Where your future begins

OJE - On-the-Job Evaluation

Categorized In: Case Services - Assessment Services/Planning - Assessment Supports

Approved Date: March 05, 2021

Owner: Paige Rose

Purpose

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 anytime in case services to address and explore strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and labor market information.

An OJE may be considered during career planning when:

  • 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.
  • Assessment is needed of the client’s ability to perform specific duties and/or handle the physical, mental, emotional or cognitive aspects of competitive integrated employment.

An OJE may be beneficial while providing placement services if a client is having difficulty obtaining employment. A “soft touch” approach through an OJE may be necessary. This may provide a client and business the following opportunities:

  • Both parties determine if the job and worksite are the right fit
  • Allows a client to work in a business even if no job opening is available
  • Client gains work experience in a field of interest to add to his/her resume
  • When a client's progress has stalled with job development
  • Business has an opportunity to observe an individual interested in working for their company prior to hire

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

Types of OJE

Paid OJE - Conducted with a government office (federal, state, county, or city) or a private business with the client being set up and paid as a student worker on the Department of Education payroll. The client chooses whether to be paid by direct deposit to a checking or savings account or by a debit card. Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska Workers’ Compensation policy.

Non-paid OJE - Conducted at any employment site with the client not receiving a wage or being set up as employee. The VR agency is responsible for the general supervision of the client at the evaluation site. 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

OJE Justification and Documentation

  •  Enter a task note into QE2 at the start of the OJEarticulating a clear purpose and expected outcome. OJE can be used to facilitate career planning and job placement activities.
  •  Enter a task note into QE2 at the conclusion of the OJE, consisting of a general summary from the employer and a note referencing the Vocational Evaluation report for more information and next steps.
  • Document a summary in the Vocational Evaluation report (TWE, OJE, or WBLE Observation section).
  • Upload On-The-Job Report(s) to Vocational Evaluation Report.

OJE Wage

  • Federal minimum wage plus FICA with no benefits
  • Wages are paid according to the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule
  • Wages are not intended to cover the basic living costs of a client during assessment 

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, 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.

Background Screen Required by Employer

In OJE situations where the employer requires a background screen, VR may conduct the background screen on behalf of the employer. VR must inform employers that our background screens are limited in scope and may not include all charges. In situations where employers wish to complete their own background screen, VR can reimburse the employers for their cost in conducting the background screen.

Income Tax and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act)/Medicare)

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.

Length of OJE and Schedule

The 90 day planning allowance must be considered when utilizing an OJE to assist in the development a mutually agreed upon Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). If participation in the OJE will cause the 90 days to be exceeded, an IPE Extension must be completed. Refer to IPE Extension chapter.

  • Paid OJE is recommended for 90 hours, however can be extended past the 90 hours with Office Director approval
  • Non-paid OJE - limited to 95 hours on any one OJE placement.
  • Vocational exploration- 5 hours
  • Vocational assessment- 90 hours
  • Paid and Non-paid OJE - cannot exceed 40 hours in a workweek

Termination of OJE

An OJE may be terminated by the assessment/evaluation site staff, VR or the client/authorized representative at any time.

Hiring

There is no expectation for the assessment/evaluation site to hire a client following an OJE.

Multiple On-the-Job Evaluations

More than one OJE can be conducted if appropriate.

Injury/Accident Reporting

Paid-OJE - To report an injury/accident requiring medical attention or to report an injury/accident with no medical attention, staff need to contact NDE HR at 402.471.5026 to obtain the necessary forms/process on behalf of the client. Follow-up by completing and submitting the attached Client Incident/Accident/Injury Report form. Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska's Workers’ Compensation policy.

Non-paid OJE - Conducted at any employment site with the client not receiving a wage or being set up as employee. The VR agency is responsible for the general supervision of the client at the evaluation site. 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. Follow-up by completing and submitting the attached Client Incident/Accident/Injury Report form.

Paid State OJE

1. Determine the need for a paid OJE that matches the client’s occupational interests, training and job planning and readiness considerations.
2. Consult with the VR Benefits Specialist along with client if he/she is an SSDI and/or SSI recipient, the potential impact the wages from the OJE will have on his/her benefits.
3. Locate employer who is willing and able to provide an assessment/evaluation site for the OJE.
4. Negotiate the 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). 

5. Complete a Request for Certificate of Self-Insurance if employer requests written documentation of workers' compensation coverage. 

6. In QE2, add Assessment Service On-the-Job Evaluation, Provider as NE- Dept of Education. If Assessment Supports are necessary to aid the OJE, add Assessment Support, choose required services, add Provider as Provider Type, City, and chosen Provider unless a Comparable Benefit is available.
7. Enter task note in QE2 at the start of the OJE, articulating a clear purpose and expected outcome.

8. Complete the Consent for a Paid OJE/OJT Placement form and obtain signature of the client and a VR representative.
9. Complete the I-9W-4, and W-4N with the client (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 client or reviewing the documents prior to submittal.

  • Follow instructions on the W-4 and the W-4N.
  • Verify I-9 information with List A documents (U.S. Passport, Permanent Alien Registration Card, Employment Authorization Document with photograph, etc.) or with one List B identity document (Driver’s License, State ID, School ID with picture, etc,) and one List C employment authorization document (Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Employment Authorization Document without photograph, etc.).
  • Make copies of identification documentation (driver’s license, Soc Sec card, etc.)
  • 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.

