Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Van’tLeven.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Van’tLeven.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers vocational education, training, and counseling to eligible military members who are currently serving, retired or separated from the military. This help is not specifically aimed at those who are transitioning from a military career to a civilian one; instead it is intended to be career help, and a way to make the most of VA benefits.

This help is part of the VA’s Education and Career Counseling program, and is available to qualified veterans and those currently serving who meet the criteria listed on the VA official website (VA.gov). Those eligible for this assistance are:

● Transitioning Servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty.
● Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty.
● Any Servicemember/Veteran currently eligible for a VA education benefit.
● All current VA education beneficiaries.

Those who meet one or more of the requirements above should apply electronically at the eBenefits portal run by the Department of Veterans Affairs or fill out VA Form 28-8832 which is available as a downloadable pdf from the VA official site.

Those who choose to apply with the VA form will need to send or take the completed paperwork to the nearest VA regional office marked “Attention: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment” in the address. You can locate the nearest VA regional office through the VA official site

After your paperwork has been reviewed and approved, you’ll be invited to an orientation session at the VA regional office where you will learn about programs that can help in the following areas, as described on the VA official site:

● Career Choice – understand the best career options for you based on your interests and capabilities
● Benefits Coaching – guidance on the effective use of your VA benefits and/or other resources to achieve your education and career goals
● Personalized Support – Academic or adjustment counseling and personalized support to help you remove any barriers to your success

If you are currently serving at an overseas military assignment, your access to some programs may be determined by availability at the local level, but depending on the program you may have the ability to participate in online sessions or “distance learning” type programs.