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Case Services

Categorized In: Case Services - Procurement

Approved Date: October 02, 2018

Owner: Cathy Callaway

Persons with disabilities must be active participants in their own rehabilitation programs, including making meaningful and informed choices about the selection of the vocational rehabilitation services they receive, the providers of those services, and the methods used to procure the services.

Vocational Rehabilitation staff are responsible for assisting persons with disabilities in making informed choices about their services, service providers, procurement methods, reason for any “sole source” determinations, and with their pending financial obligations and responsibilities.

Goods and services should be procured from Nebraska service providers and businesses to the maximum extent possible.

Considering all available alternatives, Vocational Rehabilitation will procure the least cost option for VR specified services, goods and supports, which meet the needs of the individual and provide adequate quality and available serviceability.

Vocational Rehabilitation funds cannot be used, either directly or indirectly, for the purchase of any land, the purchase or erection of any building, entertainment expenses, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, firearms or ammunition products.

Government procurement standards require the involvement of at least two people in the procurement and payment process. Those authorizing or approving payment for services, goods, or supports, should not also process payments or assume accounting responsibility for payment of those same services, goods, or supports.

All purchases must be authorized in advance of the service, good, or support being purchased and meet the requirements in Rule 72.

Mileage in excess of 25 miles round trip can be paid to a provider, if requested, at the current NDE mileage rate for travel from the provider’s primary work location to the service delivery site. Invoice must include the “to” and “from” travel destinations.

Vocational Rehabilitation will determine the cost of a service, good or support in one of two ways:

  • Fee: A rate or amount established in a written agreement or fee schedule;
  • Cost: Actual cost of the services, goods or supports based on a cost estimate or a predetermined fixed amount for certain designated services and supports.
    • Cost Estimates. A cost estimate is the proposed cost of a service, good, or support obtained by comparison shopping, use of governmental or educational price lists, catalogs, internet, advertisements, telephone, or other method by which the cost can be determined.
    • All cost estimates, except those made by catalog or phone call, must be documented with a hard copy from the source. Cost estimates obtained by catalog or phone must be noted in a task entry. At a minimum, documentation must include vendor name, method of obtaining (e.g. phone, internet, catalog, etc.), and rate and unit of service (when applicable).
      • The client’s word cannot be the source of the documentation (e.g. “client said his/her rent is $445.00 per month”) for a cost estimate. If the information for the cost estimate is given by the client the documentation requirements above still apply.
    • Cost estimates are required if –
      • The method of payment is cash advance. One (1) documented cost estimate required. Documentation of the cost estimate is always required to be sent in with the payment.
      • The service, good, or support costs between $2,000 and $4,999.99. Two (2) documented cost estimates required.
      • The service, good, or support costs $5,000 or more. Written cost estimates must be obtained from at least three (3) providers.
    • A cost estimate from a single provider may be used if a service, good, or support is available only from a sole source or sole distributor. The identification of the provider as a sole source must be documented in the task notes.
    • Cost estimates may be for similar, but slightly differing, goods or services in order to establish informed choice for clients.
    • If the cost estimates are for the exact same or similar goods or services, VR will make its selection using a combination of the following criteria (detailed task entry required):
      • The lowest cost;
      • The available product serviceability, and prior product satisfaction;
      • The qualifications of professional and technical service providers; and
      • The past performance of service providers to achieve quality outcomes for clients.
      • Timeliness and availability of the vendor to provide the goods or services.

Depending on the service, good, or support Vocational Rehabilitation can purchase in one of three ways. Appendix B of Rule 72 defines which method(s) can be used for which services, goods, and supports.

  • Cash Advance. An amount based on a cost estimate, issued to the recipient in advance of the purchase of services, goods and supports.
    • Rules: —
      • VR staff are responsible for giving to and reviewing with the client the Service Authorization identifying the services, goods or supports allowed to be purchased with the cash advance, and the Authorization Instructions. Both the Service Authorization and the Authorization Instructions must be given to or mailed to the client.
      • VR staff are responsible for informing the client that proof of purchase to verify that the purchase was completed as authorized is required. Failure to provide proof of purchase may result in denial of future cash advance payments to that client.
      • VR staff are responsible for ensuring that proof of purchase documentation is received and noted in hard copy in the case file and in a task entry. Preferred proof of purchase documentation includes, but is not limited to, receipts, invoices indicating payment, internet confirmations, credit card statements, cancelled checks, or visual verification by VR staff. If no documentation is available, a Proof of Purchase form can be utilized.
      • Proof of purchase documentation must show provider name, date of purchase, detail of purchase, and cost of good or service.
  • Reimbursement. Payment to a recipient for pre-authorized services, goods or supports upon the rendering of recipient’s paid or credited receipts or printed online confirmation copy.
    • Rules: —
      • VR staff are responsible for giving to and reviewing with the client the authorization identifying the services, goods or supports allowed to be purchased.
      • VR staff are responsible for informing the client that they must provide proof of purchase documentation (e.g. receipt, invoice indicating payment, internet confirmation, credit card statement, cancelled check, etc.) in order to be reimbursed.
      • Proof of purchase documentation must show provider name, date of purchase, detail of purchase, and cost of good or service.
      • The client must submit with his/her proof of purchase documentation a completed and signed client reimbursement form.
  • Program Purchase. Payment directly to the provider for a pre-authorized amount for purchase of services, goods, or supports upon completion of the service or receipt of the goods.
    • Rules: —
      • Provider must be willing to accept an authorization from VR and invoice VR for the good, service, or support.
      • An authorization identifying the services, goods, or supports must be sent to the provider.
      • VR staff are responsible for giving to and reviewing with the client the Service Authorization identifying the services, goods or supports allowed to be purchased from the provider with the authorization, and the Authorization Instructions. Both the Service Authorization and the Authorization Instructions must be given to or mailed to the client.
      • All purchases are exempt from state and local sales tax. If requested, send to the provider a Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate (Form 13). Invoices submitted for payment must meet invoice standards.
      • Payment terms of “net 30” are to be used on all payments unless different payment terms are stated on the invoice.
      • Prepaid cards such as gift cards or gas cards cannot be purchased and given to a client for use in purchasing goods or services.
  1. Determine which method of payment will be used, given only certain methods are allowed based on the type of service, good, or support.
  2. If the cost of the service, good, or support is not a rate or amount established in a written agreement or fee schedule, determine a cost estimate. Documentation of the cost estimate(s) must be maintained in the case file or in a task note.
  3. Authorize for the service, good, or support.
  4. For cash advance, a cost estimate must be attached to the invoice when submitted for payment, with the exception of invoices for post secondary-college and postsecondary-technical.
Attachment: Purchase_of_goods_and_services_12_.pdf


Approved Date
May 01, 2017 Show this Archived Version


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