10. Complete the Direct Deposit Enrollment form (always) and the FOCUS Card Enrollment form if the client elects the debit card. (NOTE: These documents may be completed electronically at this time). Provide the client with the On-line Access to Pay Stub information. 
11. Complete the OJE/OJT Information Form. NOTE: To calculate FTE, divide the total hours the client will work by the total hours available to a full time employee during the same time period (e.g. client is working 90 hours during an 8 week period. Total hours available in 8 weeks = 320 hours (8 weeks x 40 hours). Divide 90 (# of hours client will work) by 320 (total hours available) = .28 FTE).
12. Scan the I-9, identification documentation, W-4, W-4N, OJE/OJT Information Form, Direct Deposit Enrollment form and FOCUS Card Enrollment form (if electing the debit card) and e-mail to nde.hr@nebraska.gov and vr.sofiscal@nebraska.gov as soon as possible in order receive approval prior to the OJE start date. Enter the First Name Initial and Full Last Name of the client in the subject line of the email.
13. 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 job site Provider.

14. 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 his/her paystub.
15. Upon acknowledgment of receipt by NDE HR, shred original documents.
16. Prepare the OJE/OJT Letter Checklist, OJE Letter (paid or unpaid) and State OJE/OJT Timesheet/Invoice.
17. Give OJE Letter, Timesheets, and Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule to the work site supervisor prior to start of the OJE.
18. If OJE is being done within Nebraska VR, please submit Request Temporary Access form and Confidentiality Agreement.
19. Instruct work site supervisor where and when to submit Time Sheets.
20. Monitor OJE as agreed upon with on-site supervisor who will provide verbal feedback on client's performance at least monthly and the VR Specialist or designee will document the information on the On-the-Job Report.

  • Encourage the employer to provide timely feedback and direction to the client as it is needed on the evaluation site. In addition, assessment/evaluation results are verbally provided by the employer to the VR Specialist or their designee at a minimum of once per month. The VR Specialist or designee will complete the On-the-Job Report. This includes the employer's ratings of the client for Unsatisfactory, Developing, Average, Above Average, and Exceeds. Detailed comments and specific examples provide valuable feedback.

21. Process OJE Timesheet/Invoice

  1. Signature of client, supervisor and specialist are on the timesheet 
  2. Client, supervisor and specialist signatures are dated after the last day worked
  3. All data on the timesheet is legible
  4. Time worked has been converted into decimal hours (Time Conversion Chart)
  5. 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);
  • 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, the 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.

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, 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 an employer completes 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.

22. Changes to OJE

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

  • 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.

23. New OJE

      If a client is starting a new OJE (different job), complete the OJE/OJT Information form and email to NDE HR (NDE.HR@nebraska.gov). Remaining steps of the process are the same.

24. Completion or Termination of OJE

  • Confirm completion or termination of OJE with OJE site supervisor and client
  • Notify VR Associate of OJE Completion/Termination
  • VR Associate verifies all time sheets have been accounted for and then e-mails NDE HR (nde.hr@nebraska.gov) and NDE Central Accounting (nde.centralaccounting@nebraska.gov) the client name and termination/completion date. Subject of email should be "OJE Ended"
  • NDE Central Accounting will activate/inactivate clients in E-1 as needed according to VR’s spreadsheet but will no longer monitor client termination status

25.  Enter a task note into QE2 at the conclusion of the OJE, consisting of a general summary from the employer and a note referencing the Vocational Evaluation report for more information and next steps.

26. Document a summary in the Vocational Evaluation report (TWE, OJE, or WBLE Observation section).

  1. Evidence how well the objectives were met
  2. Discuss job planning and readiness issues identified
  3. Identify 'Next Step' action(s) if possible

27.  Upload On-the-Job Report(s).to Vocational Evaluation Report as outlined in policy guidelines.

Non-Paid OJE

1. Determine the need for a non-paid OJE that matches the client’s occupational interests, training and job planning and readiness considerations.
2. Locate employer who is willing and able to provide an assessment/evaluation site for a non-paid OJE.
3. Negotiate the essential details of the non-paid OJE (start and end dates, evaluation schedule, knowledge, skills, abilities and/ or behaviors to be evaluated and the agreed upon level of general supervision by VR).

4. Provide employer a copy of the Volunteer/Non-Paid Accident Coverage Letter if requested.

5. In QE2, add Assessment Service On-the-Job Evaluation, Provider as NE- Dept of Education. If Assessment Supports are necessary to aid the OJE, add Assessment Support, choose required services and add Provider as Provider Type, City, and chosen Provider unless a Comparable Benefit is available.

6. Enter a task note in QE2 at the start of the OJE, articulating a clear purpose and expected outcome.
7. Complete the Consent for a Non-Paid On-the-Job Evaluation or On-the-Job Training Placement form and obtain signature of the client and a VR representative.
8. Complete paperwork per these instructions.

  • Prepare the OJE/OJT Letter Checklist and OJE Letter
  • Give OJE Letter to work site supervisor prior to start of the OJE
  • Work site supervisor will provide verbal feedback on client's performance at least monthly and the VR Specialist or designee will document the information on the On-the-Job Report
  • If OJE is being done within VR, please submit Request Temporary Access form

9. VR staff provide general supervision of non-paid OJE.

10. Confirm completion or termination of non-paid OJE with exploration/assessment site and client.
11.  Enter a task note into QE2 at the conclusion of the OJE, consisting of a general summary from the employer and a note referencing the Vocational Evaluation report for more information and next steps.

12. Document a summary in the Vocational Evaluation report (TWE, OJE, or WBLE Observation section) as outlined in policy guidelines.

  1. Evidence how well the objectives were met
  2. Discuss job planning and readiness issues identified
  3. Identify 'Next Step' action(s) if possible

13. Upload On-the-Job Report(s).to Vocational Evaluation Report.

 

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. 


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