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Employment exploration services

Page posted: 6/27/18

Page reviewed:

Page updated:

Legal authority

Federally approved BI, CAC, CADI, and DD waiver plans, Minn. Stat. §245D.03


Employment exploration services: Services that help a person gain a better understanding of competitive, integrated employment opportunities in his/her community. Exploration activities and experiences strengthen a person’s knowledge, interests and preferences so he/she can make informed decisions about competitive employment. Exploration includes:

  • • Individualized educational activities
  • • Learning opportunities
  • • Work experiences
  • • Additional related services identified in the person’s coordinated services and supports plan (CSSP).
  • Competitive, integrated employment: Employment situation in which a person’s wages are at least minimum wage or at the industry’s standard with comparable benefits (e.g., health insurance, leave time, etc.).


    To receive employment exploration services, a person must both:

  • • Be eligible for BI, CAC, CADI or DD waiver services
  • • Have employment exploration services as an assessed need in his/her coordinated services and supports plan (CSSP).
  • Covered services

    Requires direct contact

    Covered exploration services that require direct contact with the person may include:

  • • Educational visits to community businesses to learn about various companies, products, services and employment opportunities
  • • Career education activities to learn about specific types of occupations, job positions and work opportunities
  • • Ongoing educational information and counseling assistance about jobs/careers that interest the person
  • • Peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities to meet and learn from people with disabilities who are employed in competitive, community jobs
  • • Job shadowing and try-out experiences for work involved in different occupations
  • • Employment education support groups (e.g., job clubs)
  • • Individualized work experiences, including volunteer work experiences
  • • Education about post-secondary educational opportunities that enhance employment, community employment resources and use of transportation services
  • • In-service transportation
  • • Progress review and reporting meetings.
  • Does not require direct contact

    Covered exploration services that do not require direct contact with the person may include:

  • • Performing benefit(s) fact gathering, review and analysis to determine how benefits will interact with employment
  • • Planning and coordinating related to the person’s needs for assistive technology (e.g., ergonomic workstations, magnifiers, speech-to-text or text-to-speech software, captioning, audio or visual cueing, etc.)
  • • Planning and coordinating related to the person’s needs for adaptive accommodations (e.g., modified work tasks or responsibilities, flexible schedules, telecommuting, etc.).
  • Limitations


    Exploration services are time-limited and should end after a maximum of 12 months following the initial authorization of the services. In some circumstances, a person might need to receive continued exploration services after 12 months. The lead agency can reauthorize exploration services when the person:

  • • Has not made an informed decision about competitive, integrated employment
  • • Experiences a debilitating health event or other circumstances that significantly interrupt service delivery
  • • Changes service providers.
  • Group size

    Group sizes may not exceed five people for all activities provided under employment exploration services.

    Non-covered services

    Exploration services do not cover:

  • • Incentive payments (e.g., payments to an employer to encourage or subsidize the employer’s participation in an exploration program)
  • • Payments for vocational training that is not directly related to the person’s exploration program
  • • Direct compensation to supplement a person’s wage
  • • Special education services available and funded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (see CBSM – VRS, IDEA and HCBS employment services – Interim guidance)
  • • Vocational services available and funded under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (see CBSM – VRS, IDEA and HCBS employment services – Interim guidance)
  • • Vocational services in facility-based or sheltered workshop settings.
  • Secondary information

    Group instruction

    Group instruction, including employment education and support groups of up to five people (e.g., job clubs), are covered and can only make up one small part of the full range of possible employment exploration services.

    Connection with other services

    Exploration is intended to help a person make an informed choice about pursuing competitive, integrated employment. If a person has already decided he/she would like to work competitively, then employment development services would be the most appropriate option for the person (see CBSM – Employment development services).

    A person can receive exploration services when receiving group (1:6) employment support services, but he/she cannot receive exploration services when receiving individual (1:1) employment support services (see CBSM – Employment support services).

    Provider standards and qualifications

    Exploration is a DHS enrollment-required service. Exploration service providers must:

  • • Enroll with Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP)
  • • Have a 245D license as an intensive support service provider.
  • For more information, see CBSM – Waiver/AC provider enrollment standards.

    All providers of employment services must ensure staff competency. For more information, see DHS – Employment specialist competencies (PDF).


    A provider licensed under 245D must report all uses of controlled procedures, emergency use of manual restraint and prohibited procedures according to Minn. Stat. §245D.06, subd. 5 to DHS via the Behavioral Intervention Report Form, DHS-5148.

    Background studies

    Minn. Stat. Chapter 245C requires a licensed program to conduct background studies. Providers who have direct contact with the person must have a completed background study (for a complete list, see Minn. Stat. §245D.03). A provider must complete and submit individual background studies using New Electronically Transmitted Study (NETStudy) through DHS licensing.

    Service authorization, rates and billing

    Exploration is a framework service. The lead agency uses the Rate Management System (RMS) to determine rates. For more information, see CBSM – Rate Management System.

    Employment services include in-service transportation. Transportation services occurring between the person’s place of residence and the site of service are not covered as part of this service and should be billed as waiver transportation (see CBSM – Transportation).

    Employment exploration services should not be billed as DT&H day services, prevocational services, structured day services or adult day services.

    DT&H day services, structured day services, employment development services and adult day services must be authorized and reimbursed on a 15-minute unit basis when exploration services are provided during the same day as these services.

    Prevocational services must be authorized and reimbursed on a one-hour unit basis when exploration services are provided during the same day.

    Additional resources

    Employment services

    CBSM – Employment development services
    CBSM – Employment support services

    DHS – Employment First

    Day services

    CBSM – Adult day services
    CBSM – Day training and habilitation (DT&H)

    CBSM – Prevocational services

    CBSM – Structured day program

    Waiver services

    CBSM – BI, CAC, CADI and DD waiver general process and procedures
    CBSM – Waiver/AC provider enrollment and standards

    CBSM – Waiver programs overview

    CBSM – Transportation

    Other resources

    CBSM – VRS, IDEA and HCBS employment services – Interim guidance
    CBSM – Quick reference guide for authorizing HCBS employment services

    Briefcase resource document: Transportation and day and employment services

    Disability Hub MN

    Rate Management System (RMS) User Manual

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