Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS) Providers are commonly referred to as CRPs, short for Community Rehabilitation Providers. CRPs are individuals or agencies that are approved by VRBS to provide employment services to VRBS eligible individuals with disabilities who require supports with obtaining and/or maintaining employment in the community. CRPs provide services that lead to successful employment in the chosen vocational goal of the VRBS client.

To best serve all VRBS clients and their unique and individualized needs, VRBS offers four different contract types to providers who are qualified to provide specific, specialized services. Those include:

  • CRP contract to provide traditional placement services to individuals with disabilities.
  • Pre-Employment Transitions (Pre-ETS) contract to provide services to students aged 14-21 to assist with transitioning from high-school to postsecondary education or employment.
  • Customized Employment (CE) contract for providers who employ individuals with certifications from Marc Gold and Associates (MG&A) in Discovery and/or Customized Job Development to provide CE services to individuals with the most complex disabilities who need more intensive support in selecting a career and who experience the most barriers to utilizing the current labor market.
  • COMING SOON: Individualized Placement and Supports (IPS) contract for providers who employ individuals certified in the IPS model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness through IPS Employment Center

Process for Becoming a CRP

VRBS is always looking to contract with well-qualified individuals and agencies to provide high-quality services to our clients.

If you are interested in becoming a CRP, please first review the CRP Manual below and the current CRP Contract, and then contact the Counselor Supervisor of the office that is in the area or closest to the area where you wish to provide services. 

The Counselor Supervisor will schedule a time to meet with you to hear your proposal for service provision for their area, discuss the Vocational Rehabilitation process, and ask questions to determine if additional providers for their area are needed. If the Counselor Supervisor would like you to pursue a CRP contract at the end of that meeting, they will provide you with the Supervisor Approval Form and Staff List Sheet to complete.

Next, electronically complete the Supervisor Approval Form and Staff List Sheet. Do not turn in handwritten documents. To completely fill out the Supervisor Approval Form, you will need to “Register as an Entity” with sam.gov to get a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) if you do not already have one. When both forms are completed, email or use File Transfer Service the completed Supervisor Approval Form, Staff List Sheet, and your resume to the Counselor Supervisor you met with previously.

The Counselor Supervisor, VRBS Program Manager, and Bureau Chief of Field Services will review the submitted materials. You will then be notified via email about next steps. 

If your application does not pass review, the VRBS Program Manager will contact you to explain.

Before the contract can go out for signature, you need to do the following:

  1. Get the required insurances in place and obtain Certificates of Insurance (COI) from your agent. Acceptable COIs look like these and have the following listed as the certificate holder: DPHHS PO Box 4210 Helena, MT 59604-4210.
  2. Complete a Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification form (Form W-9).
  3. OPTIONAL: Complete the 204-Electronic Funds Transfer Sign Up to receive direct deposit payments.

**Also, if you are not yet a vendor in our contract management system, a request will be sent to you via email to register as a vendor in eMacs**

Once the above steps have been completed, send your Certificate of Insurance (COI) via email or File Transfer Service to the Program Officer to finalize your contract.

Upon receipt of your COI, W-9, and 204 Form, your contract will be put together and sent to you via email from DocuSign for electronic signature.

Once you have signed the contract, it will be sent via DocuSign to the Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Administrator for signature.

After both electronic signatures have been collected, a copy of the finalized, fully signed contract will be sent to you via email from DocuSign. This copy will also be sent to the Counselor Supervisor which notifies them you are ready to begin receiving referrals.

Community Rehabilitation Provider Manual

DISCLAIMER: The CRP contract is the legal document that dictates all CRP requirements and supersedes anything noted in the manual below.

