In most cases, Veterans with service connected disabilities are not prepared for the limited use of every part of their bodies, unlike when they were in boot camp. Many disabled Veterans would like to work for a living in order to regain some sense of normalcy in their lives, but are just physically unable to do so.
The Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Program, also called the Chapter 31 Program, assists Veterans with service connected disabilities preparing for, locate, and retain employment. The program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31.
VR&E Program services can include employment assistance, short and long-term training, the purchase of required supplies, and on- the-job training, all of which aim to improve the Veteran’s ability to live as independently as possible.
VR&E utilizes the five tracks to employment model in the provision of services. These tracks are:
- Rapid Access to Employment
- Independent Living Services
- Employment through Long Term Services
In order to qualify for the VR&E Program, the Veterans must have or expect to receive a discharge that is other than dishonorable. The Veteran must also have a service connected disability rating of at least 10%, or a memorandum rating of 20% or more from the VA. The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used is 12 years from the date of separation from active military service, or the date the Veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating.
Veterans must apply for VR&E through the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) system.
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Military Connection: Career Training for Disabled Vets: By Debbie Gregory