Self-Hired Supported Employment in a Self Direction Budget

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Council meeting discusses self-hired supported employment services and the steps required prior to receiving them. It covers topics such as discovery, SEMP authorizations, required paperwork, staff requirements, and more.


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  1. Self-Hired Supported Employment in a Self Direction Budget Circle of Support Council Meeting Tuesday March 28, 2023

  2. Agenda: What is Supported Employment (SEMP)? Supported Employment Administrative Memorandum(SEMP ADM 2016-01) Self-Hired Supported Employment Services and steps needed prior to SEMP: Discovery SEMP Authorizations and Other Required Paperwork SEMP Staff Requirements What is a SEMP survey? How does one complete it? SEMP Staff Allowable Supports and Services Questions

  3. What is Supported Employment (SEMP)? SEMP is service that is a part of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. SEMP is a person-centered employment planning and support service that provides assistance for an individual to obtain, maintain, or advance in self- employment or in competitive, integrated employment in the general workforce, for which the individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage. The goal of SEMP service is sustained, paid, integrated employment at or above the minimum wage in the general workforce, in a job that meets the individual's personal and career goals (ADM SEMP 2016-01). As long as a participant is eligible to receive the service, a participant can choose to receive SEMP services directly from a traditional agency (Direct Provider Purchased) or choose to self direct their SEMP supports (Self- Hired).

  4. ADM 2016-01 Supported Employment https://opwdd.ny.gov/adm-2016-01-supported-employment-semp-0

  5. ADM 2016-01 Supported Employment https://opwdd.ny.gov/adm-2016-01-supported-employment-semp-0 - Continued: SEMP Redesign July 1, 2015 Consolidated Supports and Services Self Direction Redesign 10/01/14 Fiscal Intermediaries providing Supported Employment were required to follow this ADM despite being a bit different from a traditional SEMP model This administrative memorandum redesigned the lay out of the supported employment program to include: a new service delivery model and fee structure required documentation on file by provider (SEMP authorizations, SEMP monthly summary note and pay stubs) specific training for SEMP staff (Eleversity Innovations Trainings through OPWDD)

  6. What is Self Hired Supported Employment? Self Hired Supported Employment is when an individual wishes to hire his or her own staff to help them find a job and maintain a job in the general work force. The individual working must be compensated at or above minimum wage. Just like with Self Hired Community Habilitation, the circle is responsible for finding, training, supervising and managing their Self-Hired Staff. Participant: I want to get a job and am ready to work! Individuals interested in Self Hiring Supported Employment must: Have expressed interest in competitive or self employment (parents/guardians/advocates) Have a valued outcome in the life plan Staff Action Plan (goals/safeguards) Have either gone through ACCES-VR and/or The Employment Training Program(ETP) specifically for Discovery prior to trying to utilize SEMP. Discovery is looking at an individual s skills, strengths and interests Be approved by OPWDD to add SEMP services to the budget (SARF/Authorizations)

  7. Key Ingredients for Success in Competitive Employment

  8. https://eleversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ETP-Discovery-Report-10-1-19.pdfhttps://eleversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ETP-Discovery-Report-10-1-19.pdf

  9. I believe my participant has gone through Acces-VR and/or ETP. I d like to continue with having my broker add Self Hired Supported Employment to the budget. The Care Manager must put through a Service Authorization Request for Services specifically for Supported Employment and see if OPWDD will approve them for the service. In order to be the participant s SEMP provider, ISS needs to have proof that an individual has either gone through ACCES-VR on file. ETP is the only way to bypass ACCES-VR The circle should work with the CM to obtain a letter from an ACCES-VR counselor showing that the ACCES-VR funding was used and the case was closed and/or that more intensive OPWDD services were recommended. Adult Career and Continuing Education Services- Vocational Rehabilitation http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr

  10. SEMP Authorizations - Intensive Intensive Authorization (Intensive SEMP) most current intensive form is from June 2022 https://eleversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/REQUEST-TO-BILL-OPWDD-INTENSIVE-SEMP-SERVICES-6.22.pdf If a participant does NOT have a job, prior to building SH SEMP into the budget OR wants to use SH SEMP that was already pre-approved and built into the budget, an intensive authorization needs to be completed and approved by OPWDD. This needs to be redone every year upon the SEMP anniversary. Intensive SEMP includes intensive job developing and job coaching services to assist an individual with finding a job. If someone does not have a job and has SEMP in his or her budget, SEMP staff (job developers or job coaches) should not be working until we get an approved SEMP intensive authorization on file. The authorization needs to be redone annually by the SEMP anniversary. If the person is still without a job, there is no guarantee it will be approved again. Keep in mind: In OPWDDs perspective, discovery should have already been done through other services including Pathways to Employment, Employment Training Program, and Community Prevocational Services prior to building SH SEMP (intensive) in the budget. If these services were not utilized OR discovery was not completed, OPWDD will not approve the intensive SEMP authorization and will ask that these other services are tried out first. You need to justify why this service would benefit the individual over the other and the broker will work with the participant, care manager, staff, etc. to complete this authorization.

