781 Ky. Admin. Regs. 1:020

Current through Register Vol. 50, No. 5, November 1, 2023
Section 781 KAR 1:020 - General provisions for operation of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

RELATES TO: KRS 138.170, 151B.185, 151B.190, 151B.200, 34 C.F.R. 361.42, 361.49, 29 U.S.C. 722, 723

NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 151B.200 authorizes the office comply with federal acts relating to vocational rehabilitation when these acts apply to joint state and federally funded vocational rehabilitation programs. KRS 151B.195(1) requires the Executive Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to promulgate administrative regulations governing services, personnel, and administration of the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. This administrative regulation establishes general criteria for the provision of rehabilitation services and is necessary in order to distribute limited funds available for that purpose.

Section 1. Definitions.
(1) "Applicant" means an individual who has signed a letter or document requesting vocational rehabilitation services and who is available to complete an assessment.
(2) "Eligible individual" means an individual with a disability who has been determined by the office to meet the basic conditions of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services as defined in 34 C.F.R. 361.42.
(3) "Occupational equipment" means equipment essential to perform the job duties at the job site and required as a condition of employment.
(4) "Office" means the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and its staff members who are authorized under state law to perform the functions of the state regarding the state plan and its supplement.
(5) "Relative" means an individual related to another individual by lineage, marriage, or adoption and includes a:
(a) Spouse;
(b) Parent;
(c) Grandparent;
(d) Brother;
(e) Sister;
(f) Son;
(g) Daughter;
(h) Grandchild;
(i) Aunt;
(j) Uncle;
(k) Niece;
(l) Nephew; and
(m) First cousin.
Section 2. Employees' Request for Services.
(1) An employee of the office who wishes to request rehabilitation services shall advise the Director of Field Services or a designee.
(2) The Director of Field Services or a designee and the employee shall select a counselor to take the request for services. If practicable, the counselor shall be located in an adjacent district to the district in which the employee resides.
Section 3. Employees' Relatives' Request for Services.
(1) An employee of the office shall not take a request for services or provide vocational rehabilitation services to a relative.
(2) The relative shall be referred to the Director of Field Services or a designee.
(3) The Director of Field Services or a designee and the individual shall identify a staff member who is not a relative to take the request for services and to provide services as deemed appropriate.
Section 4. Legal Fees. The office shall not be responsible for any fees incurred by an applicant or eligible individual for legal services.
Section 5. Payment Rates for Purchased Services.
(1) A service vendor shall not charge or accept from the applicant, eligible individual, or a relative payment for services unless the amount of the charge or payment is first presented to the office.
(2) Payment to out-of-state vendors shall be governed by the rates established by the vocational rehabilitation agency in the state where services shall be provided.
Section 6. Potentially Terminal Illness. Services shall not be provided to individuals with a potentially terminal illness unless:
(1) There is a favorable medical prognosis for recovery; or
(2) There is a prospect of survival for a reasonable period of time, allowing a return to work for at least twelve (12) months (work life expectancy).
(a) If surgery, chemotherapy, nuclear medical treatment, or similar ancillary medical service is expected to cure the condition, it may be provided as with another medical problem.
(b) If the attending physician feels the prognosis is guarded, the office shall request a letter indicating the individual's work life expectancy. For those individuals with a twelve (12) month work life expectancy services may be considered.
Section 7. Second Opinions.
(1) The office may seek a second opinion from a qualified practitioner before determining eligibility or before authorizing services if the office has reason to believe that a second opinion would provide more information necessary to determine eligibility.
(2) If the office determines that eligibility is not met or does not authorize services, an individual may utilize the appeals process established in 782 KAR 1:010.
Section 8. Self-employment Enterprises. The requirements established in this section shall be met prior to planning for self-employment for an eligible individual.
(1) An eligible individual shall undergo an assessment to determine work skills interests, interpersonal skills, related functional capacities, and other pertinent characteristics.
(2) An eligible individual shall participate in prevocational and small business training as established in the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Policies and Procedures Manual, incorporated by reference in 781 KAR 1:010.
(3) An eligible individual shall obtain any required license, permit, certificate, or lease, and be in conformity with all federal and state laws and local ordinances to commence an enterprise.
(4) An eligible individual seeking to develop a self-employment enterprise requiring start up costs of more than $1,000 shall:
(a) Complete a feasibility study; and
(b) Submit a business plan and have it approved by the office pursuant to the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Policies and Procedures Manual, incorporated by reference in 781 KAR 1:010, prior to provision of services. The business plan shall consist of the following:
1. Executive summary;
2. Description of product or service;
3. Assessment of available consumers to be served;
4. Competitors currently in operation in the industry;
5. Marketing plan;
6. Costs of production;
7. Management details and structure; and
8. Detailed financial analysis.
(5) The office shall not be the sole source of capitalization for a self-employment enterprise with start up costs of $5,000 or more.
(a) In addition to requirements under subsection (4) of this section, an eligible individual seeking financial assistance with start up costs of $5000 to $10,000 shall contribute fifty (50) percent of the cost in excess of $5,000 either in capital or documented value of existing equipment used in the daily operation of the business and ninety (95) percent of the cost in excess of $10,000.
