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Employment Rehabilitation


Employment Rehabilitation, within the context of VA benefits, refers to a program designed to assist veterans with service-connected disabilities in obtaining and maintaining suitable employment or achieving independent living goals. This program, officially known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), offers various support services such as career counseling, job search assistance, and training. The aim of the program is to enable veterans to overcome barriers and achieve their desired employment or independent living situation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Employment Rehabilitation is a program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans with service-connected disabilities by providing them with the necessary resources to overcome employment barriers and achieve their education and career goals.
  2. This program, also known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), offers a wide range of services including career counseling, job training, resume development, and assistance in finding and maintaining suitable employment. These services aim to improve veterans’ overall quality of life and increase their chances of success in the job market.
  3. Eligibility for Employment Rehabilitation requires veterans to have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from the VA, or a memorandum rating of 20% or more. Participants also need to have received an honorable discharge and apply for the program within 12 years from their release from active duty or the date they were first notified of their service-connected disability rating, whichever comes later.


Employment Rehabilitation is an important term within the context of VA benefits as it directly relates to the assistance provided to veterans in their transition back into the civilian workforce.

This term encompasses a range of services and programs designed to help veterans overcome service-related disabilities, barriers to employment, and challenges in finding meaningful work.

By offering vocational counseling, job training, education, resume preparation, and job placement services, Employment Rehabilitation ultimately aims to improve the quality of life and financial stability of veterans, ensuring they are adequately supported while harnessing their skills and experiences for personal and professional growth.


Employment Rehabilitation, a vital component of the VA benefits, primarily aims to empower veterans with service-connected disabilities to live their personal and professional lives to the fullest. This program focuses on providing necessary opportunities, support, and resources that enable veterans to attain suitable employment, which ultimately contributes to their economic self-sufficiency.

Considering the diverse backgrounds and needs of the service members, the Employment Rehabilitation program adopts an individualized approach in developing comprehensive plans to facilitate their successful reintegration into the workforce. One distinguishing feature of the Employment Rehabilitation program is its extended support system, covering various stages of the veterans’ employment journey, such as career exploration, job search, and developing specific skills.

Additionally, this program has the potential to pave the way for long-term career development by assessing the veterans’ qualifications, aligning their interests and strengths with potential occupations, and providing necessary vocational training. Veterans also have the opportunity to enroll in on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences, thus enhancing their professional competencies and employability.

Through these comprehensive services, Employment Rehabilitation not only enhances the veterans’ quality of life but also acknowledges and honors their invaluable contributions to the nation by providing them with the chance to thrive in a civilian work environment.

Examples of Employment Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program: The VR&E program, also known as Chapter 31, is a VA benefit program designed to help eligible transitioning service members and veterans with service-connected disabilities achieve their employment, occupational, and independent living goals. Participants receive career counseling, education and training services, job placement assistance, and additional support services tailored to their specific needs. A real-world example would be a veteran attending a local vocational college or university to obtain a degree or certification in a high-demand field utilizing the VR&E program.

Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) Program: The NPWE program offers eligible veterans the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in a professional setting through unpaid internships with federal, state, or local government agencies. Participants work in positions that align with their career goals while receiving support and guidance from a vocational rehabilitation counselor. A real-world example would be a veteran participating in an NPWE internship at a local Department of Veterans Affairs office to gain experience in administrative work, human resources, or information technology.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeship Programs: The VA provides funding support and resources for eligible veterans and service members to participate in OJT and apprenticeship programs, which help individuals learn a trade or skill through hands-on training under the supervision of an experienced professional. These programs can be found in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and technology. A real-world example would be a veteran learning how to become an electrician through an apprenticeship program with a local electrical contracting company, earning a livable wage and valuable work experience during the training period.

FAQ for VA Benefits: Employment Rehabilitation

What is employment rehabilitation?

Employment rehabilitation is a program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help service-disabled veterans with vocational rehabilitation and employment (VR&E) services. The program assists veterans in preparing for, finding, and maintaining suitable employment or achieve independence in their daily living.

Who is eligible for employment rehabilitation services?

Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from the VA and are in need of Vocational Rehabilitation services to overcome employment barriers are eligible for this program. It is important to apply for these benefits because eligibility and entitlement for VR&E services are determined on an individual basis.

What services are provided under the employment rehabilitation program?

The program offers various services, including comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation, vocational counseling, job-seeking skills coaching, resume development, and assistance with finding and maintaining suitable employment. It also provides post-secondary training, on-the-job training, and independent living services for veterans with severe disabilities that hinder them from traditional employment paths.

How long do employment rehabilitation services last?

Each veteran’s case is unique, so the duration of services provided varies from individual to individual. However, using the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program, veterans are eligible for rehabilitation services for up to 48 months, or in some cases, additional time may be approved based on a participant’s progress and needs.

How can veterans apply for employment rehabilitation benefits?

Veterans can apply for VR&E benefits in the following ways: online through the VA.gov website, submitting a hard copy of VA Form 28-1900 (Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation) via mail, applying in person at a regional VA office, or working with a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC). The application process usually involves interviews and evaluations to determine eligibility and the individual’s vocational goals.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Program
  • Individualized Employment Plan
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT)
  • Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE)
  • Supported Employment Services

Sources for More Information