Vocational Rehab

VOC-Rehab (Chapter 31)

The Vocational Rehabilitation program of the Veterans Administration deserves investigation by any veteran who is in or planning to be in school and has a disability. This program is a viable alternative to the GI Bill for disabled vets. If you meet the below conditions, you are eligible to be considered for vocational rehabilitation:
  • Have received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least  10%, or a memorandum rating of  20% or more from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)

For more information on Vocational Rehab, please visit http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Voc-Rehab offers educational benefits similar to those provided by the regular GI Bill. Participants receive a monthly stipend and their tuition, books, fees, and the VA pays for supplies. Under certain circumstances, help may also be available for medical and dental care and financial emergencies.

Disability – The How and the Why

Disability. What comes to mind? Most of us think of the physically handicapped, the visibly impaired person. However, did you know most disabilities are not nearly so obvious? For example, if a soldier broke his/her arm in service, was given a cast, was discharged and later on developed arthritis in the area of the break, he/she might be eligible for a disability claim.

Another common misconception, which many veterans have, is that a claim must be filed within a year after discharge. The truth is that the time frame varies depending on the particular condition. In some cases, “special presumptive periods,” as much as seven years may pass between discharge and filing a claim. According to the Disabled American Veteran Service Officer’s Guide, “Evidence proving a service-connected disability can be a major problem. After the veteran has been discharged a few years, the situation becomes more difficult. That is why it is very important to file a claim as soon after discharge as possible. It is important to file a claim for any injury or ailment incurred during service. The result is that the process of claiming is expedited and the veteran may avoid unnecessary “red tape.”

One last point: certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, hearing loss, and hemorrhoids are often not thought of as disabilities. If a service connection can be proved, the veteran should file. The application process begins at the nearest Veteran’s Service Office.

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