Skip to Content
Your browser is out of date. To use this website, please update your browser or use a different device.
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Eligibility for Veteran Readiness and Employment

Learn about eligibility requirements for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)—formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. If you're a service member or Veteran and have a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service and that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, you may be able to get employment support or services to help you live as independently as possible.

If I’m a Veteran, am I eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment?

You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a Veteran, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.

All of these must be true. You:

  • Didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA, and
  • Apply for VR&E services

Basic period of eligibility

Your basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from the date you received notice of your:

  • Date of separation from active military service, or
  • First VA service-connected disability rating

Please note: The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) finds that you have a serious employment handicap (SEH). Having an employment handicap means your service-connected disability limits your ability to prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment (a job that doesn’t make your disability worse, is stable, and matches your abilities, aptitudes, and interests).

If I’m still on active duty, am I eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment?

You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a service member and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Have a 20% or higher pre-discharge disability rating (memorandum rating) and will soon leave the military, or
  • Are participating in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) process or awaiting discharge due to a medical condition resulting from a serious injury or illness that occurred in the line of duty.
    Learn more about accessing VR&E services through IDES

Please note: Severely injured active-duty service members can automatically receive VR&E benefits before VA issues a disability rating, because of Sec. 1631(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act (PL 110-181).

Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD): If you have an illness or injury that you believe was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, you can file a claim for disability benefits through the BDD program 180 to 90 days before you leave active duty. This may help speed up the claim decision process so you can get your benefits sooner.

Learn more about BDD and what to do if you have less than 90 days left on active duty

Go to our video about BDD (YouTube)

What should I do if I received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge?

If you’ve received one of these discharge statuses, you may not be eligible for VA benefits.

There are 2 ways you can try to qualify:

Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade
Learn about the VA Character of Discharge review proces

How do I apply if I already have a VA disability rating?

You can apply online right now.

Apply for VR&E benefits

Learn more about how to apply
Note: You can apply if you’re a service member who hasn't received a disability rating yet.

What kind of VR&E services can I get?

Depending on your needs and goals, services may include:

  • A complete evaluation to determine your abilities, skills, and interests for employment
  • Professional or vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
  • Employment services such as job training, resume development, and other work-readiness support
  • Help finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
  • On-the-job training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical, or business school
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
  • Independent living services if you’re unable to work due to the severity of your disabilities

If I’m eligible for GI Bill benefits, can I get paid the Post-9/11 GI Bill subsistence rate for my VR&E program?

If you’re participating in a VR&E program and also qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you can choose to get paid the GI Bill subsistence rate instead of the Chapter 31 subsistence allowance rate. In most cases the GI Bill rate is higher.

You’ll need to officially choose the GI Bill subsistence rate. Your VRC can help you with this.
Contact your VRC for more information
View the current Chapter 31 subsistence allowance rates
View the current Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit rates

Get more information

We offer opportunities to get training and practical hands-on work experience at the same time through programs like:

We also offer:

Last updated: