Eligibility and Order of Selection Unit

Provides an objective and systematic approach to the eligibility process
In this Section

Eligibility and Order of Selection (EOS)

Nationwide, State Vocational Rehabilitation programs and staff have up to 60 days to determine an individual's eligibility for DVR services. Since 2016 SVRI has worked with the federal-state Vocational Rehabilitation program in Wisconsin that has resulted in;

  • Saving an average of 34,773 work hours per year for DVR staff allowing for vocational guidance and counseling in the new WIOA environment 
  • Decreased turnaround time from 34 days down to19 days with a highly efficient process of determining eligibility
  • Creating a specialize unit of less than 20 specialists reducing the number of people involved in determining eligibility 

Background
SVRI developed the Eligibility Unit in partnership with Wisconsin DVR at their request in 2015. The innovative environment at SVRI allowed for piloting this project with early stages and planning completed by a small but dedicated staff. SVRI continues to work with WI DVR diminishing the time needed to return each case to Wisconsin DVR for review. WI DVR 
Eligibility Assessment Services Process (pdf) 

Achievements

  • Efficient: Increased overall cost efficiency by an average of 13.17% per year over 5 years, over the same period SVRI has decreased the per case cost by 4.71%
  • Timely: Increased the timeliness of determinations by 44.12% in 5 years and exceeds the contract target of 35 days by 45.71%.
  • Cost Effective: Decreased per case actual cost by 4.71% over a 5-year period 

Value to State VR Agency

  • Expedited Eligibility Recommendation: Produces a high quality, consistent,
    and objective eligibility recommendation in 25 days or less on average.
  • Specialized Eligibility Expertise: Staff are highly trained and experienced in
    one area of the VR process eligibility. On average 525 eligibility reviews and
    recommendations per year are processed by each EOS staff member. This
    volume provides a depth and breadth of experience.
  • Subject Matter Experts: Areas of expertise include interpreting RSA eligibility
    regulations, understanding and applying “serious limitation”, recommending
    disability classifications for Order of Selection, reviewing and understanding
    documentation.
  • Objective Inter Rater Reliability: Staff are not involved in any aspect of the
    continuation of the case, we are objective, non biased, and have a high degree
    of inter rater reliability.

Solutions

  • Eliminate Geographic Variation in Determinations: Consistent, objective, unbiased recommendations regardless of consumer location.
  • Adaptability to Spikes in Applications: Provides VR agency with nimble flexibility when applications spike or staff turnover creates backlogs.
  • Improved Accessibility to VR Application & Eligibility Process: EOS has always conducted intakes and determinations by phone or virtually using Microsoft Teams. This also reduces the need for consumer travel.
  • Increased Interview Availability: Staff are available to consumers from 6 AM to 7 PM Central Standard Time.

Agency Advantages

  • Staff Workload Maximization: Saves VR agency staff from the time consuming busy work thereby reducing workload and allowing for reallocation to more essential tasks.
  • Timeliness: Reduces the time from application to eligibility and reduces the need for signed extensions. Reduces consumer complaints and the time staff spend dealing with them.
  • Consistent Defensible Recommendations: Consistent, objective, unbiased recommendations by a third party with no self interest in ongoing services.
  • Standardization: The standardized and consistent report format simplifies case reviews, saves staff time, reduces individual variance and interpretation.
  • Improved Staff Morale: VR Staff can spend time helping clients rather than playing phone tag or tracking down ROI’s.
  • Training Efficiency: SVRI and the state agency can focus intensive training for EOS staff that brings clarity and consistency to eligibility recommendations because that is all we do.

VR Counselor Advantages

  • Rapid Client Engagement: Staff engage with clients immediately and complete the process in a rapid and timely manner that improve consumer engagement.
  • The Client Story: The EOS report gives the VR Counselor a rich and holistic history of the individual including educational background, employment history, disability, and social history. Many times, there is enough information for VR Counselors and clients to move to IPE development.
  • Time: The VR Counselor has a reduced time commitment for new applications and can prioritize time to clients who are eligible.
  • Workload Reduction: The VR Counselor has fewer busy tasks and tracking to meet timelines, this is all done by EOS.
  • Flexibility: VR Counselors can triage incoming cases and use EOS to manage workload and case flow.

Client Advantages

  • Availability & Accessibility: EOS staff are available and accessible because they are not booked out for weeks like man VR Counselors are. They have a smaller workload, the ability to focus on a single individual, and the ability to be in consistent contact.
  • Engagement: A client does not have to wait weeks or a month for an initial interview appointment, and the entire process is completed in less than 30 days on average.
  • Comprehensive & Thorough: EOS can spend the time needed to get detailed information from the client and is not rushed like very busy VR Counselors are.
  • Equity: Consistent eligibility determinations and OOS classifications are more objective, equal, and fair.