VRS_Update 4/16

Vocational Rehabilitation Services header

Dear Community Partners,

VRS is Open for Business!

A reminder that VRS is open for business! VRS staff continue to work with individuals who have employment plans and we’re still conducting intakes with new participants. VRS staff are adjusting to doing intakes virtually. With the Governor’s extension of the Stay at Home order, VRS staff were temporarily unable to access work sites. VRS has secured an exception for one staff from each office to periodically access work sites to gather mail and faxes, and scan and upload documents. This will allow intakes and eligibility determinations to continue.

Tech Access Information with Referrals

VRS will make every effort to provide additional information regarding an individual’s access to technology for remote services, the individual’s preferred communication for remote services, and how to best provide remote services to that person.

Placement and Retention PBAs during COVID

Due to the COVID and the Governor’s Stay at Home order, VRS understands VRS clients in a Placement and Retention PBA who were working may have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID before the 90 day 3rd milestone. VRS understands the financial implications this poses to our community partners. Listed below are some flexibilities VRS is able to provide at this time. As always, authorizations are at the discretion of the counselor, based on the needs and wishes of the individual we’re serving. 

  • On the Job, Furloughed: When an individual is furloughed due to COVID 19, the 90 clock will continue during this period of time without interruption. When the individual returns to work and is again on the payroll, billing for the 3rd milestone may be considered if the 90 day standard has been met and stability has been established. While this individual is furloughed, the VRS counselor, PBA provider, and the individual should discuss the support and/or job coaching needs that may be required once the individual returns to work in an effort to re-establish their employment and gain stability. If additional job coaching hours are required, above and beyond the 20 hours included in the PBA, these may be authorized during this time. Please consult with the VRS counselor and the RAM to discuss individual cases.
  • Laid Off: Under normal circumstances, if an individual does not stay in a job for at least 90 days, the provider would continue to provide Job Development and Placement services with the existing PBA. A new PBA would not be authorized. Given current circumstances due to COVID, VRS is able to authorize for a new PBA at this time.

Questions about Job Hires

We received a couple questions about what qualifies as a job hire. The information below has not changed due to COVID.

  • Temp Hires: Temporary hires can be considered a job hire if there is a reasonable expectation the job will be made permanent. The 3rd milestone would only be paid after 90 days and the job is made permanent. Temporary hires can also be considered a job hire if the job is seasonal or temporary in nature and the individual understands the seasonal/temporary nature of the position.
  • Work from Home: A work from home assignment is an acceptable job hire as long as the person is working and receiving a paycheck.

Pre-ETS Updates

  • Recordings: We now have the recordings available from the eTrac and Virtual Job Shadow demonstrations that were held on April 7 and April 8. Go to the Pre-ETS provider page on the DEED website at: https://mn.gov/deed/job-seekers/disabilities/youth/pre-ets/contractor/ and click on the “Webinars” tab.
  • Reminder for Requesting Website Subscriptions: If P/T contracted providers are interested in access to any/all of the following websites: eTrac, Virtual Job Shadow, or MCIS, please complete the survey found at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CN5BPCL by Friday, April 17.
  • Clarification Related to Pre-ETS Reports: Pre-ETS Work Experience- Wages needs to include how many hours the student worked on each day that the student worked. This can be accomplished by including a copy of the student’s time sheet along with a report or documenting each day within the report.  We have updated this sample report to reflect this clarification: Work Experience Short-Term: Scarlett Pine (found on the DEED Pre-ETS provider page on the “Resources” tab) that documents how many hours the student worked each day.
  • Pre-ETS Virtual Services, No Travel Differential: In providing Pre-ETS virtually, providers should not bill within the travel differential rates (since there is no travel in providing services at this time). All services would be in the 0-25 mile range that starts at $75/hour for individual services.
  • Pre-ETS Separate Invoices for Different Authorizations: Separate invoices need to be submitted when providers are billing off of more than one authorization. VRS is only able to process payment off of one authorization with each unique invoice number.


Thank you for all you’re doing for the individuals we serve. Thank you for all you’re doing to strengthen the partnerships between you and VRS. I speak on behalf of all VRS in extended our deepest gratitude for the opportunity to work with you on behalf of the people we serve.

And keep the questions coming! They help inform updates like this. Feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Take good care,


Kim Babine
Director of Community Partnerships
Direct: 651-259-7349