The purpose of this manual is to provide Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) with information on services and billing procedures that will help the CRP work with Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS). The manual is intended to serve as a living document which will be updated over time, as needed. VRBS has the authority to receive and expend vocational rehabilitation (VR) funds under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 34 CFR §§ 361.21 and 361.22, and 34 CFR § 363. VRBS works with CRPs to provide services, as defined in this manual to VRBS clients. CRPs provide specific services for VR clients based on a fee-for-service. Employees of Montana CRPs must have a high school diploma (or GED/HiSet) and two (2) years of experience in providing job coaching or follow along services for people with disabilities. If the individual does not meet the above experience requirements, a review of related training and experience may substitute for the two years’ experience. Montana CRPs must also follow the process and procedures mentioned in this manual and undergo periodic monitoring by VRBS to continue a working relationship with the agency. This manual addresses VRBS’ state-federal program and does not address Pre-Employment Transitions Services (Pre-ETS) or The Extended Employment Program (EE). 

Pre-ETS is a program within VRBS with its own rules and fee schedule and is not referenced in this document. For Pre-ETS information, please contact the Pre-ETS program – Tammy Hogan. (See Appendix D for list of VRBS contacts) 

EE is a separate, exclusively state-funded entity and is not referenced in this document. For EE program requirements, please contact the EE program – Lacey Conzelman. (See Appendix D for list of VRBS contacts)

The following are services offered by VRBS primarily provided by CRPs via the CRP contract between the agency and the provider. The service category names and definitions are federally defined (https://rsa.ed.gov/sites/default/files/subregulatory/pd-16-04.pdf) by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), the federal partner for all state VR programs, including Montana VRBS.

Job Readiness Training (JRT)

Training provided to prepare an individual for work (e.g., work behaviors, getting to work on time, dress and grooming, increasing productivity, etc.).

  • For example, this service category may be used for soft skills training, job shadows, informational interviews, mock interviews, and work-site tours, as well as set up and job coaching for work experiences.

Job Search Assistance (JSA)

Job search activities support and assist an individual in searching for an appropriate job. Job search assistance may include help in resume preparation, identifying appropriate job opportunities, developing interview skills, and making contacts with companies on behalf of the consumer.

Short Term Job Supports (STS)

Support services provided to an individual who has been placed in employment in order to stabilize the placement and enhance job retention. Such services include short-term job coaching for persons who do not have a supported employment goal consistent with the employment goal on the IPE.

  • This service category was formerly referred to as On-the-Job Supports – Short Term (OJS-ST).

Supported Employment Services (SES)

Supported employment services (34 CFR 361.5(c)(54)) means ongoing support services, including customized employment, and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability, including a youth with a most significant disability in supported employment that are – (i) Organized and made available, singly or in combination, in such a way as to assist an eligible individual to achieve competitive integrated employment; (ii) Based on a determination of the needs of an eligible individual, as specified in an individualized plan for employment; (iii) Provided by the designated State unit for a period of time not to exceed 24 months, unless under special circumstances the eligible individual and the rehabilitation counselor jointly agree to extend the time to achieve the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment; and (iv) Following transition, as post-employment services that are unavailable from an extended services provider and that are necessary to maintain or regain the job placement or advance in employment.

  • This service category was formerly referred to as On-the-Job Supports – Supported Employment (OJS-SE).

Extended Services

Extended services (34 CFR 361.5(c)(19)) are ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability including a youth with a most significant disability, in supported employment. See 34 CFR 361.5(c)(19) for the complete definition. Agencies are to only report data for youth who have achieved a supported employment outcome and are receiving extended services provided with VR and/or SE funds for a period not to exceed four years. The service records for these individuals remain open until these services are terminated. VR agencies are not to report data for individuals, including youth, who have achieved a supported employment outcome and are receiving extended services provided through other sources following record closure.

This data element tracks extended services provided only by the VR agency or through VR agency purchase; therefore, the comparable services and benefits data elements are not included.

Technical Assistance Services Including Self-Employment

*only provided by select CRPs based on experience and inclusion in contract*

Technical assistance includes consultation and other services provided to conduct market analyses, to develop business plans, and to provide resources to individuals in the pursuit of self-employment, telecommuting and small business operation outcomes.

  • For example, this service category may be used for consultation to conduct market analyses, to develop and write business plans, and to provide resources to clients pursuing self-employment.

