What does the term Vocational Rehabilitation mean?
A disabled veteran may receive employment assistance, self-employment assistance, training in a rehabilitation facility, and college and other training. Severely disabled veterans may receive assistance to improve their ability to live independently or to benefit from vocational rehabilitation. Eligibility Veterans and service members are eligible for vocational rehabilitation if they meet these three conditions: 1. They suffer a service-connected disability or disabilities in active service that is rated at least 20 percent disabling. Veterans with a 10 percent disability may also be found eligible if they have serious employment handicap. 2. They are discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions or are hospitalized and awaiting separation for a service-connected condition at least 20 percent disabling. 3. They need rehabilitation to overcome an employment handicap caused substantially from a service-connected disability. Period of rehabilitation program The veteran must complete a rehabilitation program within 12 years of a military discharge. This period may be extended if a medical condition prevented the veteran from training or if the veteran has a serious employment handicap. Disabled veterans may receive services until they have reached their rehabilitation goal, up to 48 months. VA may provide counseling, job placement and post-employment services for up to 18 additional months. Rehabilitation program costs VA will pay the costs of tuition and required fees, books, supplies and equipment. VA may also pay for special support, such as tutorial assistance, prosthetic devices, lip-reading training and signing for the deaf. VA will help the veteran to pay for at least part of the transportation expenses unique to disabled people during training or the employment stages of the program. VA also can provide an advance against future benefit payments for veterans who run into financial difficulties during training. Work study VA will pay participants in advance for work-study at the three-quarter or full-time rate. A participant with VA supervision can provide outreach services, prepare and process VA paperwork, work at a VA Medical Facility or perform other approved activities. Program for unemployable veterans Veterans awarded 100 percent disability compensation based upon unemployability may still request an evaluation. If found eligible, may participate in a vocational rehabilitation program and receive help in getting a job. A veteran who secures employment under the special program will continue to receive 100 percent disability compensation until the veteran has worked continuously for at least 12 months.