If you 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 eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits and services. Find out if you can get employment support or help living as independently as possible.
If I’m a Veteran, can I get VR&E benefits and services?
You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a Veteran, and you:
- Have received a discharge that is other than dishonorable, and
- Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA, and
- Apply for VR&E services
Basic period of eligibility
Your basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from the date you received notice of your:
- Date of separation from active military service, or
- First VA service-connected disability rating
Note: The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) determines that you have a Serious Employment Handicap (SEH). Having an employment handicap means your service-connected disability 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 I’m still on active duty, can I get VR&E benefits and services?
You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a Servicemember who:
- Has a 20% or higher pre-discharge disability rating (memorandum rating) and will soon leave the military, or
- Is participating in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) process or awaiting discharge due to a medical condition resulting from a serious injury or illness that occurred in the line of duty. Learn more about accessing VR&E services through IDES.
Please note: Sec. 1631(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act (PL 110-181) established VR&E eligibility and automatic entitlement for severely injured active duty individuals before a VA rating is issued. Sec. 724 of Public Law 113-291 extends the sunset date of NDAA to September 30, 2018.
Ready to apply?
Learn about the application process and how to apply if you’re a Servicemember who hasn’t received your disability rating yet. Find out how to apply.
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
- 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 if you’re unable to work due to the severity of your disabilities
Get more information
- Opportunities to get training and practical hands-on work experience at the same time through programs like:
- The VR&E Special Employer Incentives (SEI) program for eligible Veterans who face challenges getting a job. Download the SEI program fact sheet.
- The VR&E Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) program for eligible Veterans and Servicemembers who have an established career goal and learn easily in a hands-on environment—or are having trouble getting a job due to lack of work experience. Download the NPWE program fact sheet.
- VR&E employment coordinators—located at our VA regional offices and many of our out-based locations—who can help you access the employment services available to you. To find an employment coordinator near you, visit the VR&E section of VA.gov and look under “Resources.” Go to VR&E on VA.gov.
- Counselors to help you transition from military to college life. Learn about VetSuccess on Campus.
- Other employment resources for Servicemembers and Veterans. Learn about the other VA employment resources.
- Links to more resources outside VA that can help you in your job search. See our list of external resources.