Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
What is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E)?
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program (VR&E), sometimes referred to
as Voc Rehab or the Chapter 31 program, assists Veterans with service-connected
disabilities rated at least 20% in preparing for, finding and keeping suitable work. If a
Veteran has a disability so severe they cannot consider work in the immediate future,
this program offers services to help them improve their situation and live as
independently as possible.
What types of Services does the Program Cover?
The VR&E program provides the following services:
• Comprehensive evaluation to assess skills, abilities, and employment interests
• Vocational counseling and establishment of a rehabilitation plan for services
• Work readiness assistance including job training, job-seeking, and resume
• Assistance in finding and keeping a job, including the use of employer incentives and
special job accommodations
• On the job training, apprenticeships, non-paid work experiences, post-secondary
training at college, technical, vocational or business schools as appropriate to develop necessary skills for employment
• Supportive services including counseling, medical referrals and case management
• Independent living services for Veterans with severe disabilities and unable to work
Who is Eligible for the VR&E Program?
• Active Duty service members are eligible for the program if they have a memorandum
rating from the VA of 20% or more, are expected to receive an honorable discharge,
and apply for the VR&E program.
• Veterans are eligible for the program if they received a discharge other than
dishonorable, have a service connected disability rating of at least 10% or a
memorandum rating of at least 20% from the VA, and apply for the VR&E program.
Does my Eligibility for the Program Expire?
In general, a Veteran is eligible for VR&E services 12 years from the date of their
separation from Active Duty military service or the date they were first notified by the VA
of a service-connected disability rating- whichever is later. If it is determined that a
Veteran has a serious employment handicap, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
(VRC) can extend their eligibility period.
How do I Apply for the Program?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can get started today by completing VA Form
28-1900 and submitting it to your local VA office or the Department of Veteranʼs Affairs
Veterans On-Line Application VONAPP site.
What Happens Once I am Accepted into the Program?
Once a Veteranʼs application has been received and eligibility established, they will receive a Comprehensive Evaluation from a VRC to evaluate their aptitudes, interests and abilities and determine whether their service-connected disability impairs their ability to find and/or hold a job using the occupational skills they already possess.
These factors determine whether or not the Veteran is entitled to services. Together the
VRC and Veteran will explore vocational opportunities and establish goals to ensure the a veteran has gainful employment and/ or maximize their independence at home.
What Happens after Entitlement is Determined?
Once Entitlement is determined, the Veteran and VRC work together to develop a rehabilitation plan after:
• Determining Veteranʼs transferable skills and interests
• Identifying employment and /or independent living options
• Exploring existing job markets, physical demands and wage information
• Narrowing vocational options to suitable employment
• Selecting a VR&E program leading to employment or independent living goal
• Investigating training requirements and resources needed to reach goal
What is a Rehabilitation Plan?
The rehabilitation plan is an individualized agreement signed by the Veteran and VRC
outlining the services, resources and criteria to be used in achieving the Veteranʼs
employment and/ or independent living goals. Generally, the Veteran will work with their
VRC to select on of the following tracks of services:
• New employment through direct job placement services
• Reemployment with a former employer
• Employment through long-term services to include on the job training,
apprenticeships, non-paid work experiences, post-secondary training at college,
technical, vocational or business schools
• Services for independent living
What Happens Once the Rehabilitation Plan is Established?
Once a Veteranʼs rehabilitation plan is developed, their VRC will continue to work with
them to ensure the plan is implemented to reach their goal of suitable employment and/
or independent living. As needed, the Veteranʼs VCR will provide continued assistance
and guidance and coordinate needed services such as tutoring, job-seeking skills,
medical referrals, payment of training allowance (as applicable), and any other services
required to help the Veteran complete the rehabilitation plan and achieve its goal.
Is there a Subsistence Allowance while Training?
Yes. A Veteranʼs subsistence allowance received monthly is based on the type of
training they are completing, the rate of attendance (part-time or full-time), and the
number of dependents. Current rates can be viewed here: VR&E Subsistence
Are there Other Programs Available?
Yes. If it is determined the Veteran is not eligible for the VR&E program, other programs
are available. The VRC can help identify the programs most suitable to the Veteranʼs
situation. Some of these programs may include:
• State vocational rehabilitation programs
• Employment programs for disabled Veterans (Department of Labor)
• Services for small business development or employment by local, state or federal
• Rehabilitation and employment resources through the internet
• Information about eligibility and assistance in applying for financial