Supported Employment 



Supported employment services provide training and assistance to help support recipients in job development and sustaining paid employment at or above minimum wage unless the recipient is operating a small business. This service can be performed on a full or part-time basis and at a level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by trained non-disabled recipients.


The provider assists with the acquisition, retention, or improvement of skills related to accessing and maintaining such employment, or developing and operating a small business. With the assistance of the provider, the recipient receives help in securing employment according to the recipient’s knowledge, skills, abilities, supports needed, desired goals, and planned outcomes. This service is conducted in a variety of settings, including work sites in which individuals without disabilities are employed. This service should include assisting a recipient to learn job tasks needed to be employed, and the recipient should be included in all aspects of job development, interviewing, and job seeking activities.

Who Can Receive

A recipient seeking supported employment must first exhaust available resources through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). If the recipient is under the age of 22 years and does not have a standard high school or GED diploma, they must first exhaust available resources through the public school system.


Place of Service 

Supported employment services may be provided in the following settings: 

  • Recipient’s place of employment in the community

  • In a setting mutually agreed to by the recipient, the provider, and the employer 

Should the employment location of a recipient change, the provider must notify the recipient’s WSC at the conclusion of the month.

Service Requirements 

Supported employment providers will focus on the recipient’s knowledge, skills, abilities, supports needed, and use of any federal Social Security work incentive programs to maximize income, as well as provide consultation to the employer on ways to support the recipient in order to sustain paid employment. To generate additional funding to support a recipient’s employment goals, supported employment coaches through the waiver must ensure that the recipients they serve are aware of, and encouraged to utilize the various work incentives and employment planning tools that are available, in particular, Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE), the Plan to Achieve Self Sufficiency (PASS), and others that will benefit the individual. 
There are three models of Life Skills Development Level 2 – Supported Employment: (1) Individual, (2) Group, and (3) Supported Self-Employment: 
(1) The individual model is an approach to obtaining and maintaining competitive employment through the support of a job coach on a one-on-one basis. The individual model can apply to either employment in the general work force or in establishing a business that will to be operated by the recipient.

(2) Group supported employment models are defined as follows: 

  • Enclave: A group approach to employment where two to eight recipients with disabilities work either as a group or are dispersed individually throughout an integrated work setting with supervision by the employer. 

  • Mobile Crew: A group approach to employment where a crew, such as lawn maintenance or janitorial, of one to eight recipients with disabilities are in the community in businesses or other community settings with supervision by the provider. 

  • Entrepreneurial: A self-employment approach where a small group starts a business or micro-enterprise created specifically by, or for, the recipients.


(3) The supported self-employment model of service is defined as working for oneself with direct control over the work and services undertaken and can include micro-enterprise or micro-credit arrangements such as proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Those recipients that select supported self-employment must contribute to the development of a business service or product or perform a core function of the business.