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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 30. Department Of Medical Assistance Services
Chapter 122. Community Waiver Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
6/21/2021

12VAC30-122-280. Benefits planning service.

A. Service description. Benefits planning is an individualized analysis and consultation service. This service assists recipients of a DD Waiver and social security (SSI, SSDI, SSI/SSDI) to understand their personal benefits and explore their options regarding working, how to begin employment, and the impact employment will have on their state and federal benefits. This service includes education and analysis about current benefits status and implementation and management of state and federal work incentives as appropriate. Benefits planning involves the development of written resource materials that aid individuals and their families/legal representatives in understanding current and future rewards that come from working, thereby reducing uncertainties associated with losing necessary supports and benefits if they choose to work or stay on the job. This service facilitates individuals in making informed choices concerning the initiation of work. Furthermore, it provides information and education to individuals currently employed in making successful transition to financial independence.

B. Criteria and allowable activities. Each of the allowable activities is available contingent on the individual meeting criteria for receipt of the service activity. Receipt of this service shall not be tied to the receipt of any other covered waiver or Medicaid service. This service may be authorized one time per allowable activity per individual per calendar year. However, a service may be reauthorized within a calendar year if the individual's situation has changed in terms of disability conditions, benefit type, or employment status. Allowable activities include the following, which may be appropriate for the individual as documented in his plan for supports:

1. Pre-employment benefits review that may include:

a. Benefits planning query (BPQY) from Social Security Administration (SSA). Description: A BPQY provides information about an individual's disability cash benefits, health insurance, scheduled continuing disability reviews, representative payee, and work history, as stored in SSA's electronic records. The BPQY is an important planning tool for the individual or other person who may be developing customized services for an individual who expresses interest in employment or remaining on the job.

b. Pre-employment benefits summary and analysis (BS&A). Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to develop a benefits and net income analysis report with both a current scenario and at least two other potential scenarios involving Social Security work incentives.

c. Employment change benefits summary and analysis. Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual when the individual experiences a change in employment status to develop a benefits and net income analysis report with both a current scenario and at least two other potential scenarios involving Social Security work incentives.

2. Work incentives development or revisions (PASS, IRWE, BWE, IDA): Work with the individual and family/legal representative to develop:

a. Plan to achieve self-support (PASS):

(1) Part 1 description: In collaboration with the individual and support system, develop a plan to achieve self-support (PASS) and ensure submission to the SSA.

(2) Part 2 description: Ensure the approval of the PASS plan from the SSA PASS cadre through modifications or other appropriate services.

b. Impairment related work expenses (IRWE). Description: IRWEs reduce the amount of income that Social Security counts against an individual's benefits by deducting the expense from their total countable wages. In order to qualify for the IRWE, the expense shall be related to the individual's disability, work, and be an expense without which the individual cannot work. This service involves working with the individual to develop and submit appropriate forms and supporting documents to SSA to successfully obtain the IRWE work incentive.

c. Blind work expenses (BWE). Description: Work with and on behalf of an individual confirmed to be blind to develop and submit appropriate forms and supporting documents to SSA to successfully obtain the BWE work incentive. Given these circumstances, SSI will not count any earned income when the primary diagnosis is blindness and the expense is reasonably attributed to earning the income, that is, guide dog, transportation to and from work, etc.

d. Individual development accounts (IDA). Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to develop matched savings accounts to assist the individual in saving toward the purchase of a lifelong asset such as a home.

e. Student earned income exclusion (SEIE). Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to develop and submit appropriate documents to SSA to receive benefits under the SEIE work incentive. SEIE allows individuals younger than 22 years of age who regularly attend school or are involved in a vocational education program to exclude earned income up to a certain amount per a month.

f. Medicaid while working (Social Security Act § 1619(b)). Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to develop and submit an appropriate letter and supporting documents to SSA, Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), and Medicaid to receive benefits under § 1619(b), which provides the continuation of Medicaid when a beneficiary loses his SSI due to earnings above the SSI threshold.

g. Medicaid works (Virginia's Medicaid Buy-In Program). Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual who is currently eligible for or receiving Medicaid to complete and submit the Medicaid Works agreement and supporting documents to the VDSS to enroll in the Medicaid Buy-In Program (may include Medicaid application or updating the resource section of the Medicaid application). This enables workers with disabilities the opportunity to earn higher income and retain more in savings or resources than is typically allowed by Medicaid.

h. Work incentive revisions. Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to revise one of the work incentives plans listed in this subdivision B 2 as determined necessary by a significant change in status.

