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Initial Meeting

Categorized In: Case Services - Referral to Eligibility

Approved Date: June 09, 2022

Owner: Angela Fujan

Previously Terminated Cases:

As applicable, consult with the Office Director to assist with identifying issues that contributed to the previous termination.

Initial Meeting:

  • Ensure VR Orientation has been provided. 
  • Refer individual to appropriate community resources, regardless if they apply to VR or not. Document in casefile.
  • Individuals who participate in an Initial Meeting, shall be provided the opportunity to apply to the Nebraska VR Employment Program.

Required VR forms: Offer the client a copy of all forms used during the Initial Meeting. 

  • VR Application and Release forms: Before an individual can apply for vocational rehabilitation services, the VR Application and Release forms must be completed and signed with appropriate signatures. 
  • Summary of Initial Meeting or Next Action:  Complete  either form to  provide a written summary of the meeting to ensure the individual understands the next steps in the process.
  • Other releases and forms, as applicable:
    • ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) pre-screening question: Staff are to screen applicants answering “yes” or “not sure”  to the ABI pre-screening question on the application for their lifetime history of possible ABI incidents using the Nebraska VR ABI Interview Form or by entering the applicant's answers directly in QE2. 
    • SSI/SSDI recipient based on their disability: Review Ticket to Work status and complete a SSA 3288 Consent for Release of Information/General (VR) form, if the applicant receives SSI or SSDI based on a disability

Previous unsuccessful closures: 

As applicable, consult with the Office Director 

Initial Meeting:

  • Review expectations of VR
  • VR Process and explain services 
  • Assess barriers to employment
  • Identify potential resolution strategy
  • Review SSI/SSDI and ask individual about their Ticket to work status.
  • Review documentation for non-citizen's eligibility to work and lawful presence 
  • Does individual have needed work documents? (2 forms of ID)
  • Refer to community resources.
  • Discuss whether it is an appropriate time to complete a VR Application
  • Summarize Initial Meeting with the applicant and provide a written summary to the individual
  • Provide information and referral services and document in file

Are client’s situation and expectations in line with what VR can do?

If yes, complete VR Application and Release forms and obtain appropriate signatures

  • Complete required application, and VR Release
  • If applicant answered “yes” or “not sure”, to the ABI pre-screening question on the application, screen the applicant using the Nebraska VR ABI Interview Form or by entering the applicant's answers directly in QE2. 
  • Complete documentation of services provided and Initial Meeting narrative.


Prior to beginning the Initial Meeting, the Specialist should:

Explore the reasons for the previous unsuccessful terminations and consult with the Office Director, as needed. Staff need to identify the issues that contributed to the previous termination, actions one would expect the previous client to have taken to resolve the issues, work readiness factors and the services that VR could reasonably offer to help resolve the issues. 

Address the reasons for previous unsuccessful termination(s):​​​​​​ 

  • Were appropriate services provided to the individual?
  • Determine what actions the individual has taken to resolve previous issues that resulted in the case closure.
  • Explore work readiness factors.
  • Review possible community resources available.
  • Explore what services VR could offer that might help resolve the barriers to employment.
  • Document the discussion and conclusions in a Task Note.
  • Do not proceed if it appears the individual is not ready to successfully engage in services or appropriate services are not available.
  • Complete Information and Referral (I & R) to Other Programs. Include the local contact information and if needed, assist the individual in contacting the appropriate community resources. 
  • Provide the applicant a full consultation of all decisions and/or determinations.
  • Should the applicant disagree and wants to appeal the decision of the availability of services and/or work readiness factors, the VR Application should be taken and follow:
  • Proceed if it appears the individual is ready and able to successfully engage in services.

Conduct the Initial Meeting:

To provide quality services, requires an understanding of the individual’s situation. This is accomplished by using open-ended questions, affirmations, reflective listening and summary statements to gain specific vocational information and the individual's confirmation that you understand their situation and desire to work.​​​​​​ Utilize the Initial Meeting Questions form for assistance (attached to this chapter below)

The Initial Meeting may occur in one or more counseling sessions and should accomplish the following by the end of the discussion:

  1. Ensure VR Orientation (via Orientation video and/or conversation) has been provided :
    • Address VR is an employment program for individuals and employers.
    • Services are individualized based on the individual's situation and employment needs.
    • Address any questions
  2. Discuss expectations:
    • Address VR is an eligibility and voluntary program that requires a joint partnership from both parties (individual and VR)
    • Emphasize the commitment expected.
    • Review how the VR team works and what the individual can expect from services.
  3. Determine/Assess Eligibility:

A) Determine/assess the presence of an impairment(s): 

  • Determine/assess how the individual’s impairment(s) results in a substantial impediment to employment. Obtain a thorough work history with the goal of obtaining sufficient information and understanding to determine/assess eligibility, priority group.
  • Utilize Disability Handbook for impairment specific questions
  • As applicable, discuss SSI/SSDI and ask the individual about their Ticket to Work status. See VRIS Ticket to Work for further information. 
  • Determine the presence of additional impairments not specifically reported, but implied: 
    • Difficulty with school - Did they receive accommodations or extra assistance?
    • Difficulty getting along with others - Have they seen a medical professional or received treatment?
    • History of DUI - have they seen a medical professional or received treatment?
    • Ask follow-up questions to determine if the condition is permanent, by addressing the history of the condition and how it has impacted the individual. Are they still recovering? Are permanent restrictions identified? 

B) Determine impediment to employment:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Inquire into difficulties preparing for, finding or keeping jobs.
  • Gather work history:
    • Discuss gaps in work history to determine possible impediments to employment.
    • Discuss requirements of the jobs. Were the work tasks consistent with the individual's disability?
    • Look for patterns in preparing for, finding and the maintaining employment, etc. What happened & why? Identify if the reasons are disability related or based on other factors, as this will help to determine disability related functional limitations or other issues that need addressed during planning.