Miscellaneous Training

*only provided by select CRPs based on experience and inclusion in contract*

Any training not recorded in one of the other categories listed, including GED or secondary school training leading to a diploma, or courses taken at four-year, junior or community colleges not leading to a certificate or diploma.

  • For example, this service category may be used for driver’s training and any other trainings not accounted for by another available service category.

Other Services

*only provided by select CRPs based on experience and inclusion in contract* Use this category ONLY for other VR services that cannot be recorded elsewhere. Include in this category such services as the provision of funds for occupational licenses, tools and equipment, initial stocks and supplies.

  • For example, this service category may be used for PASS Plan assistance.


It is each CRP’s responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to their clients for accessing CRP services in CRP offices. VRBS will provide reasonable accommodations in VRBS offices.

VR Process

1) Intake and Application

Individuals interested in VRBS must apply for services. To apply for services, the individual or a support person for the individual must contact the local VRBS office and schedule an appointment to complete an application with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC).

During intake, the individual will be asked about their employment history and goals as well as their disabilities and how their disability/disabilities have impacted their ability to obtain, maintain, or train for employment.

The VRC will collect all needed demographic and historical information from the individual and obtain signed releases of information (ROIs).

2) Eligibility

The VRC has 60 days from the date of the Intake and Application meeting to make an eligibility determination.

Individuals who are eligible for VRBS services are those who:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment,
  • Have a substantial impediment to employment, AND
  • Require VRBS services to become employed in a position compatible with their abilities and interests

The VRC will utilize the signed ROIs collected during the Intake and Application session, to gather medical and/or psychological information to determine eligibility for VRBS. Upon receipt of the medical and/or psychological documentation, the VRC will verify the individual has a diagnosed disability and identify disability-related impediments to employment.

Individuals who receive SSI and/or SSDI are considered presumptively eligible for VRBS. Verification of benefits will be collected by the VRC to complete eligibility.

3) Order of Selection (OOS)

Not everyone who is eligible for VRBS services will receive services right away. Some will go on a waiting list.

Those with the most significant disabilities are served first.

  • Category 1: Most Significant Disability (Three or More Functional Limitations)
  • Category 2: Significant Disability (Two Functional Limitations)
  • Category 3: Disability (One Functional Limitations)

When VRBS is on OOS, all individuals in Category 1 are served first. People on the waitlist are invited into IPE development based on date of application for services, starting with all individuals in Category 1, then Category 2, and finally Category 3.

4) IPE Planning and Development

The client and counselor have 90 days from the date eligibility was determined to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). In the case of OOS, the client and counselor have 90 days from the date the individual is invited in off the waitlist.

During this 90-days, the client and VRC work together to develop a job goal and identify VRBS services needed to obtain the agreed upon employment goal.

The client may be asked to:

  • Complete interest inventories, informational interviews, in-person or virtual job shadows, etc.
  • Conduct labor market research
  • Participate in career exploration to help choose needed services, first steps, and/or job goal

5) IPE and Services

The Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is a contractual document between VRBS and the client that includes:

  • The client’s chosen vocational goal
  • Anticipated date to accomplish the employment goal
  • Specific services that will be provided by VRBS, the client, or other comparable benefits
  • The client and VRBS responsibilities for participating in services and accomplishing the identified vocational goal

6) VRBS Exit

The employment goal is considered “achieved” when the client is working and stable in the job goal listed on their IPE for a minimum of 90 days. At that point, the case is exited from VRBS.

If the client requires long-term on-the-job supports after their VRBS case exit to maintain employment, the VRC will coordinate with the available, appropriate long-term funding source to coordinate seamless transition.

Common long-term funding sources for Supported Employment include:

  • Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP)
  • Extended Employment Program (EE)
  • Severe Disabling Mental Illness (SDMI) Waiver

Referrals to Providers

A referral to a CRP is made when the client and VRC determine CRP services are needed. This is most commonly when the initial IPE is developed, but it may be any time after. The typical services that a CRP provides are:

  • Job Readiness Training
  • Job Search Assistance
  • Short Term Job Supports
  • Supported Employment Services
  • Extended Services

Additional services that may be offered by a CRP and require additional training and/or proof of experience include:

  • Miscellaneous Training - Soft Skills Training
  • Miscellaneous Training - Driver’s Education
  • Other Service - PASS Plan Assistance
  • Technical Assistance – Business Plan Development

When it is determined that the CRP services are needed, clients are provided informed choice for all CRP service providers available in their area. CRP brochures or rack cards may be given to the client and the unique aspects of each CRP may be shared with the client. The client is encouraged to contact, explore, and thoroughly review their CRP options before selecting a CRP for services.

