2018 DES Reform Transition Webinar Questions and Answers

Will providers be given a copy of the mid may letter?

A copy of the letter and fact sheet to transitioning participants will be published on the 2018 DES Reform Transition page and the Provider Portal for your information. 

Will all DES participants be sent the Transition letter in mid-May? Or only Transition participants?

The letter in May will be sent to transition participants only.

Will the Department change the existing DES logo for the new program?

The current DES logo will not change. Use of the DES logo is outlined in the Style Guide  available on the DSS website along with the draft guidelines for the program.

When can providers update Connections for Quality for new sites?

Connections for Quality details may be updated once an organisation has access the Employment Systems. Instructions are available on the the Employment Assistance knowledge base and will be published on the Provider Portal.

How will providers update Connections for Quality. The Connections for Quality information for each of our sites will be identical. Is it possible to do a bulk update as updating Connections for Quality for each individual site will be labor intensive?

Specific site details will need to be entered individually. 

When will I receive information on how to access the IT System / I was not sent information on how to access the IT System. Who do I contact to obtain this?

A letter providing instructions for IT access  was sent with the your  organisations executed grant agreement.  If you have not received your letter and executed grant agreement please contact the Community Grants Hub on 1800 635 084 or email DESagreements@dss.gov.au.

When will the finalised DES Guidelines be available for viewing by Providers? Where are the draft Guidelines located?

The draft guidelines are available on the DSS website. It is anticipated that the final versions of the guidelines will be published on the Provider Portal from 1 June 2018.

I am a continuing provider. Will my participants receive a letter in May 2018?

The May letter will only be sent to those participants effected by Transition i.e. to participants currently registered with organisations that will no longer be delivering DES from 1 July 2018.

How will referrals work? If Providers are located next door to each other, which Provider receives the referral?

From 1 July, job seekers will choose their preferred DES Provider. To enable this, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and Human Services’ Assessors, will provide job seekers with information about all DES Providers in the vicinity of the job seeker’s residential address.

To help inform job seeker choice, Human Services’ Assessors will provide the following information to job seekers

  • The location of Providers in the vicinity of the job seeker’s residential address
  • Provider performance (once available); and
  • Provider Specialisation;

DHS staff will encourage all potential DES Participants to research Providers in the area to inform their choice of preferred Provider.

Are Participants able to choose Providers who are contracted to deliver services in a different ESA to the one in which the Participant resides?

Yes. Participants are able to choose to receive services from a Provider located outside of the ESA in which they reside. The list of Providers given to Participants is sorted by the site’s proximity to the Participant’s address, and is not limited by Employment Service Area boundaries.

Are DES - Disability Management Services (DES-DMS) Participants able to choose a DES- Employment Support Service (DES-ESS) Provider? Are DES-ESS participants able to choose a DES-DMS Provider?

No, DES-DMS Participants must choose a DES-DMS Provider and DES-ESS participants must choose a DES-ESS Provider. This is because DES-DMS Participants have different support needs to Participants in DES-ESS

  • DES - DES-DMS assists job seekers with disability who require assistance to find sustainable employment, but who are not expected to need long-term support in the workplace.
  • DES - ESS assists job seekers with permanent disabilities who require assistance to find a job and who require long-term ongoing support in the workplace to maintain sustainable employment.

How many referrals will I receive?

The number of referrals that individual Providers receive will be affected by a range of factors, including:

  • the flow of Participants registering with DHS in each ESA;
  • the result of Employment Services Assessments (ESAt) and Job Capacity Assessments (JCA);
  • the number of Providers in a region; and
  • which Provider the participant chooses to receive services from, including Direct Registrations.

In May 2018, the Department will nominally allocate Participants on the caseload of an Exiting Provider to a Continuing Provider or New Provider, for transfer on the weekend of 30 June 2018. The initial allocation will be conducted prior to Transition Participants being offered an opportunity to choose their preferred New Provider.

How will referrals work for Specialist Providers from 1 July?

As noted in the Transition Guidelines the Department’s IT Systems will display a list of all DES Providers near the job seeker’s residential address and eligible Program Service to Human Services and the Human Services Assessor. To enable job seeker choice, Human Services’ Assessors may supply, where available, relevant information about nearby DES providers, including the provider’s specialisation.

Will Star Ratings affect how Participants are referred? Will Participants be referred based on Star Ratings?

Provider Star Ratings for performance from 1 July 2018 will be made available to job seekers and will help inform their choice of DES provider, when available.

Are there any ESAs with no Exiting Providers? If so, how do New Providers in these ESAs source Participants?

There is no guarantee of a minimum caseload, as Participants can choose their preferred Provider. A Provider will have to attract job seekers based on the services they offer and by establishing a proven record of employment outcomes. The Department recommends new Providers to actively engage with their community to attract more Participants to their business.

In addition to referrals made through DHS to the Participant’s Provider of choice, DES providers are able to register job seekers who approach them directly for services via the Direct Registration process.

Are Department of Human Services staff aware of the relaxation of ESA boundaries?

