VR&E Self-Employment track
If you’re a service member or Veteran with a service-connected disability and employment barrier who has the strong desire, skills, and drive to run a successful business, you may be interested in the Self-Employment track. Find out if Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) can help you start your own business.
Can I get help starting my own business through the VR&E Self-Employment track?
You may be eligible for these benefits if you’re a service member or Veteran with a service-connected disability, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.
All of these must be true:
- You have an employment barrier or handicap, and
- You’re enrolled in VR&E, and
- Your service-connected disability makes it hard for you 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 through the VR&E Self-Employment track?
- Coordination services and help with developing a proposed business plan
- Analysis of your business concept
- Training in small-business operations, marketing, and finances
- Guidance in getting the right resources to implement your business plan
After you develop your business plan, we’ll review it and evaluate whether self-employment and the proposed business are viable options.
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’ve received your 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.
Note: You can apply if you’re a service member who hasn't received a disability rating yet.
Get more information
We offer opportunities to get training and practical hands-on work experience at the same time through programs like:
- The VR&E Special Employer Incentives (SEI) program for eligible Veterans who face challenges getting a job.
Download the SEI program fact sheet (PDF)
- The VR&E Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) program for eligible Veterans and service members who have an established career goal and learn easily in a hands-on environment—or are having trouble getting a job due to lack of work experience.
Download the NPWE program fact sheet (PDF)
Watch this video to learn more about the NPWE program
We also offer:
- VR&E employment coordinators—located at our VA regional offices and many of our out-based locations—who can help you access the employment services available to you.
Find an employment coordinator near you
- Counselors to help you transition from military to college life.
Learn about VetSuccess on Campus
- Links to more resources outside VA that can help you in your job search.
See our list of external resources
- If you’re participating in a VR&E employment program and lost your housing because of a natural or other disaster, you may qualify for 2 more months of the Employment Adjustment Allowance.
Contact your VR&E counselor for more information
You may also want to consider registering with the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to get support for your Veteran-owned small business.