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Referral Process

Categorized In: Case Services - Referral to Eligibility

Approved Date: November 17, 2023

Owner: Angela Fujan

NOTE: VR employees with any verified disability must contact their supervisor or the Program Director of Evaluation & Community Integration to discuss possibly applying for services through Nebraska VR regarding disability-related equipment/any accommodations required to maintain employment. The Program Director must refer the staff member to their supervisor to request an Ergonomic Assessment or begin the Interactive Accommodation Process. See Program Manual Ergonomic Assessments/Worksite Accommodations Chapter.

Impairments involving vision loss: Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) is funded and governed by the same rules and regulations as Nebraska VR. Essentially, they are the same program, but specialize in working with individuals who are blind or experience vision loss. Nebraska VR cannot serve an individual whose only disability is vision. An individual reporting multiple impairments, one of which is vision, should be referred to (NCBVI) to determine eligibility for their program prior to completing an application to the Nebraska VR employment program. If the individual is eligible for (NCBVI), they must be served by NCBVI, even if there is another disability on record which could be considered the primary disability. 

Open Case in Two States: If you learn a case is open with another state VR agency or if the individual tells you they are going to apply for services from another state VR agency, contact the Program Director for Counseling Services to discuss the situation and determine the appropriateness of opening a Nebraska case. Since both state VR programs offer the same services, there is a likelihood for duplication of services. If determine necessary, an individual may have an active case in two state VR agencies at the same time and both VR agencies would be allowed to record a successful employment outcome.

Data Entry: All referrals to the Employment Program are entered into the database at the time of referral. An individual may only have one active Nebraska VR Employment Program case record at a time. 

Contact Timeframe: Individuals will be contacted by phone, letter, email or in person within 10 calendar days of the date of referral to schedule the initial meeting. Best practice is to also schedule the initial meeting within 10 calendar days of the date of referral. If an individual is unable to be seen within 10 calendar days, a TASK notes needs to explain any delays by VR or the referral. 

Orientation video: Staff who are responsible for sending out information to potential applicants assures information on how to view the Orientation Video is included. If the individual is not able to view before their appointment, they will have the opportunity to view the video when they arrive at the VR Office.

  1. Individuals will be contacted by phone, letter, email or in person within 10 calendar days of the date of referral to schedule the initial meeting. Best practice is to also schedule the initial meeting within 10 calendar days of the date of referral. Explain any delays in a task note. 
  2. Check QE2 for prior or current case record.
    • If no case record is found open a new case.
    • If an open case already exists, do not open another case and duplicate records. 
  3. Verify the Referral Form information prior to setting up a record in QE2.
  4. Make sure the individual is in the right place: the individual has a disability; understands we are an employment program and desires to work.
  5. If the referral indicates they do not have an impairment, ask additional follow-up questions to assess the existence of a disabling condition: 
    • Who referred them and are they aware of why?
    • Any difficulty finding, training or maintaining employment?
    • Receiving SSI/SSDI benefits.
    • Vision/sight impairment -
      • Apply with Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI) for VR services. 
      • If eligible for NCBVI, they need to work with that agency.
      • In rare cases, an individual may have an active case with both state vocational rehabilitation programs (Nebraska VR and NCBVI), so long as the services provided by each are not duplicated and both VR agencies would be allowed to record a successful employment outcome. This would only occur if a current VR client's vision became so severe it warrants consultation with NCVBI. NCBVI will then determine if the client is eligible and open a case or only provide consultation. 
    •  If they do not feel Nebraska VR meets their needs at this time, inform them they can always recontact Nebraska VR in the future if their situation changes.
    • Refer individual to the appropriate community resources to include the Hotline for Disability Services.
  6. If interested in VR Services and has a desire to work, schedule the initial meeting.
  7. When scheduling initial meeting, arrange for any needed accommodations:
    • If an interpreter is required, use the letter contract process, as case service funds cannot be used on non-applicants. 
    • If referred by an agency, inquire if the staff from the agency are interested in attending the initial VR meeting and accommodate schedules, if possible.
    • Inquire if an authorized representative is needed and schedule required participants.
  8. Ask the individual to bring available medical documentation to the initial meeting (MDT, doctor reports, etc.) to expedite the eligibility process. Ask the referral to bring work documents, and guardianship/power of attorney documents, as applicable.
    • An application for VR services can be completed without verifying original work documents, but this is required to be verified in the QE2 in Basic Info Screen - Work Verification section prior to approving the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) or participating in Work Based Learning, On-the-Job Evaluation, or Trial Work Experience. Both citizens and non-citizens alike must have their work documents verified by VR, but it is optional to make a copy and upload them to QE2. See the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) Program Manual Chapter for further information.
    • Court appointed guardian or power of attorney documentation to determine required signatures on the VR Application. See Program Manual Signatures Required on VR Documents
  9. When opening a new case verify and enter the Referral Form information into QE2, complete TASK notes and set up casefile. 
    • If individual requires communication in Spanish, check the "Spanish communication" box, under client's personal information in QE2. This will serve as a reminder for the need of an interpreter and written communication to be sent in Spanish. 
  10. Send initial meeting reminder to individual.
    • Use Appointment Reminder Postcard or email as necessary.
    • Ensure the referral has the link to the Orientation video to view it on their own, or arrange for them to view it prior to the initial meeting.
    • If referral provides email address, forward Constant Contact Welcome Letter with appointment information. Otherwise, send Welcome Letter.
  11. If previous case is available, utilize the information to assist with disability verification and planning, if still applicable.

Approved Date
October 20, 2023 Show this Archived Version
February 13, 2023 Show this Archived Version
November 10, 2022 Show this Archived Version
February 13, 2020 Show this Archived Version
June 03, 2019 Show this Archived Version
October 02, 2018 Show this Archived Version

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