The Department of Social Services has maintained communication with the Department of Human Services across all stages of the DES Reform 2018. Centrelink are aware of the DES referral process from 1 July 2018.

How will I know if I have been allocated a Transition Caseload?

Transition Caseload screens will be available in the Department’s IT System from mid-May. Transition Participants will transfer to their Gaining Provider on the transfer weekend (30 June to 1 July 2018). Upon transfer, a pending referral in the Department’s IT Systems with the gaining provider is created and the individual can be commenced with the Provider.

When will indicative caseload screens become available?

Indicative Caseload Screens will be available in the Department’s IT System from mid-May 2018.

Continuing Providers, and New Providers pending IT Systems access, will be able to view Transition Participants that have nominally been allocated to their site(s) or have chosen to be serviced at their site(s) on the screen. This will allow Providers to anticipate how their caseload will increase as a result of the transition arrangements.

Functionality to pre-book appointments with job seekers will also be available in the Department’s IT System from 18 June 2018, for Participant appointments commencing on Monday 2 July 2018.

Will New Providers receive Transition Participants?

The Department cannot guarantee that all Providers will receive Transition Participants. Both Continuing and New Providers will have an opportunity to be nominally allocated Transition Participants - but only where the Provider has informed the Department of their Site Addresses. Providers had until 30 April 2018 to inform the Department of Site addresses.

How will Transition Participants be allocated to Continuing and New Providers?

The Department will allocate Transition Participants to Continuing and New Providers based on the following principles.

  1. Transition Participants will be nominally allocated to a Continuing or New Provider Site within 5km of their residential address. Where there are one or more Provider Sites within the 5km radius, the allocation will be randomly generated. All generalist full and part time sites will be included. Specialist sites will only be included for Participants currently with a specialist Provider.
  2. Where a Specialist Service Provider is ceasing and a New Provider or Continuing Provider Site of a similar specialisation is within the above mentioned 5km radius, the Transition Participant will be nominally allocated to the Provider of that Site. Transition Participants currently being serviced by a Generalist Service Provider will be nominally allocated to a Generalist Service Provider.
  3. If no Sites are within the abovementioned 5km radius, steps 1 and 2 will be repeated with an expanded radius of 10km and, if still unsuccessful, repeated again with progressive increases of 5km to the radius until the Participant can be nominally allocated.
  4. A Provider will not be allocated Transition Participants above its nominated Maximum Caseload.

These allocation principles are inclusive of full and part-time sites only, except in exceptional circumstances where the Department will consider allocating to outreach sites. 

Providers should also note that this is a nominal allocation only, and that individual participants may choose a different Provider to the one they are notionally allocated to by the Department.

How will Participant allocation work for Specialist Providers? Will all Participants in the specialist category be referred to specialists for that category? Or only if they are located within 5km?

During transition, where a Specialist Service Provider is ceasing and a New Provider or Continuing Provider Site of a similar specialisation is within a 5km radius of the Participant’s residential address, the Transition Participant will be nominally allocated to the Provider of that Specialist Site.

I am the only Specialist in my ESA and have a similar specialisation to the Exiting Specialist Provider. Will I receive the Exiting Specialist Providers Participants?

As noted above, where a Specialist Service Provider is ceasing and a New Provider or Continuing Provider Site of a similar specialisation is within a 5km radius of the Participant’s residential address, the Transition Participant will be nominally allocated to the Provider of that Specialist Site. This does not necessarily mean that the New Specialist Provider will be allocated all Participants attached to the Exiting Providers caseload.

Will the caseloads of Continuing Providers be reallocated?

No. However, from 1 July 2018, there will be fewer restrictions on participant transfers and choice of Provider.

In an ESA where there are no New Providers, where the DMS Provider now has ESS, and the ESS Provider now has DMS, how are you going to reallocate those caseloads?

As noted in the Transition Guidelines, Continuing Providers are based on the current sites in the Employment Service Area (ESA). In this example, both Providers would retain their caseloads as they are maintaining that service in the ESA.

When can Participants use the National Customer Service Line to transfer to the Provider of their choice?

Transition Participants will be nominally allocated to a New Provider or Continuing Provider in mid-May 2018, and the Department will write to Participants at this time so they are aware of their ability to choose a different Provider. Prior to this, all Participants may transfer to a different Provider under current transfer rules.

Once participant letters have been dispatched in mid-May, if the Transition Participant chooses to transfer to a different Provider, their choice will be facilitated by the National Customer Service Line. Participants can call the National Customer Service Line on 1300 854 414 and request a transfer. From 1 July 2018, all Participants may transfer to the Provider of their choice.

I am an Exiting Provider that has participants pending. Am I required to commence these Participants? Or, do I facilitate a transfer to the Participant’s Provider of choice?

Referrals to Exiting Providers have now ceased, except in some limited circumstances as outlined in the Transition Guidelines. Exiting Providers are expected to work with all Participants on their caseload, including by commencing all Participants including those that are referred to them over the Transition Period. All Participants on an Exiting Provider’s caseload will be transferred to a Gaining Provider’s caseload on the transfer weekend (30 June 2018 – 1 July 2018).

