What must happen for Voc Rehab to call you “rehabilitated”

How much are legs worth?

Here is the basic regulation that governs how your Voc Rehab Counselor will determine whether or not you are “done” with Voc Rehab. If these criteria have not been met, you may want to talk with a vet rep like the DAV. Read on for the information you need:

21.283 Rehabilitated

(a) General. For purposes of chapter 31 a veteran shall be declared rehabilitated when he or she has overcome the employment handicap to the maximum extent feasible as described in paragraph (c), (d) or (e) of this section.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101 (1), (2))

(b) Definition. The term “suitably employed” includes employment in the competitive labor market, sheltered situations, or on a nonpay basis which is consistent with the veteran’s abilities, aptitudes and interests if the criteria contained in paragraph (c) (1) or (2) of this section are otherwise met.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3100)

(c) Rehabilitation to the point of employability has been achieved. The veteran who has been found rehabilitated to the point of employability shall be declared rehabilitated if he or she:

(1) Is employed in the occupational objective for which a program of services was provided or in a closely related occupation for at least 60 continuous days;

(2) Is employed in an occupation unrelated to the occupational objective of the veteran’s rehabilitation plan for at least 60 continuous days if the veteran concurs in the change and such employment:

(i) Follows intensive, yet unsuccessful, efforts to secure employment for the veteran in the occupation objective of a rehabilitation plan for a closely related occupation contained in the veteran’s rehabilitation plan;

(ii) Is consistent with the veterans’s aptitudes, interests, and abilities; and

(iii) Utilizes some of the academic, technical or professional knowledge and skills obtained under the rehabilitation plan; or

(3) Pursues additional education or training, in lieu of obtaining employment, after completing his or her prescribed program of training and rehabilitation services if:

(i) The additional education or training is not approvable as part of the veteran’s rehabilitation program under this chapter; and

(ii) Achievement of employment consistent with the veterans’s aptitudes, interests, and abilities will be enhanced by the completion of the additional education or training.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101(1), 3107 and 3117)

(d) Rehabilitation to the point of employability has not been completed. A veteran under a rehabilitation plan who obtains employment without being declared rehabilitated to the point of employability as contemplated by the plan, including a veteran in a rehabilitation program consisting solely of employment services, is considered to be rehabilitated if the following conditions exist:

(1) The veteran obtains and retains employment substantially using the services and assistance provided under the plan for rehabilitation.

(2) The employment obtained is consistent with the veterans’s abilities, aptitudes and interests.

(3) Maximum services feasible to assist the veteran to retain the employment obtained have been provided.

(4) The veteran has maintained the employment for at least 60 continuous days.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101(1), 3107 and 3117)

(e) Independent living. A veteran who has pursued a program of independent living services will be considered rehabilitated when all goals of the program have been achieved, or if not achieved, when:

(1) The veteran, nevertheless, has attained a substantial increase in the level of independence with the program assistance provided;

(2) The veteran has maintained the increased level of independence for at least 60 days; and

(3) Further assistance is unlikely to significantly increase the veteran’s level of independence.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3101 (1), (2) 3107)

[58 FR 68768, Dec. 29, 1993]

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  1. Hey Wally,

    I hope this new Voc Rehab direction out well for you. I think it’s personally important for anyone to finish what they started, no matter what.

    With Voc Rehab, they would not be letting you back into the program unless you had a Serious Employment Handicap. The reason is that there is normally a 12 year cut-off with Voc Rehab from the date you first qualified for Voc Rehab (ie first major disability rating). If yours just went it in severity, that’s probably why Voc Rehab was able to waive the limit. Now, with an SEH Voc Rehab rating, this means you have unlimited time to complete your goal, within reason of course. Your Voc Rehab Counselor will probably need to extend your benefit allocation if you run short.

    Most universities will not accept old credits from first and second year studies for exactly why the issue you’re stating – it was too long ago to remember. I would be surprised if they accepted all the credits. So, starting over is probably ideal. Don’t sweat it. If the school requires you to retake the classes, Voc Rehab will be powerless to prevent this without interrupting your training.

    Put your head down and do the best to meet the university’s requirements. Voc Rehab will flex to help that process if you are being cooperative and working hard.


  2. Hey Ben, great website. Found you just in time. I’m told by the Jackson, MS Voc Rehab folks I qualify for thirty seven months of Voc Rehab. This is great news, and I’m very grateful.
    I was on Voc Rehab twenty five plus years ago and took myself off the program. I was very messed up at the time and never completed my degree. I was told at the time I could later re-sign up and use the time I had remaining or if I received a different or more severe disability restart the program.

    Well, I just received a different and more severe disability rating. I’m just wondering if it is possible to start out fresh. I’m sure I can complete my degree in thirty seven months if I push it, the thing is my course work will be excepted at my new college but I don’t remember many of the first and second year classes.

    I’ll have to start over from scratch for a four year degree, this will really be pushing it.

  3. I was getting education under chapter 31, but I was not informed of the stipend. My counselor retired, maybe that is a reason I was not informed. I have not completed my degree because I found a job where I’m currently employed for 12 years. I need to take three more classes for my degree. But I’m ok with the job I have. What can I do to recieve my stipend which is long over due?

    1. Hi David, it’s too late to do anything about the stipend. You have 1 year to appeal any VA decision. Plus, you can only receive the stipend if you’re in class studying for a degree that is accredited. If your disability rating increases, you’d be potentially eligible for more VA Voc Rehab benefits.

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