Once the client has selected their CRP and finalized the IPE, a release of information (ROI) to the provider will be signed by the client and a referral will be written by the VRC and sent to the chosen CRP with:

  • A copy of the current IPE
  • Relevant medical documentation
  • Relevant case notes
  • Two authorizations for services:
    • one to complete “Intake and Planning” and
    • one for the regular hourly services.

Upon receipt of the referral, it is expected that the CRP will make contact with the client to set up the initial intake and planning meeting within one week. After the CRP has completed the required “Intake and Planning” meeting and associated job plan, that job plan is submitted to the referring VRC for approval and payment. It is expected that hourly services begin as soon as possible after “Intake and Planning” and are authorized on a quarterly basis (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, July-Sept, Oct-Dec). It is also recommended that the CRP schedule a meeting with the VRC and client to occur within 90 days of completion of the Intake and Planning session. Upon placing a client in employment, the CRP is expected to obtain a copy of the first pay stub for submission to the referring VRC.

When the client has obtained and maintained the employment goal specified in their IPE for a minimum of 90 days, the employer, client, CRP, and VRC agree that the client is stable (as independent in completing job tasks as possible) in their employment, the VRC has all required employment verification, and the client has been consulted on case exit, the CRP is eligible for “Successful Outcome” fee. The “Successful Outcome” fee will be sent to the CRP once the client has received all agreed upon services in their IPE, including all additional services related to the client’s career pathway, and the VRC is ready to exit the client from VRBS. When the VRC is exiting the case, they will send a PO for “Successful Outcome” fee to the CRP.

Prior Authorization

A written authorization must be received by the CRP from the client’s VRC before providing any billable services to a client.

CRPs need to make sure that they have hours authorized at the beginning of each month before starting services. It is the VRC’s responsibility to make sure CRPs are informed when services are no longer authorized and to make timely authorization of services. If a client is not maintaining contacts with the provider, as scheduled in the IPE, the CRP must stop all activities and contact the VRBS counselor. VRBS does not guarantee payment for any services provided to a client by a CRP without documentation of prior authorization.

The VRC is required to meet with the client at a minimum of every 90 days to discuss progress towards their employment goal and participation in CRP services. If the VRC has not been able to meet with the client while CRP services are in progress, re-authorization of services could be delayed. It is the VRC’s responsibility to make appointments with clients related to periodic reviews and management.

Purchase Orders and Requesting Additional Service Hours

VRBS authorizes CRP hours for services on a quarterly basis. The quarters are: Jan-Mar, April-June, July-Sept, and Oct-Dec. The VRC strives to ensure all authorizations are created before the beginning of each quarter. If the CRP anticipates a purchase order (PO) but has not received one, particularly if lack of PO could result in job loss or disruption of a work experience, it is best to immediately contact the client’s VRC. If a response is not received within one business day, contact the VRC’s supervisor. If a response is not received within one business day, contact the Bureau Chief of Field Services.

It is the responsibility of the CRP to notify the VRC when the client has obtained employment. It is the responsibility of the VRC to get a corrected PO for the client’s supports on the job to the CRP in a timely manner.

It is the CRP’s responsibility to manage their authorized hours. If the CRP foresees additional hours are necessary for a particular month, the CRP must request additional hours from the client’s VRC with justification. It is in the best interest of both VRBS and the CRP that requests for additional hours be made via email. VRBS is unable to pay for billing that is over the authorized amount.

CRP Fee Schedule

During the development of the current fee structure, great care was taken to include compensation for activities classified as the “cost of doing business” in the rate for billable activities. The “cost of doing business” includes factors such as overhead and a variety of staff activities.

