Vocational rehabilitation is one of the hidden gems that veterans can turn to when looking for assistance in finding work, getting benefits and training to help start life on the right foot. It is important to understand what benefits you can receive, how you qualify and the active role you take in the process.
When working with vocational rehabilitation, you can receive a variety of benefits. It is for veterans who have a disability that was caused while serving in the United States military. These veterans can receive benefits such as: an in-depth evaluation of the individual, job counseling, help with resumes, training at the college level, case management and much more.
When signing up for this service, the active duty soldier must meet the following requirements: be honorably discharged from the military, have a disability rating of 20 percent or higher from the Veteran’s Administration and put in an application for the VetSuccess program. Those applying as a veteran can have a rating of 10 percent disability from service or a 20 percent rating from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to be eligible. The active duty or veteran may apply for these benefits within a time limit of up to 12 years from leaving the military or being given a disability rating by the Veteran’s Administration.
Vocational rehabilitation, once the individual has been found eligible, starts with the evaluation of the individual. The rehabilitation counselor works closely with the service member or veteran to identify his or her: present level of skill, various interests, job goals and personal questions. The counselor also looks closely at how the disability may create obstacles for the individual in the workplace. Once this information has been analyzed, a plan for future employment is laid out.
The counselor sits down with the veteran and shares information regarding the state of the current job market, pay information and goes over which services the person is eligible for. The plan laid out may be simple, focusing on resume preparation and interviewing skills. Others will require a longer term, more in-depth plan that may include job training, pursuing a new degree, help with identifying potential employers and on the job supports. The job opportunities may include direct placement in a position or even helping the individual to become self-employed.
The counselor also helps the veteran or service member to identify various resources that can help the individual to find a job. This may be various online job sites that a resume can be posted on or those to help improve current job skills. The counselor may also help to find additional resources related to housing, medical and financial needs, depending on the veteran’s present situation and disability rating.
Once the person is placed within a job role or starts continuing education, the counselor stays with through the entire process. This includes checking in with the individual periodically to see how he or she is progressing and seeing if additional resources need to be brought in. In the event that a veteran is found to be ineligible, the counselor will help them to find other agencies or resources that can help them on the path to a new career.
Vocational rehabilitation can help the active service member or veteran with a disability to find the necessary resources to get started on a new career path. Taking an active part in the process helps the veteran to get the most out of this opportunity.
[box_tip]Take a few minutes to learn about VA Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation Services.[/box_tip]