For Participants that are employed (i.e. those in Post Placement Support or Ongoing Support) will the Participant Allocation process take into consideration the Participant’s employer? I have received feedback from employers that they prefer to have no more than one DES Provider on the worksite supporting their employees.

The Joint Meeting process includes the provision for employers to participate should they wish to. With consent of the Participant, Exiting Providers should seek to keep Employers informed of the transition arrangements for each Participant and discuss the arrangements required to ensure the continuity of assistance and support for both Participants and Employers.

A 'Fact Sheet for Employers' about the changes in DES will be published on the Department’s website and the Provider Portal

What are the requirements for joint meetings?

Please see the 2018 DES Reform Transition Guidelines for details of how the joint meeting process works. These Guidelines are available on the DSS website, and on the Provider Portal

How will the Department’s IT System identify Placements for employment, self-employment and pre-existing employment to ensure their start date of 1 July 2018? Will the start date be moved/changed to 1 July 2018?

DES Transition Guidelines are available on the Department’s website, and on the Provider Portal.

As stated in the Transition Guidelines, all Job Placements must be verified on or prior to 29 June 2018.  If the Provider does not verify the Job Placement before this time, or the Participant has not met the requirements for a Job Placement Fee, the Employment Placement Start Date will be set to 1 July 2018 and the Participant will start to track towards a Four-week Outcome. Where a Participant is already working in a job when a Gaining Provider Commences the Participant and the job is not recorded in The Department’s IT Systems, the position is not considered Pre-Existing Employment, provided the Participant had Commenced in DES with the Exiting Provider.

How will service fees be automated for Transition Participants? How will the Department know that service has been delivered?

When a Transition Participant transfers to their Gaining Provider, their record in the Department's IT system (including their DES anchor history, start date etc) is also transferred.

How many Participants are expected to be transitioned on 1 July 2018?

Approximately 20,000 DES Participants are expected to be transitioned over the transition weekend.

Over the Transition Period, do Participants who Exit after 24 months in Employment Assistance, or who receive an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) Program Review, have to wait until 1 July 2018 to receive a referral.

Participants who are Exited from DES over the transition period are able to be Commenced by a Continuing Provider prior to 1 July 2018, subject to the normal eligibility requirements.

Program Reviews may continue to be conducted at any time during the Transition Period. All Providers, including Exiting Providers must continue to arrange Program Reviews for DES Participants over the Transition Period in accordance with the relevant Guidelines.

If Education anchors now fall under the new Outcome Guidelines, from when do the new Eligibility Guidelines apply? What if I have claimed a 13 Week Education Outcome under the current contract? Will I be required to abide by the new rules to claim the subsequent 26 Week Education Outcome?

The Grant Agreement amends the criteria for Education Outcomes. This means the criteria for Education Outcomes outlined in the Grant Agreement is applicable to any claims that fall due on or after 1 July 2018, except for 26-week Education Outcomes where the associated 13-week Education Outcome fell due prior to 1 July 2018. In which case, the associated 26-week Education Outcome can meet the current criteria for Education Outcomes to attract the Outcome Fee.

Where a Transition Participant is undertaking an eligible education activity that has not been recorded in the Department’s IT Systems, the Gaining Provider can enter the Anchor Date and start date of the course in the Department’s IT Systems as the same date as the Participant Commenced with the Gaining Provider. The Gaining Provider will need to enter an end date that is at least 13 weeks after the start date entered for the course. The Gaining Provider must note in the comments section of the activity details the actual commencement date and end date of the education activity. This will only apply where the Participant has already Commenced in DES prior to transition.

Providers should refer to the Transition Guidelines for further details on the transition arrangements in relation to fees

Can you further clarify what happens with Job Placements made prior to 1 July that don’t qualify for the Job Placement Fee on or before 1 July?

All Job Placements must be verified on or prior to 29 June 2018 in order to attract a Job Placement Fee.  If the Provider does not verify the Job Placement before this time, or the Participant has not met the requirements for a Job Placement Fee, the Employment Placement Start Date will be set to 1 July 2018 and the Participant will start to track towards a Four-week Outcome.

Providers will not have the functionality to retrospectively verify placements after 29 June 2018. Where a Participant is already working in a job when a Gaining Provider Commences the Participant and the job is not recorded in The Department’s IT Systems, the position is not considered Pre-Existing Employment, provided the Participant had Commenced in DES with the Exiting Provider.

When will I receive the induction pack? What do I do if I do not receive an induction pack?

An execution letter and system access form was sent with your organisations executed Grant Agreement.  If you have not received the execution letter please contact the Community Grants Hub on 1800 635 084 or email DESagreements@dss.gov.au

Where can I find information about current Providers and their locations?

Information on the current DES providers is available on the JobAccess website. This information is subject to change at any time to reflect only those organisations that will deliver DES from 1 July 2018.

 

 

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