Service 07/01/23 - 06/30/24 Rates 07/01/24 - 06/30/25 Rates
Intake and Planning $171.28 flat rate $178.13 flate rate
Basic Successful Outcome $177.13 flat rate $182.22 flat rate
High Quality $500 flat rate $520 flat rate
Job Search Assistance $58.78 an hour $61.13/hr
Supported Employment Services $58.78 an hour $61.13/hr
Extended Services $58.78 an hour $61.13/hr
Vocational Evaluation $60.78 an hour $61.13/hr
Training classes
(maximum 6 participants)
$32.53 an hour per person $33.83/hr per person
(one-on-one due to disability)
$58.78 per hour $61.13/hr

VRBS will pay for CRP travel time as defined in the specific contract types.

Intake and Planning Billing Requirements

VRBS pays a fixed state-wide fee for intake and planning services upon receipt and approval of a formal employment plan by the CRP. This fee guarantees a provider the above amount for receiving a referral from VRBS, spending time to understand the client’s situation, organizing records, initially meeting with the client, formulating a service strategy, and formally writing up an employment plan to be presented to the client and client’s VRC.

The CRP must submit the Intake and Planning Job Plan form (Appendix A) for payment or a comparable CRP-created version for payment.

In rare instances more than one intake and planning fee is paid for the same client:

  • If the client chooses to change CRPs during the course of their IPE, an intake and planning fee will be paid to the new CRP
  • A subsequent intake and planning fee will be paid to the same CRP if a significant period of time (1 year or more) has passed with significant changes in the participant's situation since the CRP’s last contact within the same IPE. This initial fee will be paid upon presentation of an employment plan to the customer and to VRBS.

Monthly Billing for Services

CRP staff engage in a wide range of activities during their workday, many of which are billable to Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services (VRBS), but some are not. In order to avoid any misunderstandings or billing errors, it is important for all parties involved in the billing and payment approval process to understand this model and to know what is, and what is not, a billable activity. An activity may be associated with vocational services but may not be billable. For example, leaving phone messages and non-client specific employer contacts are not billable. 

CRP staff must be aware whether they are engaged in billable activities or non-billable activities and record the time used as soon as possible. CRP staff should not make guesses as to the time spent on billable activities or rely on memory a day or more after the activity. Time spent on interruptions during billable activities must be deducted. Documentation and reports must be written with sufficient detail to accurately describe the specific activities performed and services rendered to justify the billable hours charged. CRP management is responsible for monitoring staff documentation for accuracy. 

VRCs must be kept up to date on the job assistance activities being provided. Any activity which may be considered questionable to bill for should be discussed with the VRC for prior authorization. Resumes and cover letters written on behalf of the client must be given to the VRC to keep in the client file.  

The number of hours authorized for a client’s service is decided upon by the VRC and must be prior authorized. 

In order to be paid for their service, the CRP must send monthly case documentation and one client-specific invoice for each client being served to the VRBS office. Client-specific invoices (see Appendix A - Forms) must include:  

  • Client name
  • Individual dates of service
  • Type of service provided (ex. Job Search Assistance, Job Readiness Training, etc.)
  • Time (in hours) spent on the service provided
  • CRP signature and date

It is expected that CRP billing will be submitted to the VRBS office no later than the 10th day of the following month. For example, CRP billing for February 2022 must be submitted by March 10, 2022.  

Billable activities at the hourly fee-for-service rate:

  • Intake meeting/plan development (Paid at a flat rate rather than hourly)
  • Resume development – A copy of resume should be submitted to VRBS counselor when completed.
  • Scheduled meetings with participants and staffing with participant and counselor participating. See below for CRP internal staffing.
  • Job application assistance
  • Interview skills training
  • Documented contacts with employers related to job leads and job development for specific participants.
  • Job coaching at the job site
  • On-site job checks with employers/participants.
  • Substantial communication to participants regarding job leads, repeated no shows, and other issues necessary and directly related to successful job placement. However, time spent on non- vocational issues is not billable to VRBS. This may include texting and e-mail of a substantial amount.  
  • Case note documentation will be paid based on actual time spent on documentation up to a maximum of 2 hours per month. VRBS does not accept handwritten documentation or reports.
  • No show at a VRBS office is billable at .25 hr. (CRP’s are encouraged to explore options such as telephone conferences to lessen the inconvenience of no-show situations.)
  • Participant no shows out of town are billable for the travel time; however, attempts to make job development contacts or other productive activities to make trip expenses worthwhile are encouraged.


