TITLE 40. SOCIAL SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE

PART 19. DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES

CHAPTER 711. INVESTIGATIONS OF INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING SERVICES FROM CERTAIN PROVIDERS

The Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), adopts amendments to §§711.3, 711.5, 711.11, 711.13, 711.23, 711.413, 711.415, 711.417, and 711.419; repeal of §711.401; and new §711.401 and §711.402 in Chapter 711, concerning Investigations of Individuals Receiving Services from Certain Providers. The amendments to §711.3 and §711.417 are adopted with changes to the proposed text published in the July 21, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 3628). The amendments to §§711.5, 711.11, 711.13, 711.23, 711.413, 711.415, and 711.419; repeal of §711.401; and new §711.401 and §711.402, are adopted without changes to the proposed text and will not be republished.

BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

The adopted amendments, repeal and new rules are intended to address specific challenges created by the expanded scope and jurisdiction of Adult Protective Services (APS) while incorporating stakeholder input.

Senate Bills 760 and 1880, 84(R), 2015, expanded the scope and jurisdiction of the APS Provider Investigations (PI) program to resolve gaps, inconsistencies and ambiguities in the investigation of abuse, neglect and exploitation of individuals receiving Medicaid home and community-based services. The expansion ensured Texas was in compliance with revised Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requirements to ensure the health and welfare of consumers. SBs 760 and 1880 also brought the APS statutory framework up to date regarding the transition to managed care from the 83rd Legislature.

With the expanded scope and jurisdiction, APS received additional funding for staff to manage the increased intakes. However, the increase in intakes has far exceeded projections. APS PI intakes increased 73% from FY 15 to FY 16, but completed investigations increased by only 5%. Despite the initial additional staff, the number of intakes has exceeded staff capacity; cases have backlogged; and cases have taken longer to complete.

COMMENTS

The 30-day comment period ended August 20, 2017. During this period, HHSC received comments regarding the adoption of these rules.

Comments were received from Disability Rights Texas (Kathryn Lewis), Linda Logan, and Aaryce Hayes.

No comments were received concerning §711.3 (How are the terms in this chapter defined?); however, HHSC is adopting this rule with changes to paragraph (2), to reflect the general definition of the APS acronym simply as Adult Protective Services, without identifying it as a division of DFPS. This change reflects that the APS functions are no longer wholly assigned to DFPS, since part of APS transferred to HHSC.

Comment regarding proposed §711.5 (What does APS investigate under this chapter?), the commenter requested we expand the proposed rule to include "individuals seeking services."

Response: HHSC declines to make the suggested change to §711.5, as such a change would exceed APS PI’s statutory authority.

Comment regarding proposed §711.11 (How is physical abuse defined?), the commenter requested a definition for "seclusion."

Response: HHSC declines to make the suggested change at this time as seclusion is already defined in HHSC APS PI policy.

Comments regarding proposed §711.413 (How are investigations prioritized?) and §711.417 (When must the investigator complete the investigation?), the commenter requested HHCS modify the rules to ensure all settings receive the same investigation prioritization process and timeframes for investigation completion.

Response: HHSC declines to make the suggested changes regarding §711.413 and §711.417 as investigation priorities and timeframes for certain provider settings are the result of the Department of Justice settlement agreement.

Multiple commenters expressed concern regarding proposed §711.415 (What are the requirements for face-to-face contact with the alleged victim?). The commenters concerns are that some individuals would not receive a face-to-face contact when necessary and the language in subsection (b) of the rule is too broad and should only apply to subsection (a)(1) and (2).

Response: HHSC declines to make the suggested changes to §711.415 and intends to address the concerns in policy. Language in subsection (a) requires a face-to-face contact with the alleged victim, unless certain intake criteria are met. Subsection (b) is applicable to an investigation only when a face-to-face contact is not required. This rule change is a direct response to the increase in workload without additional resources.

Comments regarding proposed §711.417 (When must the investigator complete the investigation?) and §711.419 (What if the investigator cannot complete the investigation on time?), the commenter had concerns regarding the rules in that extended investigation timeframes and extension timeframes would delay the collection of relevant evidence and compromise investigation quality.

Response: HHSC declines to make the suggested changes to §711.417 or §711.419 and addresses evidence collection in depth in HHSC APS PI policy.

No comments were received concerning §711.417 (When must the investigator complete the investigation?); however, HHSC is adopting this rule with changes to clarify that subsection (b) is still applicable to subsection (a)(2) and (3). The intention of this rule proposal was to add an investigation completion timeframe of 30 days, not change any other aspect of rule requirements.

SUBCHAPTER A. INTRODUCTION

40 TAC §§711.3, 711.5, 711.11, 711.13, 711.23

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

These amendments are adopted under Human Resources Code (HRC) Ch. 48, Subchapter F, and Government Code §531.0055, which provide that the Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner shall adopt rules for the operation of and provision of health and human services by the health and human services system.

The amendments implement HRC Ch. 48, Subchapter F, and Texas Family Code §261.404.

§711.3.How are the terms in this chapter defined?

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Adult--An adult is a person:

(A) 18 years of age or older; or

(B) under 18 years of age who:

(i) is or has been married; or

(ii) has had the disabilities of minority removed pursuant to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 31.

(2) APS--Adult Protective Services.

(3) Agent--An individual (e.g., student, volunteer), not employed by but working under the auspices of a service provider.

(4) Allegation--A report by an individual that an individual receiving services has been or is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation as defined by this subchapter.

(5) Allegation type--The type of allegation investigated under this chapter. APS investigates the following allegation types:

(A) physical abuse;

(B) sexual abuse;

(C) verbal/emotional abuse;

(D) neglect; and

(E) exploitation.

(6) Alleged perpetrator-- A direct provider alleged to have committed an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(7) Child--A person under 18 years of age who:

(A) is not and has not been married; or

(B) has not had the disabilities of minority removed pursuant to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 31.

(8) Clinical practice--Relates to the demonstration of professional competence of a licensed professional as described by the appropriate licensing professional board.

(9) Community center--A community mental health center; community center for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities; or community mental health center and community center for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, established under the Health and Safety Code, Title 7, Chapter 534, Subchapter A.

(10) Consumer Directed Services (CDS) employer--A consumer directed services client or their legally authorized representative.

(11) DADS--Department of Aging and Disability Services.

(12) DFPS--Department of Family and Protective Services.

(13) DSHS--Department of State Health Services.

(14) Designated Perpetrator--A direct provider who has committed an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(15) Direct Provider--A person, employee, agent, contractor, or subcontractor of a service provider responsible for providing services to an individual receiving services.

(16) Emergency order for protective services--A court order for protective services obtained under Human Resources Code, §48.208.

(17) Facility--

(A) DADS and DSHS central offices, state supported living centers, state hospitals, the Rio Grande State Center, the Waco Center for Youth, the El Paso Psychiatric Center, and community services operated by DADS or DSHS;

(B) A person contracting with a health and human services agency to provide inpatient mental health services; and

(C) Intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions (ICF-IID) licensed under Chapter 252, Health and Safety Code.

(18) HHSC--Health and Human Services Commission.

(19) Home and community-based services--Have the meaning given to them in Human Resources Code §48.251(a)(5) as services provided in the home or community in accordance with 42 U.S.C. §1315, 42 U.S.C. §1315a, 42 U.S.C. §1396a, or 42 U.S.C. §1396n.

(20) Home and community-based services (HCS) waiver program--The Medicaid program authorized under §1915(c) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396n(c)) for the provision of services to persons with an intellectual or developmental disability described by §534.001(11)(B), Government Code.

(21) Home and community support services agency (HCSSA)--An agency licensed under Chapter 142, Health and Safety Code.

(22) ICF-IID--A licensed intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions as described in Chapter 252, Health and Safety Code.

(23) Incitement--To spur to action or instigate into activity; the term implies responsibility for initiating another's actions.

(24) Individual receiving services--

(A) An adult or child who receives services from a provider as that term is defined in §48.251(a)(9), Human Resources Code.

(B) An adult or child who lives in a residence that is owned, operated, or controlled by an HCS waiver program provider regardless of whether the individual is receiving HCS waiver program services; or

(C) A child receiving services from a HCSSA.

(25) Investigator--An employee of Adult Protective Services who has:

(A) demonstrated competence and expertise in conducting investigations; and

(B) received training on techniques for communicating effectively with individuals with a disability.

(26) Limited Service Provider--An entity that contracts with a service provider to provide services.

(27) Local authority-- Either:

(A) a local mental health authority designated by the HHSC executive commissioner in accordance with §533.035, Health and Safety Code, and as defined by §531.002, Health and Safety Code; or

(B) a local intellectual and developmental disability authority designated by the HHSC executive commissioner in accordance with §533A.035, Health and Safety Code, and as defined by §531.002, Health and Safety Code.

(28) Non-serious physical injury--

(A) In state supported living centers and state hospitals only, any injury requiring minor first aid and determined not to be serious by a registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or physician.

(B) For all other service providers any injury determined not to be serious by the appropriate medical personnel. Examples of non-serious physical injury include:

(i) superficial laceration;

(ii) contusion two and one-half inches in diameter or smaller; or

(iii) abrasion.

(29) Perpetrator--A direct provider who has committed or alleged to have committed an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(30) Preponderance of evidence--Evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.

(31) Prevention and management of aggressive behavior (PMAB)--DADS and DSHS' proprietary risk management program that uses the least intrusive, most effective options to reduce the risk of injury for persons served and staff from acts or potential acts of aggression.

(32) Provider--A provider is:

(A) a facility;

(B) a community center, local mental health authority, and local intellectual and developmental disability authority;

(C) a person who contracts with a health and human services agency or managed care organization to provide home and community-based services;

(D) a person who contracts with a Medicaid managed care organization to provide behavioral health services;

(E) a managed care organization;

(F) an officer, employee, agent, contractor, or subcontractor of a person or entity listed in subparagraphs (A)-(E) of this paragraph; and

(G) an employee, fiscal agent, case manager, or service coordinator of an individual employer participating in the consumer-directed service option, as defined by §531.051, Government Code.

(33) Reporter--The person, who may be anonymous, making an allegation.

(34) Serious physical injury--

(A) In state supported living centers and state hospitals only, any injury requiring medical intervention or hospitalization or any injury determined to be serious by a physician or APRN. Medical intervention is treatment by a licensed medical doctor, osteopath, podiatrist, dentist, physician assistant, or APRN. For the purposes of this subchapter, medical intervention does not include first aid, an examination, diagnostics (e.g., x-ray, blood test), or the prescribing of oral or topical medication;

(B) For all other service providers, any injury determined to be serious by the appropriate medical personnel. Examples of serious physical injury include:

(i) fracture;

(ii) dislocation of any joint;

(iii) internal injury;

(iv) contusion larger than two and one-half inches in diameter;

(v) concussion;

(vi) second or third degree burn; or

(vii) any laceration requiring sutures or wound closure.

(35) Service Provider--A provider, HCSSA, or HCS waiver program provider responsible for employing, contracting with, or supervising the direct provider.

(36) Sexually transmitted disease--Any infection with or without symptoms or clinical manifestations that can be transmitted from one person to another by sexual contact.

(37) Texas Home Living (TxHmL) waiver program--The Medicaid program authorized under §1915(c) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §1396n(c)) for the provision of services to persons with an intellectual or developmental disability described by §534.001(11)(D), Government Code.

(38) Victim--An individual receiving services who is alleged to have been abused, neglected, or exploited.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 16, 2017.

TRD-201704153

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of Family and Protective Services

Effective date: November 5, 2017

Proposal publication date: July 21, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 438-4760


SUBCHAPTER E. CONDUCTING THE INVESTIGATION

40 TAC §711.401

This repeal is adopted under Human Resources Code (HRC) Ch. 48, Subchapter F, and Government Code §531.0055, which provide that the Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner shall adopt rules for the operation of and provision of health and human services by the health and human services system.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 16, 2017.

TRD-201704154

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of Family and Protective Services

Effective date: November 5, 2017

Proposal publication date: July 21, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 438-4760


40 TAC §§711.401, 711.402, 711.413, 711.415, 711.417, 711.419

These amendments and new rules are adopted under Human Resources Code (HRC) Ch. 48, Subchapter F, and Government Code §531.0055, which provide that the Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner shall adopt rules for the operation of and provision of health and human services by the health and human services system.

§711.417.When must the investigator complete the investigation?

(a) Unless an extension is granted in accordance with §711.419 of this title (relating to What if the investigator cannot complete the investigation on time?), the investigator must complete the investigation within the following time frames:

(1) within 10 calendar days of the allegation by DFPS if the investigation is in a state supported living center or the ICF-IID component of the Rio Grande State Center.

(2) within 14 calendar days of receipt of the allegation by DFPS if the investigation is in a state hospital and is a Priority I or II.

(3) within 21 calendar days of receipt of the allegation by DFPS if the investigation is in a state hospital and is a Priority III.

(4) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the allegation by DFPS for all other investigations.

(b) For investigations conducted under subsection (a)(2) - (4) of this section, if the deadline for completion of the investigation falls on a weekend or state holiday, then the investigator must complete the investigation by the end of the next business day.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 16, 2017.

TRD-201704155

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Department of Family and Protective Services

Effective date: November 5, 2017

Proposal publication date: July 21, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 438-4760


PART 20. TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION

CHAPTER 854. DIVISION FOR BLIND SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER B. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) adopts the repeal of the following sections of Chapter 854, relating to the Division for Blind Services, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4252):

Subchapter B. Vocational Rehabilitation Program, §§854.20 - 854.28, 854.40 - 854.53, 854.60 - 854.62, 854.70, 854.80, 854.90 - 854.94

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

The purpose of the adopted Chapter 854 rule change is to comply with Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to integrate the two Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) programs--VR for individuals with visual impairments (Blind Services) and VR for individuals with other disabilities (Rehabilitation Services)--into one program. Section 352.101(b)(5) specifically requires TWC to recommend the adoption of any rules necessary to accomplish this integration by October 1, 2017.

Currently, VR program rules for Blind Services are located in Chapter 854, Subchapter B, and VR program rules for Rehabilitation Services are located in Chapter 856. These chapters must be consolidated to create a unified rule base for TWC's VR program. Many sections in both chapters contain the same or similar language. However, some significant differences exist between the two chapters, and those differences must be resolved to integrate the two rule sets--and programs--into one.

TWC adopts the repeal of Chapter 854, Subchapter B. In a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption, TWC adopts revisions to Chapter 856 that contain all rules for the integrated VR program. Existing rule provisions that are unique to VR services for individuals with visual impairments in Chapter 854, Subchapter B, are incorporated into Chapter 856 and expanded to apply to all VR customers or retained to ensure the specialization of blind services, as appropriate. Where there are differences between the two rule chapters, TWC adopts, incorporating into Chapter 856, the version of the language from either chapter that is most representative of best practices in the VR program.

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER B. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM

TWC adopts the repeal of Subchapter B in its entirety:

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 1: PROGRAM AND SUBCHAPTER PURPOSE

§854.20. Purpose

Section 854.20 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.1. A separate provision stating that the purpose of the VR program is to provide services to individuals with visual impairments is not necessary under the combined VR program, which will provide services to individuals with all types of disabilities.

