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Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program (VR&E), Chapter 31

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31 (sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program). The mission of VR&E is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities of 20% or higher prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe they cannot immediately consider work, VR&E offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

The VR&E Program is designed to help a service-connected disabled veteran overcome employment handicaps imposed by such disability, so that the veteran is able to find and keep suitable employment as well as achieve maximum independence in daily living. The primary goal of the program is to train disabled veterans for appropriate employment. Education benefits for school attendance may be authorized if that is determined to be the best way to prepare a particular veteran for entry or re-entry into the labor force. Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.

How Does VR&E Work?

  • An individualized, written agreement of services, resources, and criteria used to achieve successful rehabilitation is outlined.

  • Once the Rehabilitation Plan/Agreement is developed and signed, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) or case manager will work with the veteran to implement the plan to achieve suitable employment or independent living.

  • The VRC coordinates services such as tutorial assistance, training in job-seeking skills, medical and dental referrals, adjustment counseling, payment of training allowance, if applicable, and other services as required to achieve rehabilitation.

  • Depending on their circumstances, veterans will work with their VRC to select one of the following Five Tracks of services:

  • Reemployment (with a former employer);

  • Rapid employment services for new employment;

  • Self-employment;

  • Employment through long term services;

  • Independent living services.

  • The Rehabilitation Plan/Agreement is reviewed annually to determine whether any changes may be needed to better serve the veteran.

Recent legislation now allows those who are eligible for both VR&E benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill's monthly housing allowance instead of the VR&E subsistence allowance.

To apply for Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program (VR&E), complete VA Form 28-1900 or apply online at Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment web page.

​U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue
Washington, DC 20420

Phone: (800) 827-1000

Website: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/

Usually, a veteran must first be awarded a monthly VA disability compensation payment to be eligible for the VR&E Program. In some cases, a veteran may be eligible even if they are not receiving VA compensation. For example, a veteran who is awaiting discharge from the service because of a disability may be eligible.  Veterans must also meet the following conditions:

  • Served on or after September 16, 1940; and

  • Service-connected disabilities are rated at least 20% disabling by VA; and

  • Need vocational rehabilitation to overcome barriers to employment; and

  • Less than 12 years since the VA notified the veteran of qualified service-connected disabilities.

 

 

 

 

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Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program (VR&E), Chapter 31