Billable time should be broken down into at least .25 hr. time segments.

Activities that VRBS will not pay for:

  • Providing rides to participants or picking them up for appointments without getting prior approval from the VRBS counselor:"
  • Providing "social work" activities to a participant such as assisting with food stamps, housing, social security etc., unless prior-approved by the counselor (These types of activities may be appropriate if the participant has no other case management available and these services are necessary for the participant to obtain work, but they must be prior approved).
  • Communication (phone, e-mail, etc.) with VRBS counselor for approval for services, updates, etc.
  • Leaving messages (phone, e-mail, etc.) to participants or reviewing messages from participants
  • Scheduling appointments with participants
  • Completing paperwork such as copying, filing, faxing, completing your forms, closing your case files, billing, and similar activities.
  • Staffing and reviewing cases internally.
  • Participant no shows at the CRP facility.
  • Activities such as internet deskwork are certainly necessary, but should not constitute the bulk of the CRP staff activities and are not billable unless related to a specific participant and their agreed upon vocational choice. Also, the participant should be directly involved with the activity when possible.
  • Preparation of work plan as this is covered by intake and planning fee
  • Time required to obtain pay stub for successful closure as this is included in successful closure fee.
  • VRBS will not pay for time spent on case documentation if no services to the client were provided.


CRPs need to make sure that they have hours authorized at the beginning of each month before starting services.  It is the counselor’s responsibility to make sure CRPs are informed when services are no longer authorized and to make timely authorization of services.  If a participant is not maintaining contacts with the provider, as scheduled in the IPE, please stop all activities and contact the VRBS counselor.

It is the counselor’s (VRBS) responsibility to make appointments with participants related to case reviews and management.

Successful Outcome Billing Requirements

VRBS pays a fixed state-wide successful outcome fee. This fee is in addition to counselor authorized services while the client is employed and gaining stability on the job. The fee confirms the necessary documentation has been received by VRBS, including:

  • Successful Outcome Form
  • The first pay stub for the client’s current employment
    • Collection of the first pay stub is a specific requirement from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
  • Final hourly billing submitted to VRBS for payment
  • Signed cooperative agreement if Supported Employment is needed


For those clients who are continuing to receive VRBS services through a career pathway, the successful outcome fee will not be paid until the case is being exited from VRBS.

For services that do not end in a successful case exit for VRBS, this fee is not be paid.

Upon case exit, if the client’s employment meets two of the following high-quality indicators, a high-quality flat-rate successful outcome fee will be paid in the amount of $500:

  • The client is employed working 25 or more hours per week; and/or
  • The client is compensated at or above $20 per hour; and/or
  • Medical benefits package is made available to the consumer through the employer


This information must be verified on the client’s most recent paycheck stub or other official documentation provided by the employer.

Only one outcome fee is paid per client per case. The client’s employment either gets the high quality outcome fee or the basic outcome fee, not both.

Rate Setting Methodology:

Annually, the VRBS Contract Liaison conducts an analysis of rates of payment in order to determine the rates to be paid to VRBS Contractors engaged in Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) contracts. The analysis includes:

  • Researching the historical or current rate being paid for this service by DETD, if applicable.
  • Researching current rates provided for VRBS services similar to those under your new or renewal contract, from at least four (4) similar states.
  • Researching at least three current rates provided for VR services similar to those under the new or renewal contract, as reimbursed by the Montana Medicaid Waiver Program.
  • Researching at least three current rates provided for VR services similar to those under the new or renewal contract, from another DETD program in states with similar per capita income.
  • Analyzing the information obtained in collaboration with Bureau Chief, Division Administrator, and Budget Analyst to determine how to set the rates to be paid to the Contractor for the VRBS services they will provide under the new or renewal contract.
  • Completing the Payment for VR Services Rate Determination Worksheet to document the researched rates and the rate determination process. The current worksheet must be kept on file for every executed VRBS contract.


