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Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)

7 Steps to Preparing for Your Next Mission

7 Steps to Preparing for Your Next Mission

If you have a service-connected disability (SCD) that prevents you from continuing your former career, you may be able to receive one-on-one support from VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program to help you identify and prepare for exciting new employment opportunities. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) and Employment Coordinators (EC) are ready to help you find meaningful, suitable careers.

Step One: Apply

It's simple to apply.

·         Go to eBenefits

·         Click on "Apply for Veterans Benefits via VONAPP"

·         Create a VONAPP account or login using your existing account

·         Choose Vocational Rehabilitation (Form 28-1900) from the drop down menu and follow the prompts to fill out the form

·         Servicemembers who have a disability that began or became worse during active duty and who have not yet received a service-connected disability rating do not need to wait to apply. See VA Form 28-0588 for further instructions

·         Eligible Veterans and Servicemembers may also apply for education and career counseling by filling out VA Form 28-8832 electronically or by hand and submitting it to your nearest VA Regional Office

For Servicemembers: Ill or injured Servicemembers who have not yet received a SCD rating do not need to wait to apply. Servicemembers expecting a discharge that is not dishonorable who possess a VA memorandum or Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) rating of 20 percent or more—as well as Servicemembers currently going through a Physical Evaluation Board—may be eligible to receive VR&E services.

Step Two: Letter of Eligibility

Once you have applied and are deemed eligible, you will receive a letter confirming your eligibility and inviting you to attend orientation. If you are not eligible for services, you will receive a letter explaining why.

Step Three: Orientation

During orientation, a counselor will cover the following information and answer any questions:

·         The benefits and services offered by VR&E

·         The time limits that may impact access to benefits

·         How vocational goals and entitlement to benefits are determined

Step Four: Individual Assessment

Following the orientation session, a counselor will work with you to conduct an in-depth assessment of your interests, abilities, and aptitudes. The assessment process includes a one-on-one discussion of your interests, a review of your SCD and its impact on your career options, aptitude, abilities, and interest testing, and an academic evaluation. Following the assessment, your entitlement to benefits will be determined. VR&E’s goal is to help Veterans and Servicemembers with SCDs and an employment handicap prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. If your SCD does not impair your ability to find and keep a suitable job, your counselor may refer you to other resources or programs. Each case is different; the only way to determine your entitlement is to apply.

Step Five: Vocational Exploration

Vocational exploration is an ongoing process. You and your counselor will work together to find the appropriate program and structure to support your career goals. You will discuss the training programs, job opportunities, or Independent Living services that best meet your needs. Your counselor will make suggestions and give you advice to help you make best use of your VA benefits.


At the end of this process, you will have worked in partnership with your counselor to identify the services required to prepare for an appropriate career.

Step Six: The Rehabilitation Plan

Next, you and your counselor will develop and sign a rehabilitation plan. Your rehabilitation plan is your individualized outline of the services and resources that will be used to help you achieve your career or independent living goals as well as criteria that ensure your goals are being met.

Step Seven: Prepare for Your Next Mission

To accomplish the goals outlined in your rehabilitation plan, you will continue to work with your counselor, who will help coordinate services and process payments for education, training, and equipment.