How to apply for Veteran Readiness and Employment
Find out how to apply for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), formerly called VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. This program is also known as Chapter 31.
How do I apply if I already have a VA disability rating?
You can apply online right now.
If you're eligible, we'll invite you to an orientation session at your nearest VA regional office.
You can also apply:
Fill out an Application for Veteran Readiness and Employment For Claimants with Service-Connected Disabilities (VA Form 28-1900).
Get VA Form 28-1900 to download
Send your completed application here:
Department of Veterans Affairs
VR&E Intake Center
PO Box 5210
Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee help you.
Find a VA regional office near you
With the help of a trained professional
You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for VR&E benefits.
Get help filing your claim
What if I’m a service member who hasn’t yet received a service-connected disability rating?
You don’t need to wait for a rating. Instead, please fill out VA Vocational Rehabilitation - Getting Ahead After You Get Out (VA Form 28-0588).
Get VA Form 28-0588 to download
You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re in at least one of the below situations.
At least one of these must be true:
- You’re going through the Physical Evaluation Board process, or
- You’re expecting an other than dishonorable discharge and have a VA memorandum rating of 20% or more, or
- You’re entered in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).
Learn more about accessing VR&E services through IDES
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
What happens after I apply?
After you apply, we’ll schedule a meeting for you with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to find out if you have an employment handicap and if you’re eligible for VR&E benefits and services. You have an employment handicap if 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).
After we make an entitlement decision, you and your counselor will work together to develop a rehabilitation plan. This plan outlines the rehabilitation and other services that VR&E will provide.
You can also meet with VRCs called VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) counselors at schools participating in the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program.
Learn more about VetSuccess on Campus
If you disagree with a decision on your application for VR&E services and benefits, you can request a decision review. You can also manage any review requests or appeals you already filed.
Request a decision review or manage a legacy appeal
What’s included in a rehabilitation plan?
A rehabilitation plan is a written plan that outlines the resources we’ll use to help you find employment. Depending on your situation, your VRC will work with you to choose one of the following support-and-services tracks to help you find and keep a job, and live as independently as possible:
- Reemployment with a former employer
- Job placement and counseling services for new employment
- Help with starting your own business
- Long-term training or services to help you find work in a different field that better suits your abilities and interests
- Independent living services if you can’t return to work right away
What happens after my VRC creates my rehabilitation plan?
Your VRC will help you put your plan into action. They’ll also provide ongoing counseling and help you get tutorial assistance, job training, work-readiness support, and medical referrals.