Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal. These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and, if needed, medical and dental treatment. Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.
Usually, you must first be awarded a monthly VA disability compensation payment. In some cases, you may be eligible if you aren't getting VA compensation. For example, if you are awaiting discharge from the service because of a disability you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. Eligibility is also based on you meeting the following conditions:
- You served on or after September 16, 1940 AND
- Your service-connected disabilities (SCD) are rated at least 20% disabling by VA AND
- You need Vocational Rehabilitation to overcome an employment handicap AND
- It has been less than 12 years since VA notified you of your qualified SCD
If you need training, VA will pay your training costs, such as tuition and fees, books, supplies, equipment, and, if needed, special services. While you are in training, VA will also pay you a monthly benefit to help with living expenses, called a subsistence allowance. For details go to http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/vrs.htm. Apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp or by filling out VA Form 28-1900, Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation, and mail it to the VA regional office (St. Louis). Or call 800.827.1000 for more information.