The purpose of this page is to keep Supported Employment Program Approved Service Agencies (PASAs) informed about upcoming Department events and meetings, relevant legislation, resources, and other information related to Supported Employment.
Meetings and Events
Draft Supported Employment Rule Stakeholder Engagement meetings
- Intended Audience: PASA's interested in providing constructive feedback on the new draft of the Supported Employment rules.
Reasonable accommodations for the meetings will be provided upon request for persons with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please contact John.R.Barry@state.co.us at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting if you need accommodations.
- Colorado Disability Benefits 101 Website
The Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) is proud to announce Colorado’s newest employment resource, Colorado Disability Benefits 101 (CO DB101). This online tool is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Coloradans with disabilities to address the fear of losing benefits by investigating the questions a career seeker has around “What happens to my benefits when I work?”
One of the most recognized barriers to people with disabilities pursuing work is the fear of losing benefits. One common misconception is that individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Food Stamps, Medicaid, or other benefits can’t work.
CO DB101 is aimed to support individuals with disabilities in exploring career options and increasing financial independence. CO DB101 houses Benefits and Medicaid Buy-In estimators as well as informational articles available for individuals to investigate how employment impacts their personal benefit profile. This online resource will also guide users to the resources and subject matter experts throughout Colorado that can support their career path journey.
CO DB101 is an instant way to:
- explore work interaction with your benefits
- get direct contact to a certified benefits counselor in Colorado
- verify and get the detailed information specific for you
- guide you to the resources available throughout Colorado to support an you through a career path!
Questions? Contact Melanie.Honsbruch@state.co.us CPWIC, Colorado Office of Employment First Curriculum Developer and Trainer
- Supported Employment Services Flowchart
Supported Employment Services Flowchart - May 2021
SB 21-039 - Elimination of Subminimum Wage Employment
Senate Bill 21-039 prohibits an employer that does not hold a special certificate from the United States department of labor that authorizes the employer to pay less than the minimum wage to employees whose earning capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental disability, or injury from paying an employee below minimum wage. The bill phases out subminimum wage employment for employers that hold a special certificate and requires each employer that holds a special certificate to submit a transition plan to the Colorado department of labor and employment detailing how the employer plans to phase out subminimum wage employment by July 1, 2025. On and after July 1, 2025, an employer is prohibited from paying an employee with a disability less than minimum wage regardless of whether the employer was issued a special certificate.
The bill requires the employment first advisory partnership in the Colorado department of labor and employment (partnership) to:
- Develop actionable recommendations to address structural and fiscal barriers to phasing out subminimum wage employment and successfully implementing competitive integrated employment; and
- Report the recommendations to the general assembly.
The bill continues operation of the partnership, which is scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2021, indefinitely.
The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (department) to add employment-related services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. $82,641 is appropriated to the department to implement the bill. The department also expects to receive $391,075 in federal funds to implement the bill.
SB 18-145 - Implement Employment First Recommendations
Senate Bill 18-145 is to advance competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities by funding training and certification for Supported Employment Professionals
The bill requires training and/or certification of all providers of supported employment services for persons with disabilities.
Reimbursements will cover the cost of the training and certification, application fees, and staff time.
- Training will be reimbursed up to $1,200.00
- Certification will be reimbursed up to $300.00
To be eligible for reimbursement, you need to be set up to bill for Supported Employment services through Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program), and/or HCBS Medicaid Waivers.
SB 16-077 - Establishment of Employment First for Persons with Disabilities
Senate Bill 16-077 established:
- the increase of:
- the number of people entering the workforce and contributing to Colorado's tax base
- self-worth and dignity of people who are gainfully employed and working alongside people without disabilities
- opportunities to do meaningful and gainful work, lessoning dependence on Medicaid and other public assistance
- opportunities for post-secondary education, including college and vocational training
- effectiveness of service systems currently serving people with disabilities to who are seeking meaningful employment
- the collaboration between state departments called Employment First Advisory Partnership (EFAP) including representatives of:
- Department of Education
- Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
- Department of Higher Education
- Department of Human Services
- Department of Labor and Employment
- People with disabilities seeking supported employment
- Families of people with disabilities
- Advocates for people with intellectual disabilities
- Supported Employment Service Providers
- Others focused on cross-disability interest
- Helpful Links
- The Subminimum Wage Disability Pay Loophole Video - The Daily Show - October 2021
- Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE)
- Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP)
- Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) - Supported Employment
- Individual Placement and Supports (IPS)
- Colorado Office of Employment First
- Other Long-Term Services and Supports Programs
- LTSS COVID-19 Website
- HCPF COVID-19 Website