  11. SEMP Authorizations Extended Extended Authorization (Extended SEMP) - most current extended form is from April 2022 https://eleversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/REQUEST-TO-BILL-OPWDD-ADDITIONAL-EXTENDED-SEMP-SERVICES-4.22-3.pdf If a participant has a job, you can easily build Self Hired SEMP into the budget up to the region s SEMP threshold (hourly Medicaid SEMP rate x 200). Long Island s threshold is $17,206 (86.03 x 200) and is considered OPWDD Region 2. When someone has a job, the state will give them a free 200 hours to help them maintain that job. This needs to be redone annually on the SEMP anniversary. https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/rates/mental_hygiene/doh-owpdd_regions.htm

  12. Completed SEMP authorizations are sent for approval : SEMP.PE.Billing.Requests@opwdd.ny.gov Once the authorization is approved, the approved authorization, budget template with SH SEMP, life plan, proposed staff action plan and pay stub (if applicable) will get sent to Review@issny.org by the broker. ISS will send to OPWDD for approval.

  13. https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/rates/mental_hygiene/https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/rates/mental_hygiene/

  14. Adding SH SEMP to an SD Budget:

  15. Additional SEMP Requirements Once Added to the Budget SEMP staff have one year from the date they are hired as a SEMP staff to obtain 24 credits of Innovations Trainings. Each year after they should take 6 credits of professional development. All proof of attendance should be emailed to peopleservices@issny.org (Eleversity Innovations Trainings on next slide) If a person has a job and has SH SEMP built into his/her budget, we need an up to date pay stub on file (because we are the provider). SEMP Reporting: A person with SH SEMP in their budget needs to appoint a SEMP reporter to report where the individual is working monthly, how much he or she is earning, how often they work, and upload a current pay stub if there is a change in rate of pay OR the person gets a new job. This is not the same as completing the SEMP part of the monthly summary note. SEMP Monthly Summary Note if SEMP is used a monthly summary note must be completed to show the service was used.

  16. SEMP Staff Required Trainings:

  17. Creation of the SEMP Portal in Harmonics When someone has SEMP added to their budget, their SDC will reach out to find out who should be the SEMP reporter. Once assigned, the SEMP reporter is sent an email from Web Support inviting them to the SEMP portal and asking them to complete SEMP surveys. Parents or brokers are able to be SEMP reporters (especially if they are in between job developers or coaches) The SEMP Survey helps document if the individual is working, the location, number of hours, and rate of pay which helps get quarterly information to OPWDD. It also allows us to make sure we have the correct documentation on file as per the SEMP ADM. One pay stub needs to be uploaded showing where the person works and how much he or she earns (Paystubs are not needed for every single month-a new pay stub is required if the individual gets a raise OR a new job). Only one person has to complete the survey monthly; SEMP documentation is a billable service for SEMP staff

  18. SEMP Portal Invite from Websupport@issny.org

  19. How to Complete SEMP Surveys

  20. How to Complete SEMP Surveys https://help.issny.org/books/support-staff-resources/page/how-to-complete-the-survey- online

  21. SEMP STAFF What can they do? Vocational assessment Person-centered employment planning and Job-related discovery; Job development (analysis, customization, and carving) Training and systematic instruction prior to employment Job placement Job coaching, training, and planning within the work environment Development and review of a business plan (for individuals who are pursuing self-employment or are self-employed); Transportation between activities Travel training Development of soft skills and job retention strategies (e.g., social interaction, maintaining relationships with co-workers and supervisory personnel) Benefits support and asset development Job retention and career advancement services Negotiating potential jobs with prospective employers on behalf of an individual; Communication with current employer, family, and/or individual s planning team to review the individual's progress in meeting workforce expectations, discuss and address any challenges the individual may have in the work environment, or discuss and address employment-related issues, such as management of benefits or challenges the individual may have in the work environment Meetings and communications with staff providing other OPWDD approved services that impact an individual s ability to successfully achieve employment goals Documentation of the delivery of SEMP services (timesheet/monthly summary note) Workplace support services including services that enable the individual to be successfully integrated into the job setting (e.g., development of natural supports in the work environment) Other activities previously approved by OPWDD.

  22. Questions? Contact Info: Kimberly Warga Charice Drakeford Employment Training Program Supervisor Assistant Director of Programs Services Independent Support Services Inc. NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities 415-A Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, New York 11788 380 Rabro Drive, 1stFloor Hauppauge, NY 11788 Tel: 631-864-2536 x 406 | Fax: 631-864-2898 | OFFICE: (631) 416-3869 Charice.drakeford@opwdd.ny.gov Direct Line: 631-930-0606 Work Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-3pm www.opwdd.ny.gov kwarga@issny.org | www.issny.org

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