Following full analysis, VRBS Contract Liaison adjusts provider rates accordingly and additionally adjust rates to reflect any statutory requirements

Supported Employment

The term “supported employment” is synonymous with long-term supports. Supported employment means competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, that is individualized and customized consistent with the strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individuals involved, for individuals with the most significant disabilities.

The purpose of Supported Employment (SE) is to obtain jobs for people with the most significant disabilities and ultimately to assist them in retaining those jobs through consistent training and coaching. The crucial component of the supported employment program is to give the individual the skills and confidence they need to successfully, and as independently as possible, perform their job duties in an integrated and competitive environment, rather than simply doing the job for them. The role of the provider in long-term supports is to assist the client in retaining and advancing in their job as well as help with performing their job duties effectively.

Those eligible for Supported Employment are individuals with the most significant disabilities:

  1. for whom competitive integrated employment has not historically occurred, OR
  2. for whom competitive integrated employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability, AND
  3. who, because of the nature and severity of their disabilities, has had supported employment identified as the appropriate employment service followed by long term supports after the VR case is closed.

The VRC in consultation with the client makes the final determination if supported employment/long-term supports are required and will be utilized. This determination can be made at any point in the continuum of VR services.

If it is determined that long-term supported employment will be utilized, the VRC is responsible for exploring all funding options for the long-term supports.

Options for long-term funding in Montana include:

  • Developmental Disabilities (DD) waiver,
  • Extended Employment (EE) Program,
  • Severe Disabling Mental Illness (SDMI) waiver,
  • Physical Disability (PD) waiver, and
  • Private pay.

Once the long-term funding source has been determined by the VRC, the VRC will send a Cooperative Agreement (See Appendix A – Cooperative Agreement) to the provider and long-term funder for signature. Signature on the form ensures the provider will facilitate the needed services to the client until the client no longer requires SE, retires from the workforce, or loses their employment.

Ending Services

There are several reasons why services with a CRP may end. Potential reasons why services with a CRP may end include but are not limited to:

  • CRP services are no longer needed
  • VRBS case is being closed
  • Client is not participating or cooperating with services
  • Changes in IPE planning have occurred that affect services needed by the client
  • Client chooses to work with a different provider

Ending of CRP services can be initiated by any of the involved parties including the client, the VRC, and/or the CRP, among others. Services can stop at any point in time despite what the IPE states or what purchase orders the CRP has indicating services will continue.

Regardless of who initiates the end of services, it is expected that prompt communication of the discontinuation including a reason why services are ceasing, will occur to ensure the least amount of disruption to client services and business processes for all parties involved.

CRP Operations Changes/Business Closure

Written notice regarding operations changes with the CRP, business closure, or desire to terminate the contract will be directed to the VRBS Contract Liaison at least sixty (60) days prior to the effective date of change or termination.

Reasons for operations changes include, but are not limited to:

  • CRP operating in multiple counties chooses to cease operations in one or more counties
  • CRP decides to serve additional counties not previously served
  • CRP chooses to cease providing a particular service or services listed in their CRP contract
  • CRP decides to add a service or services not previously offered
  • CRP closes business

Dispute Resolution Process

The CRP may appeal any issue concerning CRP performance or consideration under the terms of the CRP contract by following these procedures:

