Where your future begins

OJE - On-the-Job Evaluation

Categorized In: Case Services - Assessment Services/Planning

Approved Date: February 22, 2023

Owner: Kristi Berst


The intent of an On-the-Job Evaluation (OJE) is to facilitate targeted assessment and/or career planning opportunities for the VR specialist and the client. After eligibility has been determined, an OJE may be useful during career planning and at any time in case services to help address and explore strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, labor market information, and informed choice.

An OJE may be considered during career planning when:

  1. Informational interviews, job shadows, business tours, and/or volunteer experiences have not provided the client an understanding of the specific work skills needed or the client needs a hands-on work situation to gain and understand this information.
  2. Assessment of the client’s ability to perform specific duties and/or handle the physical, mental, emotional or cognitive aspects of competitive integrated employment is needed.

  3. An OJE may be beneficial while providing placement services if a client is having difficulty obtaining employment. This may provide a client and business the following opportunities:

  • Both parties determine if the job and worksite are the right fit
  • Client gains work experience in a field of interest to add to a resume
  • A client's progress has stalled with job development (after other Progressive Employment activities have occurred)
  • Business has an opportunity to observe an individual interested in working for their company prior to hire

*  During Order of Selection, OJE is unavailable until client comes off the waiting list.

Important Requirements of an OJE:

  • There is no expectation for the assessment/evaluation site to hire the client following an OJE and this must be clearly explained to the client for an informed decision to be made.
  • OJEs may be paid or unpaid and may not exceed 40 hours in a work week.
  • OJEs are limited to 90 hours; however, may be extended with Office Director approval task note. If more than one OJE is needed, clearly summarize in a task note what was learned from previous OJE, the justification for an additional OJE, and what new information is expected to be provided. New forms must be completed for each additional site and a separate Assessment Support or Comparable Benefit entered in QE2, depending on payment status
  • If participation in an OJE will not be completed within the 90 day planning period, an IPE Extension must be completed prior to the 90th day. 
  • Appropriate supports must be individualized and arranged by VR. Examples may include, but are not limited to: job coach, interpreter, personal assistance needs, assistive technology devices and services.
  • VR may conduct a background screen in situations where the business requires it. Inform the business the background screen is limited in scope and may not include all charges. VR may reimburse the employer who completes their own background screen.
  • If individual is a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI, consider Benefits Orientation and/or Assessment prior to start of OJE so that an informed decision may be made with regard to potential impact wages may have on benefits.
  • VR is responsible for arranging the general supervision of the client at the OJE site as specified on the OJE/TWE Checklist.
  • At minimum, VR Specialist will have contact the first day and monthly thereafter to review progress with the client, job coach, and business contact; however, more frequent contact is encouraged. If in-person monitoring is not feasible, document phone, e-mail, or virtual contact. VR Specialist will use information collected to complete On-the-Job Report every 30 days. Share information and provide copies to client and authorized representative, if applicable. Encourage the on-site supervisor at the business to provide timely feedback and direction to the client as it is needed on the evaluation site. Detailed comments and specific examples provide valuable feedback.
  • If progress is interrupted or the OJE is not going well, reconvene as a team for a targeted conversation on intent/goals of the experience.
  • An OJE may be terminated at any point at discretion of VR, host business, or the client/authorized representative.
  • If more than one OJE is needed, clearly summarize in a task note what was learned from previous OJEs, the justification for an additional OJE, and what new information is expected to be gained.
  • VR Specialist will utilize On-the-Job Report(s) to complete the TWE, OJE, or WBLE Observation section of Vocational Evaluation Report:

a) Evidence how well the objectives were met

b) Discuss job planning and readiness issues identified

c) Identify ‘Next Step’ action(s) if possible


Paid OJE  

A client may choose to be paid for an OJE amounting to federal minimum wage plus FICA with no benefits paid according to the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule. Income from an OJE is not exempt from income tax; hence, the client will be issued a W-2 by the employer of record in January. FICA/Medicare deductions are taken and matched by the employer of record. For SSDI/SSI beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers any earned income where FICA/Medicare deductions are withheld as wages.

