VR&E Independent Living track
If your service-connected disability limits your ability to perform activities of daily living (like bathing, dressing, accessing the community, and interacting with others) and you can’t return to work right away, you may qualify for independent living services through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Independent Living track. You may also receive these services as you work to find a job if that’s a goal you and your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) have created. In both cases, your VRC can help you restore your daily-living activities.
Find out if you may be eligible for services to help you live as independently as possible.
Can I get independent living services through VR&E?
You may be eligible for independent living services if you’re a service member or Veteran with a service-connected disability who is eligible for VR&E benefits, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.
All of these must be true:
- You have a serious employment handicap (SEH), and
- Your disabilities prevent you from looking for or returning to work, and
- You’re in need of services to live as independently as possible
Please note: 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).
What kind of benefits can I get?
Depending on your needs, services may include:
- Evaluation and counseling to identify your needs and goals
- Referral to support resources
- Evaluation to see if you're eligible for the VR&E home adaptation grant. This grant is part of your rehabilitation plan to improve accessibility features in your home.
- Guidance to help you understand if you’re eligible for our adaptive-housing programs. These programs can help you make changes to your home—like widening doorways or adding ramps—so you can live more independently.
Learn more about adaptive housing grants
These services generally last up to 24 months. In some cases, you may be able to use services for longer than this.
How do I get these benefits?
First, you’ll need to apply for VR&E benefits. Then, you’ll work with your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC).
If you have your VA disability rating, follow these steps to apply:
Sign in to your eBenefits account.
Click Additional Benefits on your dashboard.
Click Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program.
Apply for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.
If you’re eligible, we’ll invite you to an orientation session at your nearest VA regional office.
If you’re eligible, a VRC will work with you to determine the severity of your service-connected disability, if you’re ready to work, and if you’ll benefit from independent living services. Your VRC will help you create a personalized, written independent living plan that meets your needs.