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Independent Living Program


The Independent Living Program is a VA benefit designed to support eligible veterans with severe disabilities in achieving a more independent lifestyle. The program provides individualized assistance, including resources, activities, and skills training, to improve their overall quality of life. The primary goal is to help veterans attain increased self-reliance and better integration within their communities.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Independent Living Program (ILP) is a VA benefit aimed at helping veterans with severe service-connected disabilities achieve a higher level of independence in daily living.
  2. ILP focuses on providing resources, support, and assistance in areas such as home adaptations, assistive technology, personal care, and mobility solutions to enable veterans to lead self-reliant and fulfilling lives.
  3. Eligibility for the Independent Living Program includes having a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%, a demonstrated need for ILP assistance, and the potential to achieve the desired goals with the program’s support.


The Independent Living Program is a critical aspect of VA benefits as it offers essential assistance to veterans with severe disabilities to help them achieve a better quality of life.

This program plays a vital role in enabling these individuals to lead a life as independently as possible by providing personalized support, resources, and skill development.

By addressing the unique needs of each veteran, the Independent Living Program not only contributes to their self-sufficiency but also promotes their overall well-being, social integration, and ability to participate in the community.

Ultimately, this initiative is a crucial element of the VA’s commitment to improving the lives of veterans and supporting their transition back to civilian life.


The Independent Living Program is designed with the primary purpose of empowering veterans with service-related disabilities to live a life with dignity and autonomy. Its objective is to provide these veterans the necessary support services and resources, enabling them to participate in activities both in their homes and their communities as independently as possible.

This program recognizes that these veterans may require specialized assistance in overcoming barriers to regaining meaningful self-sufficiency and achieving their desired quality of life. To uphold its mission, the Independent Living Program offers a myriad of services, which cater to each veteran’s unique needs and circumstances.

These services range from rehabilitation therapies and vocational counseling to assistive technology and home modifications. As a result, veterans can regain control of their lives and enjoy the self-confidence and independence they might have lost.

Support from professionals, including occupational therapists and vocational counselors, further more effectively guides these veterans through the process of tailoring and integrating these services into their daily routines. Ultimately, the Independent Living Program serves as a crucial means to improve the overall well-being of disabled veterans, allowing them to regain their footing amidst the challenges presented by their service-related disabilities.

Examples of Independent Living Program

The Independent Living Program (ILP) is a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. It aims to assist veterans with significant service-connected disabilities that hinder their ability to function independently in their homes and communities. Here are three real-world examples of how the ILP has benefited veterans:

Accessible Home Modifications: A veteran who has been left paraplegic due to a service-connected injury struggles to navigate their home. Through the ILP, the VA assists in making necessary modifications to their house, such as installing ramps, widening doorways, and modifying the bathroom for wheelchair accessibility. These changes enable the veteran to better navigate and function within their own home independently.

Assistive Technology: A veteran who suffers from severe PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) has difficulty with memory, concentration, and communication. The ILP provides the veteran with assistive technology devices such as memory aids, speech recognition software, and a computer to help them better manage and cope with their disabilities. This assistance allows the veteran to function more independently in daily life.

Independent Living Skills Training: A veteran who lost their vision due to a service-connected disability finds it challenging to carry out daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and managing personal finances. The ILP connects the veteran with rehabilitation services and occupational therapy to teach them new skills and techniques, such as using adaptive equipment and learning Braille. This training empowers the veteran to live independently and regain their confidence in handling daily activities.

FAQ – Independent Living Program

What is the Independent Living Program?

The Independent Living Program is a VA benefit designed to help veterans with severe disabilities gain more independence in their daily lives. This program offers various services, including vocational counseling, job training, and other essential support to help veterans overcome barriers and achieve their goals.

Who is eligible for the Independent Living Program?

Veterans with severe service-connected disabilities who have significant difficulties in daily living and require assistance to live more independently in their communities are eligible for the Independent Living Program. The program is mainly designed for those who are unable to work due to their disabilities.

How do I apply for the Independent Living Program?

To apply for the Independent Living Program, you should first contact your local VA office or visit the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) website. You’ll be asked to complete the VA Form 28-1900, which is the Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation. Your application will then be reviewed, and a counselor will work with you to determine if the program is appropriate for your needs.

What services are provided through the Independent Living Program?

The services provided by the Independent Living Program may include, but are not limited to, vocational counseling, job training, assistive technology, home modification, health care, transportation assistance, and independent living skills training. The program’s exact services will vary depending on the individual needs and goals of each veteran.

Can I use the Independent Living Program in conjunction with other VA benefits?

Yes, you can use the Independent Living Program in conjunction with other VA benefits. However, it’s essential to coordinate your services with your VA counselor to ensure that you’re receiving the most appropriate support for your specific needs and goals. They can help you identify any potential conflicts or opportunities for maximizing your benefits.

How long can I stay in the Independent Living Program?

There is no specific time limit or maximum duration for participating in the Independent Living Program. The program is intended to provide the necessary support for veterans to reach their independent living goals, which may take varying lengths of time depending on individual circumstances. Your progress and needs will be regularly reviewed by your VA counselor, and the program will continue as long as it is deemed beneficial.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Assistive Technology
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Personalized Support
  • Home Modification
  • Skills Training

Sources for More Information