  • The dispute resolution process is initiated by the CRP submitting the dispute in writing to the VRBS Contract Liaison indicated in the CRP contract. The VRBS Contract Liaison will provide a written response to the CRP within 10 working days.
  • If the VRBS Contract Liaison fails to issue a written response within 10 working days, or the CRP disagrees with the written response, the CRP may request a dispute resolution review within 10 working days of either receiving the written response or 10 working days from the date it was due, whichever comes first.
  • A dispute resolution review will be conducted within 15 working days of receiving the request for the review. An extension of 15 additional workdays may be granted at the request of either the VRBS Contract Liaison or the CRP.
  • A dispute resolution review will be conducted by the Division Administrator or designee. Consideration will be given to substantiating documents and information which the CRP and VRBS Contract Liaison wish the Program to consider. The review will include an informal hearing, conducted in person or telephonically, that provides the opportunity for the VRBS Contract Liaison and the CRP to present information and positions as to the matters at issue.
  • A written decision with findings from the review will be issued within 30 days of the hearing.
  • A dispute appealed through this dispute resolution process is also subject, as provided for by 18-1-402, MCA, to the statutory requirements for and limitations upon appeals in contractual relationships with the State.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists if the private interests of the CRP, or personal interests of the provider staff member, interferes with the service of those clients seeking to receive services from the provider or provider staff member. Provider staff shall not provide a service to, or access any case information for, VR clients with whom they may have a potential conflict of interest. Provider staff may not provide services to immediate family members (including in-laws and step-relatives). A provider staff member’s familial relation may still receive services from the provider, via another staff member, as long as the familial staff member abstains from any action, including discussion and participation in the familial relation’s services. Additionally, the staff member providing services to the familial relation must not be directly supervised by the familial staff member. Providers must develop a procedure which outlines how to address potential conflicts of interest. If a provider has questions regarding the appropriate service provision to any individuals, or any potential conflicts of interest, they must disclose and address this with the VR Program Officer and Bureau Chief of Field Services. 

DET Division Administrator: Chanda Hermanson
111 N Last Chance Gulch, Suite 4C
Helena, MT 59601-4168

DET Deputy Division Administrator: Sarah Seltzer
2675 Palmer, Suite A
Missoula, MT 59808-1741

DET Program Support and Operations Bureau Chief: Anna Gibbs
2121 Rosebud Drive, Suite C
Billings, MT 59102-6295

VRBS Chief of Field Services: Brook Hodge
2675 Palmer, Suite A
Missoula, MT 59808-1741

BLV Bureau Chief: Darrel Hannum
48 2nd Ave. Suite 213
Havre, MT 59501-3555

Pre-ETS Bureau Chief: Tammy Hogan
201 1st Street, Suite 2
Great Falls, MT 59405-1884

VRBS Program Manager & CRP Liaison: Lacey Conzelman
2121 Rosebud Drive, Suite C
Billings, MT 59102-6295

Billings Counselor Supervisor: Heather Tusberg
2121 Rosebud Drive, Suite C 59102-6295
Fax: 406-652-1781

Billings BLV Counselor Supervisor: Kristi Gorski
(406) 655-7650

Bozeman Counselor Supervisor: Darin Heitt-Rennie
220 West Lamme, Suite 1B 59715-3552
Fax: 406-587-7863

Butte Counselor Supervisor: Brook Hodge
700 Casey Street, Suite B 59701-5286
Fax: 406-496-4907

Butte BLV Counselor Supervisor: Amy Jamieson

Great Falls Counselor Supervisor: Alice Lewis
201 1st Street, Suite 2 59405-1884
Fax: 406-454-6084

Great Falls BLV Counselor Supervisor: Laticia Dean

Havre Counselor Supervisor: Celina Cline
48 2nd Ave, Suite 213 59501-3555
Fax: 406-265-9271

Helena Counselor Supervisor: Raphaelle Bassak
PO BOX 202957 59602-2957
Fax: 406-444-9659

Kalispell Counselor Supervisor: Shana Hammer
121 Financial Drive, Suite B 59901-1616
Fax: 406-300-7396

Miles City Counselor Supervisor: Stephanie Hanvold
114 North 7th 59301-3112
Fax: 406-232-0885

Missoula Counselor Supervisor: Allyson Talaska
2675 Palmer, Suite A 59808-1741
Fax: 406-329-5420

Missoula BLV Counselor Supervisor: Julie Ochoa
Fax: 406-329-5420

Large downloadable VRBS logo

VRBS logo download link

Provider Training 23 - 24