The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, the program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.
Services that may be provided by the VR&E Program include comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation, vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning, job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development, assistance finding and keeping a job including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations, post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school, and independent living services for veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities.
Active duty service members are eligible if they expect to receive an honorable discharge upon separation from active duty. Veterans are eligible if they have received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable, and have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%, or a memorandum rating of 20% or more from the VA. Active duty and veterans must apply for this benefit.
The basic period of eligibility in which VR&E services may be used is 12 years from the date of separation from active military service, or the date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating. The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a vocational rehabilitation counselor determines that a veteran has a serious employment handicap.
The Kings County Veterans Service Office issues Veteran ID cards to honorably discharged veterans. Contact Joe Wright if you would like to receive periodic veteran’s information by email. There are many state and federal benefits and programs available to veterans and their dependents. You can get information on the Web from the Kings County Veterans Service Office webpage at www.countyofkings.com.
Joe Wright, retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, is the veterans service officer for Kings County. Send your questions to the Veterans Service Office, 1400 W. Lacey Blvd., Hanford, CA 93230; call 852-2669; or e-mail [email protected].