§854.21. Legal Authority

Section 854.21 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.2 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.22. Definitions

Section 854.22 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.3 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary. Two definitions in §854.22--(2) "Blind (person who is)" and (4) "Visual impairment"--are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 2: ELIGIBILITY

§854.23. Application

Section 854.23 is repealed because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.24. Eligibility

Section 854.24 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.20 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.25. Prohibited Factors

Section 854.25 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.21 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.26. Eligibility Determination Time Frame

Section 854.26 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.27. Determination of Ineligibility

Section 854.27 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.23 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.28. Case Closure

Section 854.28 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.24 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 3: PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

§854.40. Provision of Services

Section 854.40 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.40 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.41. Assessment for Determining Eligibility, Vocational Rehabilitation Needs, and Rehabilitation Technology Needs

Section 854.41 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.41 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.42. Physical and Mental Restoration Services

Section 854.42 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.43 and §856.44 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.43. Vocational and Other Training Services

Section 854.43 is repealed because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.44. Maintenance

Section 854.44 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.46 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.45. Transportation

Section 854.45 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.47 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.46. Services to Family Members

Section 854.46 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.47. Interpreter Services and Note-Taking Services for Consumers Who Are Deaf and Tactile Interpreting for Consumers Who Are Deafblind

Section 854.47 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.48. Reader Services and Rehabilitation Teaching Services

Section 854.48 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.49. Employment Assistance

Section 854.49 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.49 and a separate section for Blind Services is no longer necessary.

§854.50. Post-Employment Services

Section 854.50 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.50 and because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.51. Occupational Licenses, Tools, Equipment, and Initial Stocks and Supplies

Section 854.51 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.51 and because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.52. Assistive Technology Devices

Section 854.52 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.53. Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)

Section 854.53 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.52 and because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 4: CONSUMER PARTICIPATION

§854.60. Purpose of Consumer Participation

Section 854.60 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.61. Scope of Consumer Participation

Section 854.61 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.60 and because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.62. Refusal to Disclose Economic Resources

Section 854.62 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.60.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 5: COMPARABLE BENEFITS

§854.70. Comparable Services and Benefits

Section 854.70 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 6: METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

§854.80. Application of an Order of Selection

Section 854.80 is repealed because similar provisions exist in §856.82 and because applicable contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

SUBCHAPTER B. DIVISION 7: CERTIFICATE OF BLINDNESS FOR TUITION WAIVER

§854.90. Purpose

Section 854.90 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.91. Legal Authority

Section 854.91 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.92. Definitions

Section 854.92 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.93. Eligibility

Section 854.93 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

§854.94. Certificate of Blindness for Tuition Waiver

Section 854.94 is repealed because the contents of this section are included in adopted amendments to Chapter 856, a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption to integrate VR program rules.

No comments were received.

DIVISION 1. PROGRAM AND SUBCHAPTER PURPOSE

40 TAC §§854.20 - 854.22

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704191

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 2. ELIGIBILITY

40 TAC §§854.23 - 854.28

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704192

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 3. PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

40 TAC §§854.40 - 854.53

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704193

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 4. CONSUMER PARTICIPATION

40 TAC §§854.60 - 854.62

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704194

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 5. COMPARABLE BENEFITS

40 TAC §854.70

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704195

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 6. METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

40 TAC §854.80

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704196

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


DIVISION 7. CERTIFICATE OF BLINDNESS FOR TUITION WAIVER

40 TAC §§854.90 - 854.94

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704197

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Program

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


CHAPTER 856. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) adopts the following new sections to Chapter 856, relating to the Division for Rehabilitation Services, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4257):

Subchapter B. Eligibility, §856.19

Subchapter C. Provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, §§856.54 - 856.56

Subchapter D. Consumer Participation, §856.59

New Subchapter G. Certificate of Blindness for Tuition Waiver, §§856.90 - 856.92

TWC adopts amendments to the following sections of Chapter 856, relating to the Division for Rehabilitation Services, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4257):

Subchapter A. Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, §§856.1, 856.3, and 856.5

Subchapter B. Eligibility, §§856.20 - 856.24

Subchapter C. Provision of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, §§856.40 - 856.53

Subchapter D. Consumer Participation, §856.60

Subchapter E. Comparable Benefits, §856.71

Subchapter F. Methods of Administration of Vocational Rehabilitation, §§856.80 - 856.82