NOTEEach of the benefits programs administered by Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and each Housing Authority has eligibility requirements—some are income based only, while others include additional non-income-based criteria. It is important to inform the client that income earned in an OJE could affect individual / family benefits. Such benefits include, but are not limited to: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Energy Assistance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Housing Assistance. The individual/family will need to report income to DHHS, and any other entities providing benefits, such as the local Housing Authority. The program that administers the benefit will determine whether the OJE income can be excluded based on the agency’s eligibility criteria. 

DHHS will request that an employer complete the Earned Income Verification Request, Form MC #00580296.  When VR (NDE) is the employer of record for paid OJE activities, the VR staff will be required to complete the form.

Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska's Workers’ Compensation policy. To report an injury/accident requiring medical attention or to report an injury/accident with no medical attention, contact NDE HR at 402.471.5026 to obtain the necessary forms/process on behalf of the client. Complete and submit the Incident/Accident/Injury Report for Clients & Applicants form. 


Unpaid OJE 

Through informed choice, a client may prefer not to be paid. The VR Specialist is not to make this decision independently. Situations concerning potential impact on Social Security or other benefits may discourage an individual from wanting to be paid, as may reporting income for a position that is not expected to be long term.

Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska's blanket accident policy. Call 1-800-346-7692 and hit #1 for Claims. Policy Holder: State of Nebraska Policy Number: SRG 0009141321-B.  If a workplace injury has occurred, complete and submit the Incident/Accident/Injury Report for Clients & Applicants form.

Paid or Non- Paid OJE

1. Determine the need for an OJE matching the client’s occupational interests, training and job planning and readiness considerations.

2. Locate business that is willing and able to provide an assessment/evaluation site for the OJE and negotiate essential details of the OJE (start and end dates, evaluation schedule, knowledge, skills, abilities and/ or behaviors to be evaluated and the agreed upon level of follow-up). Complete a Request for Certificate of Self-Insurance for Paid OJE if employer requests written documentation of workers' compensation coverage. Provide business contact a copy of the Volunteer/Non-Paid Accident Coverage letter, if requested for a Non-Paid OJE.

3. For a Paid OJE, add Assessment Support: On-the-Job Evaluation. For a Non-Paid OJE, add OJE as a Comparable Service by selecting the +Comparable Service button. Add any additional Assessment Supports necessary to support the OJE.

4. Complete the following and upload signed forms to QE2, OJE/OJT/WBLE: 

For Paid OJE, complete the following:

(NOTE: These documents may be completed electronically at this time). The local office I-9 contact should either be the staff member completing these forms with the applicant/client or reviewing the documents prior to submittal. 

  • Verify I-9 information with List A documents or with one List B identity document and one List C employment authorization document. As NDE participates in E-Verify, if a List B document is used for I-9 verification, the List B document must include a photograph.
  • Make clear, preferably color, copies of identification documentation.
  • Verify the birth date on the I-9 with the birth date in QE2.
  • Enter the actual start date of the OJE on the I-9. 
  • At least 5 business days prior to the start date of the TWE,  Scan the I-9, identification documentation, W-4W-4NOJE/TWE ChecklistDirect Deposit Enrollment and FOCUS Card Enrollment (if electing debit card) and e-mail to nde.hr@nebraska.gov and VR SO vr.sofiscal@nebraska.gov in order receive approval from NDE HR prior to the start date. Enter the First Name Initial and Full Last Name of the client and the start date in the subject line of the email.
  • Prepare Case Service Authorization as usual with NE DEPT OF EDUCATION-Rehab Client Training as the provider.
  • Include hourly rate and number of hours.
  • For total encumbrance that includes FICA, multiply hourly rate X maximum hours X 1.0765.
  • Include name, address, and phone number of OJE site provider.
  •  Upon State Office approval, print the authorization. OJE cannot start until authorization has been approved. Once approved, State Office staff will mail a letter to the client with the User ID and Password needed to access the paystub.
  • Upon acknowledgment of receipt by NDE HR, shred original documents.
  • Provide OJE/TWE Timesheets and Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule to the work site supervisor prior to start of the OJE. Instruct the supervisor on timesheet submission dates.

