Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs - Memorial Day Week Special

Finding a Job through Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs(photo by Andi♥)

This week here on the JobSpot we have some very special information for veterans and for families of veterans looking to find a job in today's climate. While the job search may be similar to that of a non veteran, there are a few extra resources, Bills and tips that can help accelerate your transition into civilian life. Today we are looking into the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program for veterans.

(Check out Parts 1 and 2 of FAQ's on the VA Bill.)

What Is the Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program?
This program’s primary function is to help veterans who have service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living.

Who is Eligible for VR&E Services?
To receive an evaluation for vocational rehabilitation services, a veteran must:
  • Have received, or eventually receive, an honorable or other than dishonorable discharge
  • Have a VA service-connected disability rating of 10% or more
  • Apply for vocational rehabilitation services

The law generally provides for a 12-year basic period of eligibility in which services may be used. The 12-year period begins on the latter of these dates:
  • Date of separation from active military duty or
  • Date the veteran was first notified of a service-connected disability rating

A Comprehensive Evaluation is completed with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor that includes:
  • A full assessment of the veteran’s interests, aptitudes, and abilities to determine whether the veteran is “entitled” to VR&E services
  • An assessment of whether service-connected disabilities impair the veteran’s ability to find and/or hold a job using the occupational skills already attained
  • Vocational exploration and goal development

How is Entitlement Determined?
A VA Counselor decides if a veteran has an employment handicap based upon the results of the comprehensive evaluation. Entitlement to services is established if the veteran has a 20% service-connected disability and an employment handicap. If the disability is 10% service-connected, then a serious employment handicap must be
found to establish entitlement to vocational rehabilitation services.

After an entitlement decision is made, the veteran and the counselor will work together to develop a rehabilitation plan.

What is a Rehabilitation Plan?
A Rehabilitation Plan is a written detailed outline of services provided under the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. The following service delivery options may be provided under a Rehabilitation Plan:
  1. Reemployment with previous employer
  2. Rapid employment services for new employment
  3. Self-employment
  4. Employment through long term services
  5. Independent living services

How To Apply
You can apply through the Internet for VR&E benefits by going to the VONAPP web site at: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp

The VONAPP (Veterans On Line Applications) website is an official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, which enables veterans to apply for benefits using the Internet. U.S. military veterans and some service members within six months of separation or retirement can apply for compensation, pension, and vocational
rehabilitation benefits.

When you use this site to complete and send an application to VA, your application will be sent directly to the VA office with jurisdiction over your application. Processing will begin and you will receive an automated e-mail response from the VA office letting you know that it received your application.

Applying by Mail
To print an official blank VA Form 28-1900, Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation, Benefits Administration website using this link: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/. Fill out the form and mail to the nearest VA Regional Office.

To find out the address of the VA Regional Office nearest you, go to http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp. You may also call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 and request that a VA form 1900 be mailed to you.

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For more information on a Veteran's Transition, please pick up a copy of the Veteran's Transition Guide brought to you by the EmploymentGuide.com. This special issue can be found at all Workforce locations in Central Florida as well as Military Institutions and Bases in the area.

-Greg

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