(b) An eligible individual shall provide documentation that the assets necessary for the required financial participation are in place prior to provision of services by the office.
(6) The total office expenditures toward the start up costs for a self-employment enterprise shall not exceed $10,000 unless:
(a) All provisions of subsections (1) through (5) of this section are met; and
1. The nature of the individual's vocational rehabilitation needs make it necessary that the service be provided;
2. The denial of the service will prohibit the individual from achieving the vocational goal; or
3. The provision of the service will result in a cost savings to the office.
Section 9. Gender Reassignment. Office funds shall not be used to pay for gender reassignment surgery.
Section 10. Tools and Equipment. The eligible individual shall return tools, equipment, and supplies to the office if no longer used for the employment outcome.
Section 11. Training. Postsecondary training shall be provided for an eligible individual pursuant to this section.
(1) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4) of this section, tuition and initial registration fees provided to the training facility of the eligible individual's choice shall not exceed those of the highest rate charged by a state-supported training facility in Kentucky that offers similar vocational preparation. If there is no similar program in the state, the amount of support shall be determined by the current fee for service memo.
(2) The Director of Field Services or a designee shall make exceptions to the limitations provided by subsection (1) if it is clearly demonstrated that exceptions are necessary to achieve the employment outcome as established in 34 C.F.R. 361.5(b)(16).
(3) The office shall provide tuition and initial registration fees for postsecondary programs for the deaf recognized by the U.S. Congress as national programs due to the provision of essential support services including:
(a) Interpreting services;
(b) Note-taking services; and
(c) Tutoring services.
(4) Other postsecondary programs for the deaf offering interpreting services, note-taking services, and tutoring services shall be used if the total cost of attendance does not exceed the total cost of tuition, fees and interpreting services, note-taking services, and tutoring services at the highest rate charged by a state-supported training facility in Kentucky that offers similar vocational preparation.
(5) Training shall be purchased only from training facilities that are accredited or licensed by accrediting or licensing bodies and that comply with all applicable state and federal requirements.
(6) An eligible individual planning to attend a postsecondary training facility shall apply for all financial assistance available through the training facility.
(7) An eligible post-secondary student shall:
(a) Maintain full-time status as defined by the institution;
(b) Maintain less than full-time status if full-time status is inconsistent with the consumer's unique strengths, abilities, and capabilities; or
(c) Maintain less than full-time status for one (1) semester if those hours are needed to graduate in the current year;
(d) All course work shall facilitate the achievement of positive outcomes.
(e) By the end of the second term or semester and throughout each subsequent term or semester, the student shall achieve the higher of:
1. An overall "C" grade average; or
2. Standing required for admission, licensure, or certification.
(f) An exception to a requirement established in subsection (1) or (4) of this section shall:
1. Be granted if the student:
a. Has a need or circumstance that renders him unable to meet the requirement; and
b. Notifies the counselor of the need or circumstance prior to a change of standing at the institution.
2. Not be granted for the requirements established in subsection (5) of this section for a period beyond one (1) semester.
(8) The student shall provide the counselor with a copy of course grades as soon as possible after the end of each term or semester.
(9) If the student does not maintain the standards of this section, the counselor shall:
(a) Terminate service at the institution of higher education; and
(b) Simultaneously notify the student of the appeal procedure established in KRS 138.170.
(10) A service terminated under subsection (12) of this section shall be reinstituted if the student:
(a) Successfully appeals the counselors decision, in accordance with KRS 138.170; or
(b) Subsequently meets the standard under which the service was terminated.
Section 12. Computer Hardware and Software Purchases.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section or in Section 13 of this administrative regulation, the office shall not purchase a computer, microcomputer, or other hardware or software for the personal use of an applicant or eligible individual.
(2) The office shall consider the provision or upgrade or replacement of computer hardware and software if the equipment is:
1. Essential to compensate for the limitations caused by the disability; or
2. Required for the eligible individual to achieve or maintain a vocational objective of competitive integrated employment; and
(b) One (1) of the following criteria are met:
1. The equipment is required for vocational preparation;
2. The equipment is required to perform the job and no provision is made by the employer to supply the equipment; or
3. The equipment enables an eligible individual to become competitive in an integrated setting with nondisabled employees performing the same duties.
Section 13. Medical Treatment. A medical treatment or procedure that is experimental or that does not have a consistent record of significant improvement in vocational functioning in better than fifty (50) percent of the subjects shall not be provided by the office.
Section 14. Vehicle Purchase. The office shall not purchase a vehicle unless the occupation of the eligible individual requires a vehicle as occupational equipment.

781 KAR 1:020

17 Ky.R. 782; Am. 1493; eff. 12-7-90; 19 Ky.R. 1428; 1802; eff. 3-4-93; 21 Ky.R. 551; eff. 10-6-94; 24 Ky.R. 2429; 25 Ky.R. 78; eff. 7-13-98; 33 Ky.R. 2152; 3166; eff. 5-4-2007; 36 Ky.R. 2230; 37 Ky.R. 360; eff. 9-3-2010; Certified to be amended, filing deadline 8-12-2021; 48 Ky.R. 1002; 49 Ky.R. 43; eff. 10/4/2022.