3. Resolution of SSA benefits issues (e.g., overpayments, subsidies, student earned income exclusion, Medicaid while working):

a. Overpayments. Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to address Social Security overpayments that arise.

b. Subsidies. Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual to develop and submit appropriate documents to SSA to receive the subsidy work incentive.

c. Work activity reports. Description: Assist the individual family/legal representative in filling out and returning forms to SSA.

4. Other services:

a. ABLEnow. Description: Work with and on behalf of the individual and family, if applicable, to open an ABLEnow account.

b. Financial health assessment. Description: The financial health assessment (FHA) is a tool used to gauge an individual's understanding of his current financial situation.

C. Service units and limitations. Providers may not bill for waiver benefits planning services while the eligible individual has an open employment services case with DARS and is eligible for the same service through DARS.

1. The annual year limit for benefits planning services is $3,000. No unspent funds from one plan year may be accumulated and carried over to subsequent plan years.

2. Hourly limits per activity:

a. Plan for Achieving Self-Support-Part 1 7.0 hours.

b. Plan for Achieving Self Support-Part 2 12.5 hours.

c. Impairment Related Work Expense 9.0 hours.

d. Blind Work Expense 9.0 hours.

e. Section 1619(b) Medicaid 4.5 hours.

f. Student Earned Income Exclusion 9.0 hours.

g. Subsidy 9.0 hours.

h. Work Activity Reports: 6.0 hours.

i. Medicaid Works 5.5 hours.

j. Overpayment 3.5 hours.

k. Benefits Planning Query 1.0 hours.

l. Pre-Employment BSA 7.0 hours.

m. WorkWORLD Summary and Analysis 7.0 hours.

n. Individual Development Accounts 7.0 hours.

o. Section 301/Able Now 4.5 hours.

p. Financial Health Assessment 3.5 hours.

q. WI Revisions 7.0 hours.

D. Provider qualifications and requirements.

1. All providers of benefits planning services shall maintain and adhere to current, signed participation agreements with DMAS. The provider designated in this agreement shall directly submit claims to DMAS for reimbursement.

2. Eligible providers for benefits planning services shall possess written verification that they are one of the following:

a. A nationally certified SSA community work incentive coordinator (CWIC); or

b. A DARS certified work incentive specialist advocate (WISA) approved vendor.

3. Only providers that have completed required community financial empowerment and financial literacy training from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Your Money, Your Goals will be eligible to receive payment for a completed financial health assessment.

E. Documentation requirements for service providers.

1. Providers shall include in each individual's record:

a. The provider's plan for supports per requirements detailed in 12VAC30-122-120.

b. Documentation that shall confirm the amount of time spent with the individual, as well as the amount of time dedicated to completion of the work surrounding the benefits planning activity/document.

c. Documentation to support units of service delivered, and the documentation shall correspond with billing. Providers shall maintain separate documentation for each type of service rendered for an individual.

d. All documents shall be completed as they relate to benefits planning activities. If the individual or the family has withdrawn from the process prior to the document's completion, all portions that were completed should be documented along with a note that describes the circumstances during each session.

e. A written review supported by documentation in the individual's record shall be submitted to the support coordinator quarterly, during any quarters in which the service was provided, with the plan for supports if modified.

f. Documentation that all available and appropriate funding sources (including those offered by Virginia Medicaid State Plan, DARS, and the Department of Education), have been explored and exhausted.

g. All correspondence to the individual and the individual's family/caregiver, as appropriate, the support coordinator, DMAS, and DBHDS.

2. Provider documentation shall support all claims submitted for DMAS reimbursement. Claims that are not supported by appropriate documentation shall be subject to recovery by DMAS as a result of utilization reviews and audits.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 1396 et seq.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 14, eff. March 31, 2021.

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