussed.

During the NCBVI’s Administrative Staff Meetings CAP also provides a report on the CAP cases and discusses any systemic issues that may need to be addressed through additional training, policy guidance or included on the agenda for the next Supervisor Meeting. CAP also attends the Supervisor meetings.

Review of information and policies:

Nebraska VR: HRSA TBI Grant Goals and Objectives, Violent and Disruptive Behavior, Sex Offender, Employment Discussion, State Plan, Mediation, CAP information on VR website, Language Line Process and Procedure

Worked with VR to review the Rights and Responsibility section on the application and IPE to include only which is required by law.

Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired: 3-Day Stay Preparatory Checklist, Case Review Instrument, Client Training Portfolio, Closure Letter, State Plan, Definition of Homemaker, Impartial Hearing Procedure, Successful Closure Letter, Equipment Provision Policy for Commission Board Members, Age Criterion for Determining Eligibility for Participation in Transition Programs, Night Monitors Working Transition Programs, New Employee Training Checklist

Part B: Eligibility and Not Eligible Letters

Statewide Independent Living Centers: Reviewed websites to make sure there was a link for CAP and the information about CAP was accurate.

Systemic Issues:

Nebraska VR:

CAP recommended to VR to share information about the Academic Recovery program.

CAP shared there were a number of cases regarding timeliness of services and lack of contact every 30 days with clients. CAP recommended this standard be revisited to stress the importance and to add to VRIS.

CAP shared concern that PTI Nebraska had fielded several calls from parents of clients with autism spectrum disorders not eligible for DD but not successful with VR services. CAP recommended Program Director follow up with PTI Nebraska. It was agreed that if PTI Nebraska receives future phone calls, they will contact the Program Director who will help clarify why the client is not being served and if appropriate refer to the Client Assistance Program.

CAP reviewed the policy and procedure for clients who are blind and visually impaired when applying for services during the Program Directors and DIG meetings. Some offices were inappropriately finding individuals who were blind, eligible for VR services. A Program Director is following up with the offices.

CAP recommended to the Placement Committee the importance of providing the services agreed to on the Job Search Agreement. Also, when a Placement Specialist feels they can no longer advocate for a client for employment, they need to refer them back to the Specialist, explain and document the reasons why the job search is not being successful.

NCBVI:

CAP recommended NCBVI update their policy regarding timely authorizations and verbal authorizations and outline the process for clients in the Center.

CAP recommended NCBVI review their current appeal process for clients served in the IL track.

CAP recommended NCBVI change their website to make the access to the Chapter 2 Appeals Process easier to access and access to the petition.

Both NCBVI and Nebraska VR

CAP recommended both agencies meet to discuss the process for both agencies having a case open at the same time. A meeting was held and the Memorandum of Understanding was reviewed. CAP developed a training outline for the agencies to use for their staff. Assisted NCBVI in sharing information with their staff and worked with VR to make changes in VRIS and to notify staff.

On-Line info: CAP and the Hotline Directory are on-line so the public has access to the agencies listed in the Directory and CAP information. CAP also continues to be a part of VR’s and the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Web Sites. The web site CAP/Hotline Directory received 600 hits this year.

Other Activities

Attended State Staff for NCBVI.

The CAP Director is a member of the Lancaster/Saunders County Workforce Investment Board and a member of the Performance Committee. CAP is housed at NCBVI on Wednesday afternoons

Meet with the Director of Disability Rights Nebraska on an on-going basis to discuss any current issues or concerns.

Attend Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board

Coordinated and attended CAP Regional Meeting held in Kansas City

Updated CAP Legal and Mediation policies.

Met with Nebraska Legal Aid Accessline to review process/procedure to work with Nebraska VR and NCBVI clients for legal representation for the Impartial Hearing.

Attended the Vision Teachers Fall Conference.

CAP Regional Training in Kansas City

Provided training to the new Iowa CAP Director.

Attended VR Eligibility Training and Lincoln Office

Certification

Approved

This Report is Complete and Correct.Yes
Date Signed:22-Dec-14
Name of Designated Agency Official:Mark Schultz
Title of Designated Agency Official:Assistant Commissioner/Director Nebraska VR