The first contact that a consumer makes with the CRS program is a critical point in the rehabilitation process. It is a time for the consumer not only to exchange information with a CRS program staff member, but also to form an impression about the staff member's sincerity, concern, and professionalism. A successful exchange of information means that both the counselor and consumer fully understand what is being discussed. You are responsible to communicate in a way that best accommodates the consumer’s limitations.

During this contact with a consumer:

  1. develop an understanding of the consumer's needs;
  2. identify the CRS service that seems most suited to meet those needs; and
  3. explain the purpose of the CRS program to the consumer.

The initial contact date for the CRS program is the date that the consumer or the consumer's representative first contacts the CRS program about services.

Document the consumer’s initial contact in ReHabWorks (RHW). Complete the Initial Contact entry (for instructions, see the RHW Users Guide, Chapter 5 Initial Contact, regardless of the consumer's current level of functioning. Once the Initial Contact is documented in RHW, the consumer is added to the Interest List. Once the case is assigned to the appropriate counselor, the case status updates to Initial Contact with Case Assignment status.

As soon as you determine that a case is not warranted, close the Initial Contact case by coding it as Ineligible (for instructions, see RHW Users Guide, Chapter 21 Closure, 21.1 Closure Before Case Assignment and Before or After Application). This action removes the consumer's name from the Interest and/or Waiting List. If an Initial Contact is created but an application is not completed, the consumer’s initial contact information is not automatically removed from RHW.