TWC adopts the repeal of the following sections of Chapter 856, relating to the Division for Rehabilitation Services, without changes, as published in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 4257):

Subchapter A. Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, §856.2

Subchapter E. Comparable Benefits, §856.70

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

PART I. PURPOSE, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORITY

Chapter 856 rule is amended to comply with Senate Bill (SB) 208, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2015), which transferred vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and related programs from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) effective September 1, 2016. In addition to transferring VR services, SB 208 required TWC to integrate the two separate VR programs--VR for individuals with visual impairments (Blind Services) and VR for individuals with other disabilities (Rehabilitation Services)--into a single program. Texas Labor Code, §352.101(b)(5) specifically requires TWC to recommend the adoption of any rules necessary to accomplish this integration by October 1, 2017.

Currently, VR program rules for Blind Services are located in Chapter 854, Subchapter B, and VR program rules for Rehabilitation Services are located in Chapter 856. These two sets of rules must be consolidated to create a unified rule base for TWC's VR program. Many sections in both chapters contain the same or similar language. However, some significant differences exist between the two chapters, and those differences must be resolved to integrate the two rule sets - and programs - into one.

TWC adopts revisions to Chapter 856 to contain all rules for the integrated VR program. In a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking adoption, TWC adopts the repeal of Chapter 854, Subchapter B. Language that is unique to VR services for individuals with visual impairments in Chapter 854, Subchapter B would be incorporated into Chapter 856 and expanded to apply to all VR customers or retained to ensure the specialization of blind services, as appropriate. Where there are differences between the two rule chapters, TWC adopts incorporating into Chapter 856 the version of the language from either chapter that is most representative of best practices in the VR program.

Many of the provisions in Chapter 856 refer to, or derive from, federal regulations under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). With the 2014 passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), WIA references are no longer accurate. As such, the VR program rules must be updated to reflect federal regulations enacted under WIOA. TWC adopts amending Chapter 856 to reflect corrected citation and wording with respect to WIOA and related federal regulations under WIOA.

Additionally, with the passage of SB 208, the transfer of VR services from DARS to TWC, and other related changes, Chapter 856 is not consistent with state law. For example, Chapter 856 contains many references to DARS and its organizational structure, and incorporates DARS' terminology, such as referring to individuals receiving services as "consumers." TWC adopts amendments to replace the outdated agency and division names, as well as references to state statutes and rules in Chapter 856. TWC also adopts amendments to replace the word "consumer" with "customer" to be consistent with TWC terminology.

PART II. EXPLANATION OF INDIVIDUAL PROVISIONS

Note: Minor editorial changes are made that do not change the meaning of the rules and, therefore, are not discussed in the Explanation of Individual Provisions.

SUBCHAPTER A. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES PROGRAM

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter A, including changing the name of Subchapter A to "Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Program and Purpose."

§856.1. Purpose

Section 856.1 replaces the reference to "the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS)" with "the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Vocational Rehabilitation Division (VRD)" to reflect the transfer of VR services from DARS to TWC. The amendment also adds a provision specifying that the new Vocational Rehabilitation Division is the single designated state unit for the combined VR program in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 USC §701 et seq.) and makes other changes to be consistent with federal regulations.

§856.2. Legal Authority

Section 856.2 is repealed because it is not necessary or appropriate to include the agency's legal authority in rule.

§856.3. Definitions

Section 856.3 incorporates the definitions for "Blind" and "Visually Impaired" from Texas Human Services Code, §91.002 to reflect the integration of the two separate VR programs. The amendment also adds a reference to the definitions in state law and federal regulations relating to VR, updates the division name, and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.5. Consultation Regarding the Administration of the State Plan

Section 856.5 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

SUBCHAPTER B. ELIGIBILITY

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter B:

§856.19. Application

New §856.19, relating to vocational rehabilitation service application, incorporates the provisions in §854.23 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to:

--exclude subsection (b) stating an individual must be available so that VR staff can complete an assessment for eligibility within 60 days of the individual applying for services, as this is not allowable under 34 CFR §361.42; and

--update the division name.