C) Determine/assess the individual can reach an employment outcome as a result of services. 

  • Utilize Job Readiness Factors & Initial Meeting - A Guide for staff, attached below.
  • Ascertain what the individual has recently done to look for work as a means of assessing the individual’s commitment to and skills in seeking employment. If offered a job today, could they start work tomorrow?
  • Discuss what resources the client has available to address readiness factors.
  • Share with the individual any factors identified that may positively or negatively impact their ability to successfully participate in planning, services, and/or employment.
  • Engage the client in identifying suggestions for solution
    • Identify appropriate community resources and potential VR services to address barriers to employment

D) Determine/assess the individual requires VR services:

  • The individual requires a planned and coordinated individualized program of specific vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain an employment outcome.
  1. Complete information and referral to other programs. ​​​​​​​

If the individual requires assistance in making connections with the community resources, VR is encouraged to assist with this process to ensure a succesful contact.

  • Document information and referral service provided in QE2. 
  • Identify the local contact information (name, phone number and address) for each referral
  • Keep a copy of the completed Information and Referral to Other Programs form in the VR file or complete a through task note to include each identified referral and their specific contact information. 
  1. ​​​​​​​Summarize the Initial Meeting with the Individual:
  • Achieve agreement with the individual on what was discussed, decisions made and next steps.
  • Complete either the Initial Meeting Summary or a Next Steps Form. 
  • Provide the client with a copy of all documents used during the Initial Meeting.
  • Utilize the Initial Meeting to Next Steps Guide for possible next steps.
  1. Review and ensure proper identification for work:
    • Non-citizen: eligibility to work and lawful presence. For further information on this process see the VRIS Application to the Employment Program Chapter.  
    • Does the individual have the proper work documents (2 forms of ID)?
  2. Offer the opportunity to apply for vocational rehabilitation services.
    • Discuss whether it is an appropriate time to complete a VR application.
    • Let the individual know the decision to apply for VR services is their choice.
  3. To apply, complete required forms and ensure proper signatures are obtained. See VRIS Signature Requirements on VR Documents
    • VR Application:  Explain the information being requested on the Application form to the individual. Ensure the applicant and authorized representative, as applicable, understands the information. Review with individual Terms and Conditions of the application form (expectations, rights, CAP and mediation). All individuals completing the VR Application are also required to complete a VR Release form. A case cannot proceed without both documents.  as a signed.  VRIS Application to the Employment Program Chapter for specific questions regarding this form.
    • VR Release: Discuss why the form is required and what information is shared. The VR Release form is needed to obtain medical information, coordinate services, contact employers, etc. The VR Release alone is not valid without the VR Application, as the release only pertains to VR applicants or recipients of VR Services.  
    • Summary of Initial Meeting or Next ActionAchieve agreement with the individual on what was discussed, decisions made and next steps. Complete either form to provide a written summary of the meeting and next steps.  
    • Other releases and forms, as applicable:
      • SSDI or SSI recipient based on their disability: (See Eligibility - Social Security Recipients for further information)​​​​​​​
      • ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) pre-screening question
        • If the applicant answered “no”, no further action is needed.
        • If the applicant answered “yes” or “not sure” to the ABI pre-screening question on the application, screen the applicant for their lifetime history of possible ABI incidents using the Nebraska VR ABI Interview Form. Document their answers on the form for input in QE2 later, or enter their answers directly in QE2.
          • Discuss results of the interview with the applicant, determining functional impact of any noted injury(s), illness(s) or event(s).
          • Obtain a signed release to request existing records that may confirm the noted injury(s), illness(s) or event(s) and resulting physical or cognitive impairments.
          • Download and give the applicant an age and region specific brochure listing ABI resources from the Brain Injury Advisory Council's website at: https://braininjury.nebraska.gov/brain-injury-registry-brochures-2021 and ask if they would like assistance in connecting to services and supports in their community. 
          • For guidance on neuropsychological assessment for ABI, conditions that warrant it, and neuropsychologist qualifications, refer to the Comprehensive Neuropsychological Evaluation Guide on VRIS under Resources. For additional help, contact Keri Bennett, Program Director for ABI.
  4. Consider introducing career planning: 
    • Proceed with the career planning process to keep the client engaged in services, unless the organization is under an Order of Selection and unable to provide planning services until the individual comes off the waiting list. See VRIS Career Planning and Order of Selection chapters for further information. 
    • Assess the appropriate next steps for vocational planning based on the individual's situation and needs.
      • Utilize the Initial Meeting to Next Steps Guide for you for assistance.
      • Consider services and resources that have been identified to address each of the Job Readiness Factors. 
      • For individuals with challenges resulting from possible ABI, discuss the noted challenges and determine if referral for vocational evaluation and/or assistive technology evaluation are appropriate. Include a copy of the completed interview form with referral. If available, the Perceptual Memory Task and VCWS 6 Independent Problem Solving are recommended vocational assessments for individuals with ABI.
  5. Document team services provided (Orientation, Information and Referral) and complete QE2 narrative with the following topics:
    • Next steps
    • Impressions
    • Economic situation 
    • Other agencies involved
    • Legal situation
    • Family situation
    • General educational history
    • General work history
    • How the impairment causes vocational issues
    • Presenting impairment
    • Why the individual came to VR

Approved Date
April 18, 2022 Show this Archived Version
February 10, 2022 Show this Archived Version
August 19, 2019 Show this Archived Version
May 21, 2019 Show this Archived Version
October 02, 2018 Show this Archived Version

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