Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
The Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program's primary function is to help veterans who have a service-related disability find and maintain employment. If you have a service-related disability that is so severe that you cannot work, this program offers services to improve your ability to live as independently as possible.
If you have been or will be honorably discharged, and have a VA service related disability rating of 10% or more, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. After a comprehensive evaluation, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) will decide if you have an employment handicap. If your disability is 10% service-related, then a serious employment handicap must be found to establish entitlement to vocational rehabilitation services. If you have a 20% service-related disability and an employment handicap, you will be eligible. After a decision has been made in your favor, you and your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will work together to develop a rehabilitation plan, which is a written detailed outline of services provided under the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.
This benefit can be used for a degree or certificate program, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and online courses. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. After a rehabilitation plan is developed, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor can assist you in finding gainful employment or independent living. Your counselor may also provide you with a counseling referral, or referrals for healthcare, dental care, and any other services they think are necessary for you to achieve success.
The basic period of eligibility in which the Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program services may be used is 12 years from the latter of either the date of separation from active military service, or the date that you were notified of a service-relateded disability rating from the VA. The period of eligibility may be extended if a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor determines that you have a serious employment handicap
What if you’re found ineligible? Your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will assist you, using the information from the evaluation, to identify other options and goals.