§856.20. Eligibility

Section 856.20 updates the division name, replaces the term "extended evaluation" with "trial work" to be consistent with changes in WIOA and federal regulations, and adds the requirements from §854.26 to this section with updated rule references.

§856.21. Prohibited Factors

Section 856.21 updates the division name and makes other changes to be consistent with federal regulations.

§856.22. Extended Evaluation

Section 856.22 updates the division name and replaces the term "extended evaluation" with "trial work" to be consistent with changes in WIOA and federal regulations.

§856.23. Determination of Ineligibility

Section 856.23 updates the division name and the federal law reference, replaces the word "consumer" with "customer", and makes other changes to be consistent with federal regulations.

§856.24. Case Closure

Section 856.24 updates the division name, replaces the word "consumer" with "customer, " and adds a requirement to subsection (a)(2) to specify, for consistency with changes in WIOA and federal regulations, that trial work is necessary before deciding to close a case due to the severity of a customer's disability.

SUBCHAPTER C. PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter C:

§856.40. Provision of Services

Section 856.40 updates the division name and rule references, and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.41. Assessment

Section 856.41 updates the division name, changes the title of the section to "Comprehensive Assessment" to be consistent with federal regulations and to distinguish the assessment outlined in this section from other types of assessments in the VR process, and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.42. Counseling, Guidance, and Referral

Section 856.42 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.43. Physical Restoration Services

Section 856.43 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.44. Mental Restoration Services

Section 856.44 updates the division name and makes other changes to be consistent with federal regulations.

§856.45. Vocational and Other Training Services

Section 856.45 adds the applicable requirements from §854.43, with a modification to remove the reference to Gallaudet University in subsection (b)(5)(C) because it is not inclusive of the many colleges and universities that offer specialized services to students with disabilities. The amendment also updates the division name, replaces the word "consumer" with "customer," and deletes subsection (d) because the requirements added from §854.43(b) are more comprehensive on the subject of paying for out-of-state tuition.

§856.46. Maintenance

Section 856.46 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.47. Transportation

Section 856.47 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.48. Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Section 856.48 incorporates requirements from §854.47 to create a section that addresses interpreter services for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind, and changes the title of the section accordingly. The amendment also updates the division and agency names and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.49. Job Development, Placement and Retention

Section 856.49 replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.50. Post-Employment Services

Section 856.50 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer." The amendment also clarifies that post-employment services support the previously planned employment outcome and that post-employment services do not include "complex rehabilitation services or services to address a new disability or impediment to employment," as stated in §854.50(a) and (b).

§856.51. Occupational Licenses, Tools, Equipment, and Training Supplies

Section 856.51 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer." The term "nonconsumable supplies"" is added to the list of items in subsection (c) that customers must safeguard. The amendment also updates the title of the section to "Occupational Licenses, Tools, Equipment, Initial Stocks, and Supplies" to be consistent with WIOA and federal regulations.

§856.52. Individualized Plan for Employment

Section 856.52 incorporates language from §854.53 to create a hybrid of the two sections. The amendment also updates the division name, replaces the word "consumer" with "customer," updates rule references, and clearly ties the services a customer receives to what has been agreed to in the individualized plan for employment (IPE).

§856.53. Consumers Determined to Have Achieved Employment Outcome

Section 856.53 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.54. Services to Family Members

New §856.54, relating to vocational rehabilitation services to family members, incorporates the provisions of §854.46 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to replace the word "consumer" with "customer."

§856.55. Reader Services

New §856.55, relating to reader services, incorporates the provisions of §854.48 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to:

--update the division name;

--replace the word "consumer" with "customer"; and

--remove "and Rehabilitation Teaching Services" from the title, as those services are not included in the content of the section. (Rehabilitation teaching services are required under federal regulations at 34 CFR §361.48, and will continue to be provided to TWC's VR customers.)

