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5.5.1  Formal Assessment  When to Use a Formal Assessment  How to Use a Formal Assessment


A formal assessment is the process of establishing:

·        The extent and severity of any disabilities or other conditions (e.g., domestic violence, learning needs, need to care for disabled child) that may interfere with normal functioning in an employment setting or with a persons’ ability to meet W-2 program requirements;

·        The effect of a disability or other potential Barrier on the person’s capacity to obtain and maintain Unsubsidized Employment, participate in employment-related activities (e.g., work training activities or education) or otherwise meet W-2 program requirements;

·        The need for supportive services, accommodations, auxiliary aids or communication assistance;

·        The conditions under which the person is capable of employment or employment related activities;

·        The need to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices and procedures when necessary to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities; and

·        The appropriateness of specific assignments in the W-2 program.

The formal assessment process may include gathering information about the participant from one or more qualified assessment agencies or individuals. When to Use a Formal Assessment

A FEP can determine the need for a formal assessment at any point; however, a formal assessment must be offered within thirty (30) calendar days of any of the following situations:

1.             When an applicant or participant presents medical or other information, including the applicant’s or participant’s own statements that indicate he or she may have a disability or other barrier to participation in the W-2 program or employment;

2.             When a participant is placed in a W-2 T position. Participants placed in W-2 T must have a formal assessment scheduled and documented in CARES within 30 calendar days of placement into W-2 T;

3.             When W-2 agency staff or contractors observe behavior that indicates the need for a formal assessment; or

4.             When the results of Informal Assessment and/or the BST indicate a need for further evaluation for identification of a disability or other barrier to participation in the W-2 program or employment. The formal assessment must be scheduled and documented in CARES within 30 calendar days after the BST is completed.  

Note: A participant who is initially placed in W-2 may already have a formal assessment scheduled or completed at the time the BST is administered. In these circumstances, the BST results are still important as they may help the FEP and the assessing agency determine if other unknown conditions exist that are causing barriers to employment or W-2 participation.

When a participant is referred for a formal assessment based on the results of the BST, those results must be shared with the assessing agency if the participant agrees to sign a release of information.

Consider a formal assessment acceptable if completed within one year prior to the BST screening or W-2 T placement.  It may be necessary for the W-2 agency to follow-up with the agency or individual who completed the assessment to interpret the assessment results and determine if any new treatment is being explored. If the prior formal assessment results have an expiration date that indicates the results are no longer valid or there is reason to believe the formal assessment information does not reflect the participant’s current circumstances, then a new formal assessment must be completed. Results from a prior formal assessment may only be used if the assessment contains the necessary elements and is relevant to the employment barrier in question. For example, if a formal assessment completed eight months ago evaluated the need for AODA services, but the employment barrier indicated in the BST relates to learning needs, then a new formal assessment must be completed.  How to Use a Formal Assessment

The FEP must use the W-2 Formal Assessment Agreement (form 2565) to help explain to the applicant or participant the purpose of the formal assessment and the type of follow-up services and activities that may result from completing it. It is critical that the FEP explain the formal assessment process using positive language that reinforces how the applicant or participant may benefit from completing it.  Through the discussion, the applicant or participant must be made aware that assessment results will enable the individual and his or her FEP to make informed decisions about:

·        his or her W-2 placement;

·        his or her employment goals and the activities that will help reach those goals;

·        his or her ability to engage in training and education; and

·        any special services and work site accommodations that he or she may need.    

The applicant or participant must indicate at the bottom of the agreement his or her decision to complete or decline a formal assessment.

The FEP must use the best information available from an informal assessment to initially place an individual in an employment position when a formal assessment is pending.  Participating in a formal assessment may be counted as participation in an employment position.  The FEP must document all assessment information in CARES utilizing the appropriate CARES screens, including case comments.    

Within 30 days after receiving the results of the formal assessment, the FEP must make necessary adjustments to the participant’s placement and revise the EP based on the formal assessment.   The services and accommodations that are recommended in the formal assessment to help a participant succeed in a work setting must be incorporated into the participant’s EP.

This may include:

·        Obtaining needed medical treatment or counseling;

·        Receiving needed services from other providers in the community;

·        Ensuring participants have the necessary services, reasonable modifications and accommodations to successfully engage in assigned W-2 activities; and

·        Working with employers to put needed accommodations into place for participants making the transition to unsubsidized employment.

As part of the process of revising the EP, the FEP must:

1.             Provide the participant with a written description of any needed services, activities, and reasonable modifications or accommodations using the form, Services and Accommodations To Help You Do Your W-2 Activities (form 2564).  If the FEP does not incorporate all of the recommended accommodations or modifications into the participant’s EP, the FEP must document on CARES screen WPBD the reasons(s) the recommendation(s) were not incorporated.  Any placement change based on a formal assessment must also be discussed with the participant and the participant’s EP must be updated accordingly.

2.             Advise the W-2 education, training or work site providers of any needed reasonable modifications or accommodations to the W-2 education, training or worksite.  The W-2 agency must monitor the participant’s performance at the W-2 education, training or work site to ensure that previously specified services, modifications, or accommodations identified in the EP are provided.







This page last updated in Release # 10-01
Release Date:  10/05/10
Effective Date:  10/05/10