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Veteran Readiness and Employment

About Veteran Readiness and Employment

For Veterans and Servicemembers

You may receive Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans and Servicemembers in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

Your VA Transition Assistance Program (TAP):

About 200,000 service members transition to civilian life each year. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, resources, and tools to service members and their loved ones to help prepare for the move from military to civilian life. Service members begin TAP one year prior to separation, or two years prior to retiring. Watch the video above to see how VA TAP helps service members transition from military to civilian life.

The VA portion of TAP is a one-day, in-person course called VA Benefits and Services. Led by VA Benefits Advisors, the course helps you understand how to navigate VA and the benefits and services you’ve earned through your military career. The course offers interactive exercises, real examples, and covers topics important to you like family support, disability compensation, education, and health care benefits.

VR&E support-and-services tracks:

If you’re a Veteran or service member with a service-connected disability that impacts your ability to work, the Veteran Readiness and Employment program (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) may be able to help. We offer 5 support-and-services tracks to help you find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. Explore the different tracks—and find out how to apply for benefits and services.

VR&E Independent Living track:

If your service-connected disability limits your ability to perform activities of daily living (like bathing, dressing, accessing the community, and interacting with others) and you can’t return to work right away, you may qualify for independent living services through the Independent Living track. You may also receive these services as you work to find a job if that’s a goal you and your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) have created. In both cases, your VRC can help you restore your daily-living activities.

Find out if you may be eligible for services through Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) to help you live as independently as possible.

Eligibility for Veteran Readiness and Employment:

Learn about eligibility requirements for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)—formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. If you’re a service member or Veteran and have a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service and that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, you may be able to get employment support or services to help you live as independently as possible.
If I’m a Veteran, am I eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment?
You’re eligible to apply for VR&E benefits and services if you meet both of the requirements listed here:

All of these must be true:

  • You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • You have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA

When we receive your VR&E application, we’ll schedule your initial evaluation with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The VRC will determine if you’re entitled to receive VR&E benefits and services.

If you were discharged from active duty before January 1, 2013, your basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from one of these dates, whichever comes later:

  • The date you received notice of your date of separation from active duty, or
  • The date you received your first VA service-connected disability rating

The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a VRC finds that you have a serious employment handicap (SEH). Having an SEH means your service-connected disability significantly limits your ability to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment (a job that doesn’t make your disability worse, is stable, and matches your abilities, aptitudes, and interests).

If you were discharged from active duty on or after January 1, 2013, the 12-year basic period of eligibility doesn’t apply to you. There’s no time limit on your eligibility.

If I’m still on active duty, am I eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment?
You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a service member and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true:

  • You have a 20% or higher pre-discharge disability rating (memorandum rating) and will soon leave the military, or
  • You’re waiting to be discharged because of a severe illness or injury that occurred while you were on active duty

What kind of VR&E services can I get?:

Depending on your needs and goals, services may include:

  • A complete evaluation to determine your abilities, skills, and interests for employment
  • Professional or vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
  • Employment services such as job training, resume development, and other work-readiness support
  • Help finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
  • On-the-job training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical, or business school
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
  • Independent living services to help you live as independently as possible

If I’m eligible for GI Bill benefits, can I get paid the Post-9/11 GI Bill subsistence rate for my VR&E program?:

If you’re participating in a VR&E program, you can choose to get paid the GI Bill subsistence rate instead of the Chapter 31 subsistence allowance rate if you meet both of the requirements listed here.

Both of these must be true:

  • You have at least 1 day of entitlement remaining under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and
  • You’re within your GI Bill eligibility period

Note: In most cases, the GI Bill rate is higher.

Will VA deduct my VR&E benefits from my VA education entitlement?:

If you use VR&E benefits, we won’t deduct entitlement from your other VA education benefits, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Montgomery GI Bill.

If you’ve used benefits under any other VA education program and then you use VR&E benefits, we’ll have to deduct from your remaining VR&E entitlement the amount of time used under the other VA education program.

But if you already used other VA education benefits and we determine that you’re eligible for VR&E, we may retroactively approve your previous months of entitlement and return them to the other VA education program. This is called “retroactive induction.” Ask your VRC if you meet the eligibility criteria for a retroactive induction.

For Employers

Veterans leave military service with a wealth of transferable skills and professional experiences. Salary subsidies, assistive technology,  non-paid work experiences, and special employer incentives may be available from VA to help you hire those who have served. Explore what VA offers to make hiring or rehiring a Veteran with a service-connected disability that much easier.

VA created a Veterans Employment Toolkit for employers. This toolkit provides a variety of outside resources for employers, managers or supervisors, and human resource professionals, including information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It also includes a link to Department of Labor’s America’s Heroes at Work site, which offers on-line trainings, webcasts, and presentations for employers and a Hiring Veterans Toolkit as well as a TBI, PTSD and Employment Training Tool.

For Family Members

If you support a Veteran or Servicemember with a service-connected disability, who faces difficult employment challenges, there may be little left in the household budget for your higher education and career advancement. VA may offer assistance to help you assess your career goals and abilities, find your next job, further your education and skills, and identify places where you can get job training.

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