5. Enter QE2 task note at the start of the OJE, articulating a clear purpose and expected outcome. Indicate rationale and objectives have been discussed with the client, authorized representative (when applicable), job coach, and business contact.

6. VR Specialist will collect feedback on client's performance from the work site supervisor at least monthly and document the information on the On-the-Job Report. Review with all members of the team. Upload On-the-Job Report(s) to Vocational Evaluation Report as outlined in policy guidelines.

7. Process OJE Timesheet

  • The OJE on-site supervisor sends the timesheet to the VR Specialist by the due date/time on the Bi-weekly Payroll Schedule in order to pay the client according to the Bi-weekly Payroll Schedule.
  • VR Specialist verifies hours worked, signs timesheet, approves payment, and gives to the Associate.
  • VR Associate must verify: 
  •  Signature of client, supervisor and specialist are on the timesheet  
  • Client, supervisor and specialist signatures are dated on or after the last day worked 
  • All data on the timesheet is legible 
  • Time worked has been converted into decimal hours (Time Conversion Chart
  • Calculations are correct
  • VR Associate makes a payment in QE2 by entering the number of hours worked and rate per hour from the timesheet. QE2 automatically figures FICA;
  • Once payment is made in QE2, Associate emails the timesheet to NDE Central Accounting (nde.centralaccounting@nebraska.gov); using OJE Timesheet-FirstInitial+LastName in the subject line;
  • NDE Central Accounting verifies that the payment information entered in QE2, matches the timesheet submitted, and exports for payment on the next bi-weekly payroll;
  • If there is a discrepancy between the timesheet and QE2 or errors on the timesheet that need to be resolved, NDE Central Accounting staff will contact the VR Associate on the timesheet;
  • If changes are needed, Associate will delete the invoice in QE2 and re-enter with the correct information. Invoices in QE2 can be deleted as long as Central Accounting has not processed (exported) the invoice for payment;
  • Timesheets emailed or entered in QE2 after the due date/time on the Bi-Weekly Payroll schedule will be held for the next bi-weekly payroll;
  • Once invoices have been exported by NDE Central Accounting for payment, the bi-weekly date will display as the Batch # on the invoice in QE2.

8. Changes to OJE

Additional hours - if additional hours are added to an OJE beyond what was on the original authorization and OJE/OJT Checklist:

  • Obtain VR Office Director approval in a task note if revision causes total hours to exceed 90 hours
  • Complete a new authorization in QE2 for the additional hours

Extending end date - if the end date of an OJE needs to be extended:

  • Extend the end date on the original authorization in QE2 to the new end date

NOTE: NDE Central Accounting does not need to be notified of date extensions or additional hours added to an existing OJE.

9. New OJE

If a client is starting a new OJE (different business), all paperwork must be redone and submitted via email to NDE HR (NDE.HR@nebraska.gov). Remaining steps of the process are the same. Add task note with rationale for a different location or multiple OJE experiences.

10. Completion or Termination of OJE

  • Confirm completion or termination of OJE with OJE client and site supervisor.
  • Notify VR Associate of OJE completion/termination.
  • VR Associate verifies all timesheets have been accounted for and then e-mails NDE HR (nde.hr@nebraska.gov) by using first intial.last name followed by termination/completion date. Subject of email should be "OJE Ended."  Associate should include the Employee number from the Basic Information-Personal tab in QE2 in the body of the email.
  • Enter a task note in QE2 when the OJE has ended, reference Vocational Evaluation report, TWE, OJE, and WBLE Observations section for full summary.
  • Utilize On-the-Job Report(s) to complete the TWE, OJE, or WBLE Observations section of Vocational Evaluation Report:
    • Evidence how well the objectives were met
    • Discuss job readiness and job planning issues addressed
    • Identify ‘Next Step’ action(s) when possible


On-the-Job Report

Choose what experience the report is needed for from the pull-down menu at the top. In the same location, a reminder of frequency of completion is listed (every 30 days for OJE). VR staff are responsible for completing this document. If a job coach or employee at the work site prefers to fill it out, document agreement in a task note and follow up to inquire further, ensuring VR is receiving detailed and usable feedback to pass along to the client. 

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