§856.56. Assistive Technology Devices

New §856.56, relating to assistive technology devices, incorporates the provisions of §854.52 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update the division name and replace the word "consumer" with "customer."

SUBCHAPTER D. CONSUMER PARTICIPATION

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter A, including changing the name of Subchapter D to "Customer Participation."

§856.59. Purpose of Customer Participation

New §856.59, relating to customer participation, incorporates the provisions of §854.60 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update the division name, replace the word "consumer" with "customer", and be consistent with federal regulations. The section also adds the requirement for individuals to participate in the cost of services based on financial need.

§856.60. Basic Living Requirements (BLR)

Section 856.60 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer." The section also incorporates provisions of §854.61 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, into the list of services that are not subject to customer participation.

SUBCHAPTER E. COMPARABLE BENEFITS

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter G:

§856.70. Comparable Services and Benefits

Section 856.70 is repealed because a similar provision is added to §856.71 so that all provisions related to comparable services and benefits are in one section.

§856.71. Availability of Comparable Services and Benefits

Section 856.71 replaces current provisions with applicable provisions from §854.70 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update the division name, replace the word "consumer" with "customer," and be consistent with federal regulations.

SUBCHAPTER F. METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

TWC adopts the following amendments to Subchapter F:

§856.80. Statewide Studies and Program Evaluation

Section 856.80 updates the division name.

§856.81. Annual Evaluation

Section 856.81 updates the division name and replaces the word "consumer" with "customer." The amendment also replaces the term "evaluation standards and performance indicators" in subsection (a)(2) with "performance accountability measures"" to be consistent with changes in WIOA and federal regulations.

§856.82. Order of Selection

Section 856.82 incorporates applicable provisions from §854.80 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update the division name, position title, and contact information and replace the word "consumer" with "customer."

SUBCHAPTER G. Certificate of Blindness for Tuition Waiver

TWC adopts new Subchapter G, as follows:

§856.90. Purpose

New §856.90, relating to the purpose of Subchapter G, incorporates the provisions of §854.90 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update agency and division names and to add a reference to the statutory authority in the Texas Education Code.

§856.91. Definitions

New §856.91, relating to definitions used in Subchapter G, incorporates relevant definitions from §854.92 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update agency and division names and remove unnecessary statutory references.

§856.92. Eligibility

New §856.92, relating to eligibility, incorporates the provisions of §854.93 of this title, concurrently proposed for repeal, with modifications to update agency and division names and the rule reference and to remove the unnecessary statutory reference.

No comments were received.

SUBCHAPTER A. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES: PROGRAM AND PURPOSE

40 TAC §§856.1, 856.3, 856.5

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704198

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


40 TAC §856.2

The rule is repealed under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted repeal affects Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704199

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER B. ELIGIBILITY

40 TAC §§856.19 - 856.24

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704200

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER C. PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

40 TAC §§856.40 - 856.56

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704201

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER D. CUSTOMER PARTICIPATION

40 TAC §856.59, §856.60

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704202

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER E. COMPARABLE BENEFITS

40 TAC §856.70

The rule is repealed under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted repeal affects Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704203

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


40 TAC §856.71

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704204

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER F. METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

40 TAC §§856.80 - 856.82

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704205

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655


SUBCHAPTER G. CERTIFICATE OF BLINDNESS FOR TUITION WAIVER

40 TAC §§856.90 - 856.92

The rules are adopted under Texas Labor Code §352.101, which requires TWC to adopt rules as necessary to integrate the vocational rehabilitation programs, and §301.0015 and §302.002(d), which provide TWC with the authority to adopt, amend, or repeal such rules as it deems necessary for the effective administration of TWC services and activities.

The adopted rules affect Title 4, Texas Labor Code, Chapters 301, 302, and 352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 19, 2017.

TRD-201704206

Patricia Gonzalez

Deputy Director, Workforce Development Division Programs

Texas Workforce Commission

Effective date: November 8, 2017

Proposal publication date: August 25, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 680-1655